Province No.5: Rukum East and West Sisne, Puthauttarganga and Banfikot local units have taken the initiative to conserve biodiversity hotspots known to be home to red pandas and pangolins and rare medicinal herbs.
Officials of Sisne and Puthauttarganga Rural Municipalities of Rukum (East) and Banfikot Rural Municipality in Rukum (West) have requested the provincial and federal governments to assist in conservation efforts.
These local units share borders and are rich in biodiversity. According to the Division Forest Office in Rukum (East), these areas are the main habitat of red pandas and pangolins, endangered by other wild animals.
According to the locals, there are also various species of plants such as community forests, ponds, rivers and rivulets in these areas. A local of Puthauttarganga, Samil Pun said-“The local units have launched a campaign locally to preserve wild animals and plants. It’s a praiseworthy work.”According to him, biodiversity conservation is the best way to tackle environmental degradation.
Chairperson of Sisne Rural Municipality, Kumari Baral, said that increased human activities have badly affected biodiversity. Our life can only be sustained if we maintain the ecology of the land. Adding that they have started awareness programs in the settlements.
Puthauttarganga Rural Municipality has started conserving biodiversity by adopting scientific forest management in the community forest. The local unit has also laid out guidelines for the conservation of red panda habitat and sustainable use of medicinal herbs.
Sisne Rural Municipality has made some policy decisions for the conservation of biodiversity. Baral said each house in a rural municipality should plant two trees and plant trees sapling in open areas.
Mr. Mohan Rokamgar, Principal of Himalayan Secondary School in Sisne said that biodiversity must be maintained for environmental protection. All animals and plants need to be protected to maintain the ecosystem.
The Banfikot Rural Municipality in Rukum (West) has also laid down guidelines for the protection of pangolin and aquatic species. This local unit has given scattered settlements an integrated settlement and promoting afforestation programs.
Chairman of Banfikot Rural Municipality, Mr.Dharma Bahadur KC said-“If we haphazardly use natural resources, there will be nothing left for our future generation. We should understand this and scientifically use natural resources.”
Division Forest Officer, Mr. Besindra Raj Subedi said that forests are the main part of biodiversity. The ecosystem can only be maintained if forests are conserved. That is why we will help local units for their conservation efforts.