Conservationists request Parliamentarians to help to save pangolins in Nepal

A team of pangolin conservationists, including Greenhood founder Kumar Paudel and pangolin researcher Ambika Prasad Khatiwada (Conservation Officer at National Trust for Nature Conservation), met with the Parliamentary Committee of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Natural Resources. The meeting was organized on the occasion of World Pangolin Day 2022 at the office of the Parliamentary Committee, aiming to sensitize the house of representative members of the concerned parliamentary committee.

Five Committee members, including the chair of the Committee Honorable Purna Kumari Subedi and secretary of the committee Udaya Kumar Bhandari attended the meeting. The parliamentarians were explained about the current status of pangolins, threats they are facing, and the anticipated role of the House to protect them from the brink of extinction. Nepal has strict laws to protect pangolins, which is essential but not enough to save the species; the government should develop plans to protect the species outside the protected areas as they are more abundant outside than in the protected areas network. They listened to Mr. Khatiwada and Mr. Paudel with an interest in the urgency to protect pangolins from illegal trade and habitat destruction in Nepal.

The parliamentarians appreciated the concerns raised by the conservationists and thanked them for taking this issue in the light of the Committee. The majority of them were aware of pangolins and shared their experience of seeing them, showed concern of illegal trade and talked about the urgency of appropriate conservation measures. Hon. Shanti Pakhrin shared her own experiences of seeing pangolins abundantly in her village in the past. However, the species are rare and very hard to see in the region nowadays. She also briefly mentioned mythical stories that something wrong happens in their family if someone kills a pangolin. This mythical story is not only of Hon. Pakhrin but also many villagers in rural Nepal. The committee asked for more information on pangolins and agreed to plan for the next meeting with a detailed discussion to help pangolin conservation.

Greenhood Nepal and the pangolin conservationists in Nepal have been organizing Pangolin Roundtable on World Pangolin Day for the last seven years. This year, we decided to do it differently, engaging the national key policymakers in pangolin conservation. Follow our pangolin conservation efforts in Nepal at #NepalPangolin over Twitter and Facebook.

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