A Top Sustainable Destination in Nepal

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Bardia National Park has always earned accolades for its efforts in tiger conservation and its intolerance toward poaching. With its efforts towards sustainability, conservation, and anti-poaching drives, Bardia National Parks has made it to the top 100 sustainable destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bardia National Park was recently awarded as the Best Sustainable Destinations in “Asia Pacific” category of Sustainable Top 100 Destinations Awards 2019. Park was awarded by ITB-The leading Travel Trade Show and Green Destinations Org in recognition of its efforts towards responsible tourism and distinctive appeal.

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Bardia National Park which was established in 1988 and is the largest protected area in Nepal’s Southern-Terai region. Established in 1988, the National Park covers an area of 968 sq.kms (374 sq mi) and it is the largest national park in Nepal. A vast extension of alluvial grasslands and subtropical moist deciduous forests, Bardia is home to the emblematic Bengal tiger. The National Park is renowned globally for doubling the number of Bengal Tiger, over the years.

Various efforts have been made in cooperation with national and international organizations to protect this endangered species that find one of the largest refuges in Asia. The entire population of this endangered species is envisioned to be double by 2022.

The National Park is also home to many other endangered species such as the wild Asian elephant, the great one-horn rhinoceros along with 50 other mammal and 400 birds species. Bardia National Park is firmly committed to preserving this wildlife and their habitat.

The National Park has also been indulging in the project that seeks to balance conservation of biodiversity while providing livelihood support for poor communities living around the park by promoting local products and services and training local people on sustainable tourism.

Bardia National Park is dedicated to natural as well as cultural preservation, especially the people of the Tharu community, who are assumed to be the first settlers in the Terai region and their culture.

Tourism, environment, and culture have a mutually beneficial relationship and it strengths the attractiveness of Bardia. It has stood through proper management and respect.

Bardia National Park participated in the 2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards by submitting a sustainable tourism story.

Jeep safari in Chitwan

In their success stories, they highlighted on the issue faced by the national park, method, step and tools used to address the issue, the outcomes and the lesson learned.

After the establishment of Bardia National Park, it faced a huge problem of poaching. Poaching of tiger and other wild animals were very high and lack of poor guidelines and implementation of the anti-poaching policies was making the situation worse. The poaching was so high that it almost lost half of the tiger population.

So, the Department of  National Parks I support of other stakeholders introduced community-based anti-poaching unit along with strong anti-poaching policies and resources. They even mobilized Nepal Army inside the national park for the protection of natural resources including wild animals. This initiative gained success gradually and it even resulted in setting an example of zero-poaching years.

Bardia National Park has been recognized by WWF for their anti-poaching practices. Since the year 2012, the national park has no-poaching and has resulted to double the number of tigers here.

It was not an easy task though. They even learned a great lesson on the way. As mentioned in their success story, mobilizing the same community who was involved in poaching was a difficult task. In some cases, they even found that the husband was a poacher and the wife was an informer for the police as many male members of the family were involved in poaching.

After a strong implementation of the law, many of them left the poaching business and some even supported the police to track the network of the poachers. The government also came up with an idea of rewarding the informers who gave information regarding the wildlife trade and trafficking. The practice was a success.