Government takes steps to protect biological corridors
The Western Terai Landscape Complex Project (WTLCP) supported by UNDP and a range of donors, has been working since 2006 for the conservation of the three biological corridors - Laljhadhi, Basanta and Khata situated in the western terai (plains). The main challenges for these corridors are illegal encroachment for settlement, agricultural extension and uncontrolled grazing.
A biological corridor is an important part of a landscape connecting two or more similar habitats. Such corridors play a very important role in the conservation of biodiversity by facilitating natural migration of wildlife species among their prime habitat areas.
Recognizing the conservation values of biological corridors, the Government of Nepal has recently declared these three biological corridors as protected forest areas.
These corridors inter-connect the Bardia National Park, the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and the Chure forests of Nepal with Dudhawa National Park and the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary of India.
As such the project is also facilitating transboundary cooperation for conservation of wildlife, particularly the rhinoceros, tigers and elephants that regularly move across the national borders.
Besides the policy level contribution, the WTLCP at the local level is promoting new plantations in the degraded parts of the corridors, finding alternate energies for cooking to save forests and providing trainings to the community people living along the corridor area for other livelihood opportunities. As a way forward, the WTLCP is also facilitating the Government to develop a biological corridor conservation policy for Nepal.