Kathmandu, June 7
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation has developed the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park and Buffer Zone Management Plan to conserve and maintain its biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
The five-year plan (2018-2022) aims to improve the well-being of local and national communities by enhancing its socio-economic and cultural values. According to the plan, the salient features of the national park include a major source of fresh water for buffer zone communities, a sink for air pollution caused by Kathmandu valley and a watershed of holy rivers Bagmati and Bishnumati.
The national park comprises four types of forests which support rich floral and faunal diversity. It is estimated to possess 1,402 species of plants, of which 1,114 species are flowering plants, 282 species are non-flowering plants including gymnosperm, pteridophytes and fungi. The plan stated the national park was home to one third species of orchids in Nepal. Total 131 species of pteridophytes and 129 species of mushrooms have been documented from SNNP. It comprises 124 species of butterflies, 122 species of insects, 320 species of birds, and 30 species of mammals, including nine threatened species, such as pangolin, leopard cat, clouded leopard, common leopard, ghoral, Himalayan black bear and Assamese monkey.
The plan also has the objective of enhancing public participation in biodiversity conservation by raising awareness, and improving livelihoods and minimising human-wildlife conflicts by initiating effective measures, in collaboration with local communities and local governments. The national park covers an area of 118.61 sq km, occupying parts of Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading districts.
“Conservation of the national park has resulted in the rise of wildlife population. In recent years, human-wildlife conflict has surfaced as a major challenge. DNPWC has made several attempts to minimise the conflict but they have not been effective. Human casualty, livestock depredation and crop raiding by the wild animals are major causes of the conflict,” the plan read.
The national park is adopting strategy of human-wildlife co-existence to prevent the conflict. Relief scheme and buffer zone programmes are being launched and systematised.
In order to provide relief and treatment to victims, relief scheme has been formulated. “Twenty-five per cent of the total budget of buffer zone has been assured in a guideline for human-wildlife conflict compensation and relief,” it stated.
A version of this article appears in print on June 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.