Wednesday, May 16, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Illegal wildlife trade & Nepal’s Ex-Prime Minister Petition to the Supreme Court of Nepal

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Illegal wildlife trade & Nepal’s Ex-Prime Minister
Petition to the Supreme Court of Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal
16 May, 2018

A unique petition, involving a tiger pelt and Nepal’s Ex-Prime Minister, was submitted to Nepal’s honorable Supreme Court today (074-WO-0807).
Conservationist and Co-Founder of Greenhood Nepal, Kumar Paudel, brought the petition following a chance viewing of something unexpected on national television.
He explained that, “As part of my current research, I have interviewed more than 150 people serving criminal sentences for illegally trading of wildlife in Nepal. Coincidentally, I was watching a national broadcast of an interview with our former Prime Minister, Kritinidhi Bista.  I was shocked to see that he was prominently displaying a tiger pelt as decorative item in his home.”
Though the law prohibits the ornamental use of endangered species, such as the tiger, the illegal harvest, trade and use of protected wildlife remains a problem across Nepal. It is a punishable crime, with high fines and prison sentences, and hundreds of people have been arrested and imprisoned across Nepal.

(Ex PM Kritinidhi Bista giving an interview to a National Television at his home, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 2016. Source: Tweet of the interviewer Suman Kharel)
Mr. Paudel stated, “The law should not discriminate, even if it involves high ranking government officials. This is especially important because I have already met many other people who have been arrested and prosecuted for the same acts.”
He also expressed concerns that, by featuring protected wildlife parts on national television, the ex-Prime Minister was endorsing the illegal use of protected wildlife, further threatening imperiled species.
To dig deeper, Mr. Paudel reviewed the prevailing rules and regulations, and identified a provision that allows for the use of wildlife parts with a special permission from Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and/or District Forest Office. When the Department confirmed that no such consent had been given, he reached out to the concerned authorities to request legal action, initially on 12 September, 2016, followed multiple enquiries. Mr. Paudel then identified 3 other public instances where the government had failed to prosecute high-profile individuals for crimes related to wildlife trade.
Two years on, there has not been any progress.
This compelled Mr. Paudel to bring this petition to the Supreme Court, a case against a number of government departments that demands them to act on these prominent, yet overlooked cases of illegal wildlife use.
Mr. Paudel stated, “I feel it is a moral obligation to raise my voice by issuing this petition. I believe that, by turning a deaf ear, the system condones wildlife crime, indicates biased application of the law and demonstrates a lack of unaccountability.” 
Knocking on the door of the Supreme Court, Mr. Paudel feels, is the only remaining option to help protect Nepal’s wildlife.
For more information, please contact

Kumar Paudel
Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: +977-9851127608
Twitter: @kmrpaudel



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2 comments:

  1. Very daring move, Indeed! Kudos to the Move!
    We know Government of Nepal issued warrant against an American national for using wild-animal parts and a parahawking guy left Nepal for using vultures. That was commendable job. However, we see high government officials wearing bracelets and necklace made of elephant tail-hair, rhino skins, tiger tooth and most of those people are high rank government officials. These superstitious government officials and politicians are the one who protect the criminals. And even WWF, NTNC, ZSL etc are mum about the issues like Mr Paudel has raised. But of course government can shoot a Chepang or any other poor-man for doing the job their master asked them to do. Until now Government Conservation officials have killed many wage-laborers, because they know as long as there is poverty their Masters can hire another to do the job of killing wildlife. Who are the masters?? Of course Masters are those who demand bigger funds for Conservation! If there is no threat of extinction of wildlife, there is no agenda, therefore no Funds! That's the simple rule these Masters have been applying for all these years! That's the main reason why higher government officials don't act on the petitions like Paudel's! As long as there is Big Funds for Conservation, Poaching will Continue, irrespective of how aware local people living by the parks are! People have always been outsmarted by the Conservation Masters!! I grew up in the vicinity of Chitwan National Park listening to the story how Campa kaila was used by his Masters and was killed at the end. Kamal Jung Kunwar's book -Five Year for Rhino- give a complete picture. Since then many Campa Kainlas were shot dead and the Masters are still there doing what they used to do! I don't think any conservation officer can pull down the tiger hide from late-Bista's wall! They can shoot a hungry Chepang but they will never dare to pull down the Tiger-Hide!

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  2. On one hand, local communities are voluntarily contributing towards conservation in many places of the country through 'Community Based Anti-poaching Units' while on the other hand these irresponsible activities of so called politically high-profile leaders are still prevalent. If this sort of illegal activity isnot punished promptly, it will not only morally discourage many conservationists but will also raise multiple questions threatening stability of conservation.

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