Securing Chitwan-Sindhuli Green Corridor; Strengthening community stewardship and law enforcement

Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is one of the major challenges found globally for the conservation of wildlife species. Several species of wildlife are known to illegally traded in Nepal. Bordering India and China, Nepal serves as both a source and transit country for wildlife trafficking. In Nepal, illegal wildlife trade in protected species is widespread (in 67% districts of Nepal) and which is now increasing. Pangolin is one of the most trafficked wild mammals in the world and the second most seized wildlife product in Nepal. Indian and Chinese pangolin occur in Nepal; and they are primarily distributed outside of protected areas (PA), often in human-dominated landscapes. During 2010-2017, eight live pangolins were seized while 450,541 kg of pangolin scales were confiscated across the country (Nepal Police Records). Recent situation of COVID -19 has forced local communities to lose jobs that reduced income, access to food, health, education, and clothing, increasing multi-dimensional poverty and decreasing community wellbeing. This situation on livelihood creates high risk of increasing vulnerability and reliance on fragile natural resources including high risk that these vulnerable communities get influence by the smugglers to get involved in the illegal trade of pangolin for financial sources.

This project seeks to develop efficient law enforcement agencies (LEA) responses to IWT based on capacity development, improved national and transboundary information sharing, a better understanding of IWT, underpinned by strong community-led conservation to strengthen Nepal’s capacity to combat IWT and positively contribute to reducing multi-dimensional poverty.

This project is relevant for wildlife conservation through integrating livelihood and governance interventions with conservation efforts and ultimately secure long-term capacity and incentives for the conservation of wildlife. This project will strengthen in-country capacity to deal with illegal wildlife trade and improved co-ordination between law enforcement agencies through intelligence sharing mechanism and trans boundary collaboration. Green trans-boundary corridor in Chitwan-Sindhuli secured through strengthen law enforcement, community led participatory conservation with diversified sustainable livelihood options by improving human well-being and reduced key drivers of illegal wildlife trade.

The project activities will contribute the country sustainable development goals target and will have direct linkage with different SDGs like; No Poverty, Zero hunger, Good health and wellbeing, Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, Reduce inequalities, Life on land, Partnership for the goals by promoting sustainable livelihood options. The project will be implemented with bottom-up approach where the community participation will be ensured during the implementation of project activities. All the project activities will ensure equal participation of gender, ethnic group, persons with disability, socially excluded group, indigenous people and marginalized communities.

This project will be implemented through the following activities;

  • Intelligence sharing and collaboration between national and transboundary law enforcement agencies to combat illegal wildlife trade
  • Upskilled law enforcement agencies by utilizing evidence-based approaches to inform effective law enforcement efforts to disrupt illegal wildlife trade
  • Establishment of Community managed pangolin conservation areas (CMPCAs) within the Chitwan-Sindhuli corridor and promote participatory pangolin conservation to protect pangolin and other traded species for reducing illegal wildlife trade at its source.
  • Engaging vulnerable community members for sustainable livelihood options, ensuring economic resiliency, reducing economic drivers of poaching and illegal wildlife trade-related activities.

This project is funded by the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund (Round 7) and is being implemented in partnership with the Department of National Parks and wildlife conservation (DNPWC), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and Mithila Wildlife Trust (MWT).