No Private Elephant in Chitwan National Park

Kumar Paudel

UNESCO’s attention on Chitwan National Park (CNP) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in Paris has raised serious concern to recent governmental decision to allow the entry of privately-owned elephants inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP).

It is really great news for the conservationists that the UNESCO Chief from France has also sent a letter to the Permanent Delegate of Nepal to UNESCO, raising concerns about the impact of allowing the entry of more tuskers owned by private hotels in the park area. I would like to draw the strong attention of UNESCO Nepal to immediately ask the government to repeal the decision on following basis.
At first, there are already almost 100 elephants -- around 60 owned by the government and some 35 owned by hotels operated in the actual conservation area -- within the CNP. The park has even not been able to accommodate the existing elephants. If more and more elephants are allowed this will create more pressure on the park and pose threat to the eco-system and biodiversity of the park.

Secondly, the government has made a big mistake by not assessing the chances of new diseases while allowing the entry of camels into the park. The government has allowed herds of elephants into the park just for the sake of generating more revenue without looking into possible dangers. In this regard, the government has not carried out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) before allowing mass entry of private elephants in such an ecologically sensitive area

In Nepal, EIA has been integrated in major development projects since the early 1980s. In the planning history of Nepal, the sixth plan (1980–85), for the first time, recognized the need for EIA with the establishment of Environmental Impact Study Project (EISP) under the Department of Soil Conservation in 1982 to develop necessary instruments for integration of EIA in infrastructure development projects. However, the government of Nepal enunciated environment conservation related policies in the seventh plan (NPC, 1985–1990). In order to enforce this policy and make necessary arrangements, a series of guidelines were developed, thereby incorporating the elements of environmental factors right from the project formulation stage of the development plans and projects and to avoid or minimize adverse effects on the ecological system. In addition, it has also emphasized that EIAs of industry, tourism, water resources, transportation, urbanization, agriculture, forest and other developmental projects be conducted.

Despite the governmental policies or mandates to carry out EIA before starting any developmental projects, the government has not done EIA before taking decision in this regard in such an ecologically sensitive area.

Thirdly, the government has not consulted with the concerned stakeholders before reaching the decision. The government unanimously selected some politically inclined private tuskers and determined revenue without stakeholder’s consultation and public bidding which is totally undemocratic.

Fourthly, the recent decision is against the ethics of principle of intergeneration equity. The Park should be conserved for the future generations too. The concept of protecting the natural environment for future generations was explicitly incorporated into the language of three treaties negotiated more or less contemporaneously with the Stockholm Declaration: the 1972 London Ocean Dumping Convention, the 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Therefore, The UNESCO Nepal immediately should ask the government to repel the decision and carry out EIA before taking such decisions in such an ecologically and culturally sensitive zone.


  1. i really appreciate you.kumar.. you are really the one who is born for all...

  2. That's why it's important to have a good communication between the different orgnisations ... before taking decisions governments in general don't evaluate the dangers and the consequences of certain situations ... what a pity !!! everything could be built with a good evaluation ,a good communication and a good understanding!