ONGOING PROJECTS OF KMTNC
- Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
- Nepal Conservation Research and Training Center (NCRTC)
- Bardia Conservation Program (BCP)
- Central Zoo
- Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)
Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)
The King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation launched the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), the first and largest conservation area in Nepal, covering 7,629 sq. km in 1986 as an innovative concept in the protected area management system of the country. The conservation area embraces a multiple land use principles of resource management that combines environmental protection with sustainable community development. Traditional subsistence activities are woven into a framework of sound resource management, supplemented by conservation, development and alternative energy programmes to minimize the negative impacts of tourism and enhance the living standards of the local people.
The biological diversity of the Annapurna Region is equally rivaled by its rich cultural diversity. Since the first trekker came to the Annapurna area in 1957, the natural and cultural features of ACAP have made it the most popular tourist destination in Nepal, drawing more than 60 per cent of the country's total trekkers. ACAP follows the three grassroot philosophy of maximum peoples participation, sustainability, and its role as at ca atalyst (facilitator) whereby the local people are involved in all aspects of the conservation and development processes, both as principal actors and prime beneficiaries.
ACAP is spread out in 5 districts of the Western Development Region of Nepal and covers 55 Village Development Committees. ACAP is divided into seven unit conservation offices located in the field - Jomsom, Manang, Lho Manthang in the Northern Program section and Bhujung, Lwang, Sikles and Ghandruk in the Southern Program section. While the focus of Jomsom, Manang and Ghandruk, which are also popular areas for trekking, is on integrated tourism management and agro-pastoralism, the programme priorities for Bhujung, Sikles and Lwang are poverty alleviation and integrated agriculture and livestock development, agroforestry, and community development respectively. While the focus in Lho Manthang, Upper Mustang, which came under the jurisdiction of ACAP in 1992, has been on managing controlled tourism on a sustainable basis, and promoting heritage conservation which is the major tourist attraction along with alternative energy, resource conservation and community development programmes. The Conservation Education and Extension Project (CEEP) is being implemented in the entire ACA and forms the backbone of all its conservation efforts in the region.
ACAP has completed and is implementing the recommendations of its Management Plan. that emphasizes building the capacity local institutions to carry out and continue ACAPs present activities. The ultimate goal of KMTNC is to see that Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) is managed by the local people themselves with minimal intervention from the Government and/or other institutions. The legal framework for ACA is provided by the Conservation Area Management Regulations (CAMR), 2053 B.S., which is approved by His Majesty's Government of Nepal. The Conservation Area Management Committee (CAMC), which is formed under the CAMR in each village development committee, is entrusted with the responsibility to manage, utilize, and protect all the natural resources within its own respective VDC.
CONSERVATION EDUCATION AND EXTENSION
Nepal Conservation Research and Training Center (NCRTC)
The Nepal Conservation Research and Training Center (NCRTC) was established on the outskirts of the Royal Chitwan National Park at Sauraha in 1989. The Center was originally created with the objectives of natural resource conservation, applied research on the ecology of both flora and fauna and the development of human resources, through in-country training, in wildlife techniques, community participation techniques, community forestry, conservation education, nature guide and hotel management. Over the years, the Center has adopted a holistic approach with more emphasis on community-oriented programmes. In addition to wildlife research and training, the Center is involved in the areas of wildlife habitat extension and improvement, buffer zone management, community forestry, community development, women development and micro-enterprises development.
Scientific study of natural flora and fauna is essential for the development of proper management plans for biodiversity conservation. Since the beginning, KMTNC has been involved in and is supporting various scientific research studies on wild animals and plants both within and outside the protected areas of Nepal.
The major scientific research and monitoring activities are as follows:
The second important focus of NCRTC is to provide in-country training opportunities for park personnel and conservation workers.
