Corridor project brings hope for eastern wildlife

 

Construction of Eastern Himalayan Bio-corridor has started linking hilly and mountainous areas of Mechi zone with Bhutan via Darjeeling. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has initiated the bio-corridor project in association with some other organisations of Nepal, India and Bhutan. The project, expected to complete within five years, aims at conserving rare wild animals and birds, natural herbs, bio-diversity and environment and promoting rural tourism. Out of 4,305.60 square kilometers area in the three countries, it covers Mount Kanchenjunga, Taplejung, Panchthar and 19 VDCs of Ilam in Nepal and the width ranges from 10 meter to 10 kilometer. Thirteen national parks of the three countries, including Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, will fall under the project’s area, said Ram Rimal, a member of Ilam Support Council, a partner organisation.

Another beauty of the project is direct participation of tourism entrepreneurs, farmers, forest users, women’s groups and common people. Rimal said people falling under the project area will be provided with practical knowledge and skills required for commercial farming of indigenous herbs. “At the same time, forestbased products and rural will be marketed and promoted and poaching of wild animals will be controlled.” Thirty-five various rare animals such as snow leopard, black bear, red panda, musk deer, leopard, 70 types of birds like spiny babbler, lophophorus, 120 types of Himalayan herbs and 20 lakes and ponds are found in the corridor.

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