Bill aims to protect endangered wild fauna, flora

Kathmandu, July 6

The International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Control Bill-2015 tabled in the Parliament yesterday aims at ensuring implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora-1973 to which Nepal is a party.

The main objective of the proposed law is to protect wildlife against over-exploitation and to prevent international trade in species threatened with extinction. Any Nepali citizen who commits wildlife crime in any country outside Nepal will also be put on trial under this law. Endangered wild flora and fauna means any species or sub-species of wildlife or flora or parts thereof referred to in Apendix-1 of the convention.

Sale, purchase, possession, reproduction, import and export of endangered species would be strictly prohibited once the bill gets enacted into law.

However, any person or organisation may be permitted to do so by obtaining license from Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation or Department of Forests.

“If any person or organisation has obtained any wildlife or flora and fauna for study, research, test, training, exhibition, conservation education, bio-resource protection, educational activities and for any other purpose, they will be required to get them registered with the agencies concerned,” reads the bill.

Anyone found guilty of committing wildlife crime would be liable to up to 15 years jail sentence or a fine of up to Rs 500,000 or both, along with confiscation of the wildlife or flora and fauna or parts thereof.

The bill once enacted into law would authorise officers from national parks, wildlife reserves, conservation areas and hunting reserves to probe into involvement of any person in activities prohibited by the law.

The government will act as plaintiff of the charge to be filed under this law. The power to adjudicate the case will be with the concerned district court where the charge is filed.

The law has also provisioned a 12-member Endangered Wildlife and Flora and Fauna National Coordination Committee headed by a secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to recommend to the government necessary policy, legal and institutional measures to curb wildlife crimes.