NCRTC has been providing training in various fields, such as:
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Conservation and development should be complementary to each other. NCRTC believes that conservation efforts will not succeed without addressing basic human needs. Thus, the Center has been involved in many sustainable community development programmes aimed at raising conservation awareness among local communities adjacent to the RCNP and also fostering local guardianship in biodiversity conservation and habitat management of endangered species.
Some of the activities in which NCRTC works together with the active participation of the local people are:
Bardia Conservation Program (BCP)
The Royal Bardia National Park (RBNP) is located 400 km west of the Kathmandu Valley. In 1990, NCRTC expanded its wildlife research and monitoring activities to the Royal Bardia National Park by establishing two sub-stations in the Babai Valley and Betani area in the eastern and western sides of the park respectively. Although, KMTNC was involved in a number of conservation activities in Bardia since the translocation of rhinos in 1988, the Bardia Conservation Programme (BCP) was launched in1994 as a regular project. Besides wildlife research and monitoring, BCP has been mobilizing and supporting local efforts in conservation and development programmes such as community forestry, conservation education, health care, school support and women development.
A tripartite project agreement was signed in November 1996 among KMTNC, DNPWC and the WWF-Nepal Program to undertake various activities in the buffer zone villages of RBNP. The purpose of this agreement was to define the arrangements for cooperation in project implementation between KMTNC, DNPWC and WWF-Nepal for the Bardia Integrated Conservation Project (BICP). KMTNC/BCP has undertaken five components of BICP:
The Central Zoo is the only zoo in Nepal. It was established in 1932 by the late Prime Minister Juddha Sumsher J.B. Rana as a private zoo. His Majesty's Government of Nepal opened the zoo to the public in 1956. On the auspicious occasion of His Majesty the King's Golden Jubilee Birthday, the responsibility of managing the Central Zoo located in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur was handed over to the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation on December 29, 1995.
Present layout map of Central Zoo
The Central Zoo covers an area of six hectares. It houses about 500 animals of 94 different species. Among these 30 are mammals, 52 are birds and 8 are reptiles. The Central Zoo has 14 of the 38 endangered animals of Nepal. The . The Zoo is open six days a week and remains closed on Monday. This has been done to give the animals a rest and to allow the zoo staff to make improvements on enclosures that cannot be done when visitors are around.
KMTNC has developed a Master Plan to improve the physical facilities, animal care and collection system and promote conservation education programs. KMTNC aims to develop the Central Zoo as a center for wildlife research and conservation education. Its objectives are to improve animal health and welfare by creating natural habitats and providing food according to their dietary requirements, encourage research and provide conservation education through first-hand experience of animals as well as raise public awareness about the importance of nature conservation.
Friends of the Zoo (FOZ): This program aims at promoting community participation in the process of zoo development and raising awareness regarding zoo conservation biology. Currently, there are more than 2000 FOZ members comprising of students, individuals and families. School students are the main target of FOZ
Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP)
KMTNC has undertaken the responsibility of implementing the Manaslu Ecotourism Project (MEP) in the Manaslu area of Upper Gorkha since 1997 under the 2nd Tourism Infrastructure Development Project of HMG funded through the Asian Development Bank's tourism loan to Nepal. The project area encompasses seven Village Development Committees (VDC), Samagaun, Lho, Prok, Bihi, Chunchet, Chhekampar and Sirdibas of north Gorkha District bordering China (Tibet). MEP aim was to develop the Manaslu region into a conservation area with improved access and infrastructure as well as building local capacity to manage tourism and conservation activities. Improving the living standards of the local people through better education, health care and income generating opportunities while preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the area will be particularly emphasized.
In December, 1998, His Majesty's Government of Nepal officially designated the area covered by these 7 VDCs as a "Conservation Area". The management of the area has been handed over to KMTNC for the next 10 years. Manaslu Conservation Area (MCA) cover 1,663 sq. km. with over 6,000 inhabitants whose main occupation is subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry.
MEP activities in MCAP include promotion of sustainable mountain tourism by implementing integrated conservation and development programmes, such as:
Natural Resource Conservation
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