Environmental Graduates in Himalaya and Resources Himalaya Foundation organized 10 days “Wildlife Training to Graduates, 2022” from February 27- March 08, 2022. The objective of training was to groom and mentor the younger generation of graduates in environmental and natural sciences on the path to becoming dedicated wildlife conservationists through capacity building, empowering with field based techniques for wildlife research and conservation, enlightening with the innovative research and policy analysis, and creating a platform for knowledge management and dissemination. EGH has been organizing such training since 2017 with financial and logistics support from various organizations dedicated to nature and wildlife conservation. With partial financial support from WWF-Nepal and logistic support from NTNC, EGH has already organized three training sessions in the past years (2017, 2018, and 2020). This is the fourth training and in addition to the above mentioned organizations, Zoological Society London (ZSL) Nepal, has collaborated as funding partner this year. In recent years, large megafauna including tiger and elephants conflict has become major challenge and issue in the Terai region and thus this year, our training was targeted on the study of wildlife techniques particularly large carnivores and herbivores of Terai.
A total of 10 eligible graduates from Bachelor’s (3rd or 4th year) and Master’s in Environmental Science, Zoology, Veterinary and Animal Science, Botany, Forestry, Biotechnology, Natural Resource Management, and Nature Journalism, were selected for the training. The training had two components: lecture-based theoretical knowledge and field-based wildlife techniques included.
Out of our 10 days schedule from February 27- March 08, 2022, we had an opening session on the very first day which was attended by the trainees, organizing committee and honorable guests. Prof. Pitamber Sharma (Board Member, Resources Himalaya Foundation) chaired the program. Dr. Ram Chandra Kandel (Director General of Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC)) was the chief guest. Dr. KanchanThapa (Conservation Biologist at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal), Mr. Sharad Chandra Adhikari (Member Secretary of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC)) attended as guests. The representative from one of our partner organization ZSL Nepal could not attend due unforeseen situation. All the guest presented their views over the importance of wildlife conservation, management with their appreciation for this initiative by RHF and EGH. After the opening session, three days theory sessions were conducted at Dr. Pralad Yonzon Memorial Conservation Chautari from February 27- March 01. With great enthusiasm, the trainees were taken for field work to Bardia National Park from March 02- March 08. A total of 17 theory sessions were carried out from various resource person covering topics such as wildlife research techniques, genetics, trade, research ethics, R basics, GIS etc. while research techniques regarding the study of mammals, birds, habitat assessment, invasive genetic sampling and household survey were practiced in the field. The team of Dr. Dinesh Neupane- Executive Director of RHF, Ms. Srijana Sigdel- Coordinator of EGH, Ms. Sheila Ghimire- Program Associate of RHF, Mr. Dipendra Adhikari- Member of SMCRF, and trainees returned to Kathmandu on March 09. A closing session was organized on March 11, 2022, where the graduates of the training shared their experience and a beautiful short video accumulated with memories. The graduates were presented with the certificates from Prof. Dr. Ram Bahadur Chhetri, Chair of RHF.