Compensation up for animal attacks

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Compensation up for animal attacks

Jul 27, 2015-

The government has increased in ex-gratia compensation to the kin of wild animal attack victims from Rs 300,000 to Rs 500,000 in a bid to encourage people’s participation in forest and wildlife conservation and mitigate incidence of human-wildlife conflict. 

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), the authority responsible for the management and conservation plans for the protected areas in the country, has amended the existing directive on compensation for loss of human lives and properties by wildlife in and around the protected parks and forests. 

The first amendment, carried out this year on the directive on compensation from the damage from wildlife 2012, mentions that a person with minor injury from wildlife attacks identified by the government would get Rs 10,000 as relief and those with severe injuries would get a maximum of Rs 100,000. 

Similarly, the family of the victim killed by wildlife will a compensation of Rs 500,000, up from the existing amount of Rs 200,000. After turning a deaf ear to concerns of victims of wildlife attacks for years, the government finally decided to review the existing directive and carried out amendments to the provision on compensation. 

“The urgency was felt to address the growing conflict between the local communities living in and around the protected areas and the wildlife. On one hand, we want to increase tiger and rhino population and maintain their respective habitats, while the local communities lived under threats from wildlife and went towards retaliation, on the other,” said Maheshwor Dhakal, spokesperson at the department. 

According to Dhakal, the main challenge is the timely delivery of the compensation to the victims. As per the directive, the kin of wildlife victim should file a formal request for compensation to the concerned authority within 35 days of the incident. But the victims are not able to get the amount on time due to administrative hurdles. “We need to improve the delivery system so that the victims are compensated on time,” he added. The animals on the list approved for compensation include elephant, rhino, tiger, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard, wild boar, wolf, wild dog and wild buffalo. 

Published: 28-07-2015 08:49

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