Conservationists hail success of Parsa-Chitwan bio-corridor

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA
The park spent Rs 2.5 million under the TAL programme for the afforestation and protection of the area

Dec 5, 2018-Conservationists have been elated with the increasing movement of wild animals in Syauli area of Parsa, a bio-corridor linking Chitwan and Parsa national parks of Nepal and Valmiki Tigers Reserve of India.

Three years ago, the Parsa National Park (PNP) launched the afforestation drive clearing the forest land encroached by people at Syauli, which lies south-east of the Shikaribas stream in Thori Rural Municipality-4. The Tarai Arc Landscape (TAL) Programme of the World Wildlife Fund planted around 25,000 saplings of different species of trees after the government authorities cleared around 100 hectares of encroached land in the area.

According to the PNP officials, the Syauli area turned into a bush after the plantation and natural growth of vegetation that ease movement of the wild beasts. Bedhari Dahal, community conservation facilitator of the TAL, said the rise in movement of wild animals including elephants, rhinos and tigers in Syauli area after the campaign.

The park authority spent Rs 2.5 million under the TAL programme for the afforestation and protection of the area. Two guards have been working for the protection and security of the forest now.

Dahal, however, underscored the need of removing human encroachment in 300 hectares of land in the area. The local people encroached the PNP forest land for cultivation. He said that all the encroached land in the area should be cleared at the earliest and preserve it as the bio-corridor. The human encroachment will disturb animals’ movement and even increase human-animal conflict, argued Dahal.

The PNP administration had attempted to evict human settlement in the area a decade ago. However, its attempt was not possible due to the obstruction by the Parsa chapter of Commission for Landless People. Scores of people, who claim themselves to be landless squatters, have encroached the area and set up their huts. Some locals and people from Makwanpur, Dhading and Sindhupalchok districts have been staying in the area and farming in the forest land.

Chief Conservation Officer Amir Maharjan said the PNP had continued the campaign  started a decade earlier to clear human encroachment in Syauli area. “This area is a bio-corridor of Parsa as well as Chitwan national parks and Valmiki Tiger Reserve of India. It is our responsibility to manage the area and we will reclaim the encroached forestland,” said Maharjan.

Published: 05-12-2018 07:27

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