Jul 24, 2024

'Wildlife-friendly infrastructures prerequisite to biodiversity conservation'

'Wildlife-friendly infrastructures prerequisite to biodiversity conservation'

KATHMANDU, June 13: A total of 47 species of wild animals in 20 protected areas died in the last fiscal year, 2023/24 owing to various reasons including in accidents, according to the Department of Wildlife Conservation and National Parks.

The prominent reasons behind the death of wild animals were natural death, road accidents, smuggling, electric shock, drowning, trap in fences and rabid dog's bite, among others. 
Reasons of the death could not be ascertained in 29 cases, it was reported. 

The increasing deaths of wild animals are spurring concerns among the life conservationists, environmentalists and representatives of organizations working on wildlife and environment conservation who recommended constructing wildlife-friendly infrastructures.

While constructing linear physical infrastructures in the habitat areas of wild animals, it is recommended that a proper feasibility study be conducted and either 'underpass' or 'overpass' infrastructures be made.

At an interaction organized by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) here today, WWF's representative Sandesh Singh Hamal stressed that infrastructure development and environment conservation bid should be taken forward together.

Of the 118 kinds of ecosystem existing in Nepal, 80 are in the Protected Areas (PA) at present. PAs such as national parks, wildlife reserves and conservation areas are one of the important methods of conserving biological diversity worldwide.

Similarly, Dr Soni Baral Gauli, Assistant Dean of the Institute of Forestry, said that they had included wildlife-friendly infrastructure policy and plans related subjects in the curriculum of Masters Degree with an objective to support in wildlife conservation bid.

Likewise, Sushil Bahadur Bajracharya, Assistant Dean at the Institute of Engineering, expressed his confidence that the curriculum related to wildlife-friendly infrastructures and the practical work included in the curriculum would make it easier for the engineers to deliver in the field keeping into account the wildlife conservation efforts.

NEFEJ President Roshani Adhikari shared that they organized the interaction on the topic to orient journalists towards this pressing need of time.