Kathmandu: Officials and experts from 13 tiger range countries including India are discussing ways to combat poaching - a multi-billion dollar industry - during a regional symposium that kicked off here this week.
The five-day symposium entitled "Towards zero poaching in Asia" is aimed at promoting the launch of Asia-wide operations to combat poaching of endangered species, mainly tigers, rhinos and elephants.
During the symposium, opened by Nepalese Forest Minister Mahesh Acharya on Monday, wildlife experts, government officials and conservationists from 13 tiger range countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia and Vietnam are having consultations on best practices for collaborating towards achieving zero poaching.
During the seminar, experts will share anti-poaching best practices, tools and technologies with the aim of launching a coordinated Asia-wide push to stop poaching.
Nepal is the only country to have achieved zero poaching through its community supported conservation practices, said Diwakar Chapagain, senior wildlife expert at WWF Nepal.
It has achieved remarkable success in wildlife conservation mainly due to its three C policies, commitment, collaboration and coordination of conservation efforts, said Chapagain.
"Nepal and India are our tiger heavyweights leading the region. India excels at recovering tiger numbers and Nepal at zero poaching," said Mike Baltzer, WWF Tigers Alive Initiative.
India registered a 30 per cent jump in tiger numbers since 2010. Meanwhile, Nepal witnessed the numbers rise almost two-thirds between 2009 and 2013, with its last poaching incident reported in March 2012.
In Nepal, local community has been mobilised for managing, conserving and utilising forest resources, which is significantly helping conservation efforts, Chapagain said.
Fifty per cent of the income generated by the national parks has been provided for community development activities such as establishing schools and health-posts, providing irrigation facilities and constructing rural roads, which has indirectly helped wildlife conservation.
The event is being hosted by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
"Criminal syndicates are emptying Asian forests to feed an unrelenting illegal wildlife trade ? a multi-billion dollar industry," a press release issued by WWF Nepal said.
The event is part of the global effort to double the tiger population by 2022.