7th National Conservation Day highlights snow leopards and Nepal’s conservation leaders

The 7th National Conservation Day organized Monday under the leadership of the Government of Nepal was celebrated with the theme of snow leopard conservation and a call to protect the Himalayas.

“The mountain ecosystem is under threat from the pervasive impacts of climate change,” said President Ram Baran Yadav, who graced the day’s celebrations.

“It is heartening to see conservation leaders, who have been duly awarded for their contributions, take up biodiversity protection as their cause and I hope through this recognition they are further motivated to help protect Nepal’s natural riches including key species such as snow leopards and tigers,” the President said.

National Conservation Day provides a platform to recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations in conservation while also helping motivate a new generation of conservationists.

WWF Nepal felicitated one organization and five individuals through the Abraham Conservation Awards, Matthew Preece & Yeshi Choden Lama Young Conservation Leader Award, WWF Media in Conservation Award and a Special Conservation Award.

The award holds a citation and cash prize of Rs 25,000 for individuals and Rs 50,000 for organizations. WWF Nepal also provided scholarships to four students under the Chandra Gurung Memorial Scholarship, Jill Bowling Schlaepfer Memorial Scholarship and Jennifer Headley Memorial Scholarships to help them pursue higher education in forestry.

Bird Conservation Nepal provided a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Hari Sharan Nepali for his outstanding contribution in the field of bird conservation. Jatayu Scholarships were also provided by Bird Conservation Nepal to two students to support their research in vulture conservation.

Similarly, enforcement agencies from Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park and Kathmandu were felicitated for their seamless efforts in helping curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Likewise a biography on Late Dr Tirtha Man Maskey “Tiger Warden” published by Wildlife Watch Group was also launched at the ceremony.

A special screening of a video on snow leopards, its population and status, threats and conservation interventions, which was developed by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists, was also done on the occasion.

In an effort to highlight sarus crane conservation and build awareness on the key threats to the species, a special drama was presented by sixteen Eco Club students of Lumbini, a project site of WWF Nepal in partnership with Lumbini Development Trust.

The Government of Nepal declared Asoj 7 (23 September) as National Conservation Day in 2008 in memory of the Conservation Heroes who lost their lives in the tragic helicopter accident on 23 September 2006 at Ghunsa, Kangchenjunga.

source: nepalnews.com, 24 Sept 2013

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