Assessment of arm conflict impact in conservation areas
WWG undertook a six months study to understand the impact of armed conflict and its impact in the conservation efforts in the protected areas. The program was broadly categorized into two stages. The first stage was to conduct a research on the impact of conflict on the protected areas of Nepal which was published later. The second stage was organizing an International Conference on Conservation and Conflict. The study was supported by the Finnish Embassy and the Conference was supported by Finnish Embassy, WWF Nepal, IUCN Nepal and The Mountain Institute.
The study revealed that a lot of destruction of flora and fauna had taken place. It highlighted the damage of infrastructure, deforestation, increase in poaching of endangered species and decline in security measures. The publication also presented the impacts of armed conflict in Community Forestry and other forest sectors of Nepal. Besides the conservation sector, tourism, agriculture and national economy were also severely affected by the armed conflict.
After the study was completed two books were published: "Conflict and Conservation, Himalayan biodiversity on the Brink" and "Cost of Conflict on Nepal's Conservation Area." These publications were jointly released on August 29, 2006.
Environmental journalism school (EJS)
WWG is planning to establish a School on Environmental Journalism, in collaboration with the School of Environmental Management and Sustainable Development (SchEMS) affiliated to Pokhara University and CEC-IUCN Nepal. The two collaborating organizations have signed the MoU and the plan is being put into action. The school will be the first of its kind in Nepal. It will have two levels:
1. Advanced Environmental Journalism
2. Basic Environmental Journalism.
EJS is planning to extend its education to the Post Graduate Diploma Course on Environmental Journalism.
The situation of the endangered species is becoming serious day by day. It has become even more problematic because more and more species of animals are decreasing in number. Gharial is one such species, which is now endangered. It is only found in the South Asian region. They remain limited in number in Nepal. To stress the need to take some action to protect these reptiles and to draw the attention in this area, WWG on June 25, 2007, organized a half-day discussion program on "Gharial Conservation in Nepal" together with SOS Crocodile (France) and WWF Nepal.
Many officials attended the program and many personnel representing various organizations participated. Program Officer of SOS Crocodiles (France), Mr. Antoine Joseph, presented a proposal developed by SOS Crocodiles, WWG and WWF Nepal on "Gangatic Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) Conservation in Nepal: Action Plan for Gharial Rescue in Nepal." In his presentation, he explained the status of the gharials, the strategies for protection and other issues.
The program was a huge success. The participants received a lot of information about the issue and even gave valuable input for better planning and developing strategies.
International Conference on Conservation in Conflict 2006
The conservation of natural resources is a global responsibility. While the human efforts have set several good examples in conservation movements, the armed conflicts are posing challenges to these successes. In fact, the armed conflicts not only bring sufferings and cause loss of human life, but also wreak devastating harm on the environment and damage biodiversity.
Wildlife Watch Group (WWG), with the Embassy of Finland, WWF Nepal Program, The Mountain Institute, and The World Conservation Union organized an International Conference on Conservation in Conflict with an objective to provide an international milieu to discuss and share experiences about the negative impacts of armed conflict on the environment, and promote strategies for mitigating impacts where possible. About 50 participants representing about 25 countries covering South Asia, Central Asia, Mekong region, Balkans, Central and South America, Arabia and Africa participated in the conference. Beside the organizing partners, international organizations such as United Nations Environment Program, Convention for Biological Diversity, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development and universities concerned with the issue sent their representatives in the conference.
Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) IUCN Nepal
The Commission on Education and Communication, CEC, is one of the six Commissions on which IUCN draws expertise to fulfill its mission. CEC connects communication and education professionals for knowledge-sharing, learning and strategic advice. The Commission is a global, voluntary membership network with three working groups: CEC is led by a Steering Committee and a Chair elected at the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress, at which the Commission also receives its mandate. CEC priorities in Nepal are to work with the convention particularly in advocacy for communication, education, participation and awareness (CEPA) and Education for sustainable development (ESD). It also works with IUCN programs, members and commission to improve participatory approaches to empower groups and institutions to play their roles in conservation, sustainable and capacity development. It also supports IUCN to tailor its knowledge and experiences to develop leadership for sustainable development and aids in developing capacity for educating community and urges IUCN in engaging and empowering people to change towards sustainability. It plans to move forward by developing a joint proposal on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) linking environmental education with new curriculum development and advocating and providing access to good practice, research and innovation. It further aims to promote strategic communication through training courses, practical tool development, publications, expert advice and advocacy efforts that influence practice, policy and governance in Nepal .It also aims to integrate education and communication aspects into national plans and policies of Nepal.
Mr. Mangal Man Shakya has been elected as National Activator for 2009-2012 from one congress to another.