Amendment to wildlife protection law on cards

Kathmandu, January 22

Environment Protection Committee of the Parliament has decided to table an amendment to National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 in the Parliament.

After clause-wise discussion on the draft amendment, committee members today decided to table it in the Parliament. Earlier on October 27 last year, clause-wise discussion on the draft amendment was postponed indefinitely due to the disagreement over the provision of buffer zone management.

“We settled the disputes and decided to table the amendment bill in the Parliament,” committee Chair Janak Raj Chaudhary said, adding, “In case of some clauses, we have decided to give locals the power to settle issues.”

During earlier discussions on the bill, lawmakers and forest ministry officials had failed to forge consensus on the issue of benefit sharing and the definition of protected areas. Lawmakers were of the opinion that national parks and protected areas should be treated differently.

During discussion on the bill, lawmakers argued that the Act should have clear provisions to reduce conflict between protected areas and buffer zones.

The government is making preparations to amend the National Parks and Wildlife Act, 1973 to allow the general public to keep and breed certain species of wild animals. The proposed law also has a provision of providing seed animal to such individuals. The proposed amendment aims to attract the private sector in rearing and breeding of wild animals. Body parts and goods made of parts of such animals may be sold, distributed and exported as per the new provision.

Similarly, any organisation or entity will be allowed to establish zoo for educational, entertainment and reproductive purpose under certain terms and conditions. Eligible organisations can also obtain permission for the establishment of wildlife rescue centre and wildlife hospital.