NA Beyond Primary Duties

Nature Conservation

Though small in area, Nepal, as a result of varied geographical conditions is blessed with very diverse flora and fauna. Today, forests occupy 25.4% of the land area of Nepal, but deforestation is rampant. FAO estimates that Nepal lost about 2640 sq km of forest cover between 2000 and 2005. In this bleak scenario, the protection of forests and their biodiversity is a great challenge to Nepal. Hence the Nepalese Army was called upon to meet this challenge in 1975 with a mission to protect endangered species, plants and the natural heritage. Since then, the Nepalese Army has been responsible for the protection of 12 out of the 22 protected forests. 12 Battalions and Independent Companies with some 6,778 troops protect forest areas measuring some 9,767 sq km. The impact of the mobilization of the Army is very visible in the rhino census in Chitwan National Park. In the late 1960s, according to the releases of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, the total rhino count was less than a hundred individuals. With the efforts of the Army in protecting the Chitwan National Park, backing the Rhino project, the 1994 count estimated about 466 individuals and this figure increased further to 544 individuals in 2000. The Department credits anti poaching operations for the rapid rise in the numbers. However, the demands of internal security duties constrained the conservation efforts of the Nepalese Army and as a result the numbers of rhinos in Chitwan National Park fell to 372 individuals according to the census of 2005. With the improvement in the internal security scenario and consequent enhanced conservation efforts of the Army, the rhino population has shown some recovery and is now estimated at 446 individuals. The graph displays the total rhino count in Nepal, highlighting the growth since the deployment of the Nepalese Army and the drop in numbers when the Army efforts have been constrained.

The map shows the locations of various protected areas and the table shows the current deployment of Nepalese Army in conservation of nature:

 

S.No.
Name of Protected Area Location
1
Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve Kushaha
2
Sagarmatha National Park Namche
3
Chitwan National Park Kasara
4
Parsa Wildlife Reserve Adhabhar
5
Chitwan National Park, Western Sector. Nawalaparasi
6
Lamtang National Park Dhunche
7
Rara National Park Mugu
8
She-Phoksundo National Park Dolpa
9
Bardiya National Park Bardiya
10
Khaptad National Park Bajura
11
Suklaphata Wildlife Reserve Kanchanpur
12
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park Nagarjun
13
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park Shivapuri

 

The main responsibilities of the Nepalese Army in conservation of nature have been broadly outlined as follows:

  1. Protection duties for Nature Conservation:
    1. Patrolling inside National Park and Wild Life Reserves.
    2. Controlling encroachment, illegal poaching and deforestation.
  2. Support in Nature Conservation Research Works:
    1. Providing manpower in counting wildlife census.
    2. Providing necessary information regarding nature conservation
    3. Supporting rehabilitation of wild species
  3. Social Services:
    With the aim of winning the hearts and minds of the people and to generate their awareness towards nature conservation, the Army has been providing the following social services:
    1. Massive afforestation.
    2. Repair and renovation of schools, shrines, assist health centers in buffer zones and within National Parks and Wild Life Reserves.
    3. Medical care
    4. Water supply
    5. Support in construction of bridges, short stretched roads.
  4. Disaster Management:
    The Nepalese Army by virtue of location and organization is able to rapidly come to the assistance of the victims of calamities. .

  5. Human Resources Development:
    Preparation and provision of trained manpower for the Nature Conservation education, training in Buffer Zones, National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.

 

 
 
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