Nepal burns stockpile of wildlife parts
For the first time in 20 years, Nepal has burnt its stockpile of wildlife parts demonstrating the nation’s commitment towards zero tolerance of wildlife crime.
Based on an audit completed in July 2016, more than 4,000 wildlife parts from 48 different species including 67 tiger skins and 357 rhino horns were burnt in Chitwan National Park on 22 May 2017. The wildlife parts are from animals that were either seized in the process of illegal trade or that died from natural circumstances.
The sight of such a huge volume of bones, skins, and horns up in flames may be somewhat distressing, but it sends a clear message to the world that Nepal will not tolerate wildlife poaching and trafficking. It also means that there is no chance that the wildlife parts will be leaked into the illegal market. The destruction of the stockpile is also a management intervention to dispose of aged and decaying wildlife parts.
Nepal's commitment to zero poaching
Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal said:
“With each year, Nepal goes from strength to strength in conservation. Through coordinated efforts from the central to the grassroots level, it is a conservation imperative to break the myth of the illegal wildlife trade as iconic species such as tigers and rhinos are poached to satisfy human greed.”
Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation said:
“Nepal has achieved a significant milestone in conservation. The government of Nepal expresses its commitment to zero poaching and a non-tolerance towards wildlife crime.”
The event was led by the Nepalese Government (Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation and its line agencies) with the support of the Nepal Army, WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation and Zoological Society of London. WWF provided financial and logistic support for the event which was funded partially by USAID’s Hariyo Ban Program, WWF US and WWF UK.
Photo credits: WWF Nepal/Akash Shrestha