South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) entered into memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 26 July 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mr. Man Bahadur Khadka, chief enforcement coordinator of SAWEN and Dr. Rajesh Gopal, secretary general of GTF signed the MoU amidst a gathering during an inauguration ceremony of 'Capacity building workshop on countrywide assessment of Tiger, Prey and its Habitat' from 26 – 27 July 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The objective of this MoU is to increase cooperation and partnership between SAWEN and GTF to contribute to effective management of tiger habitats and curbing wildlife crime by working collaboratively for raising awareness, sharing information, best practices and technical expertise aligning with objectives of the Parties. SAWEN and GTF identify projects and activities for joint implementation in areas such as effective wildlife law enforcement, increasing tiger habitats management effectiveness through engagement at both policy and practice in tiger range countries where SAWEN works.
During the ceremony, Dr. Gopal shared that the MoU will be for more collaborative actions in line to objectives of both the Parties. He has requested for the early MoU between the Government of India and Nepal which would pave milestone for conservation initiatives and transborder relationship. He also congratulated Nepal for being the first country to reach near the double population of tiger as committed during St. Petersburg Summit 2010 by habitat management and minimizing the crime incidences. Chief guest Mr. Khadka shed light on the importance of the MoU for mutually benefiting actions which are instrumental to dismantle transborder organized criminal networks and biodiversity conservation. He further highlighted that transborder cooperation and collaboration are utmost for curbing wildlife crime run across more than one country.
In the ceremony, delegates from the Government of India and Nepal were participated. The representatives from various organizations including IUCN Nepal, NTNC Nepal, WWF Nepal and India, WII India, ZSL Nepal were also joined the session. The program was jointly organized by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal and GTF with support of USAID and Wildlife Conservation Trust.