Project Leader: Sanjan Bahadur Thapa

Location: Bardia National Park

Funding Agency: European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA)

Bardia National Park (BNP) is the largest Protected Area (PA) in Nepal’s lowland Terai region, covering 968 Km2 and 507 Km2 of Buffer Zone (BZ). It has been awarded TX2 award for doubling its tiger population. BNP is also one of the important sites of the Terai Arc Landscape which is recently shortlisted as World Restoration Flagship” by UNEP/FAO. BNP encompasses Critically Endangered Terai-Duar Savanna and Grasslands Ecosystem and harbours the largest population of Endangered Asian Elephant, the second largest population of Endangered wildlife such as; Tiger and Greater One-horned Rhino and several Critically Endangered and Endangered species such as Chinese and Indian Pangolins, Hispid Hare, Bengal Florican, Lesser Florican etc. and several other threatened wildlife such as otters and ungulates. Forest fire in the spring (dry) season is a climate change induced and human ignited threats to the ecosystem and habitat of critically and endangered wildlife. Controlled burning in the grassland by park rangers during the spring season and burning of crop residues in the farmlands during the same season within the buffer zone of BNP increases carbon emissions and pollution. Overall goals of the project are to reduce fire in Buffer zone community forests, grassland and farmland, increase carbon-sequestration, reduce carbon emissions and protect from further carbon loss, adapt to the climate change and restore the ecosystem and habitat of endangered and threatened wildlife. This will be achieved through plantation and safeguarding of native mixed broad-leaved trees saplings, piloting grassland management replacing controlled fire in spring to manual cutting in winter to avoid impact during the breeding season of Critically Endangered wildlife, reduce burning crop residues in farmlands, rather composting or utilizing for cattle and livestock feed and roofing material, promoting cycling routes for outdoor enthusiasts and conduct education in the communities to mitigate climate change and conserve biodiversity and their breeding habitat.