While environmental protection and conservation exists in Nepal, there is significant work to do within local communities. In the Terai region, local populations are not always aware of how their actions affect the environment around them.
We at Mithila Wildlife Trust (MWT) believe environmental and wildlife conservation is critically important, particularly at a time when environmental action is vital in addressing climate change globally.
Here are some of the ways we are helping educate our local community:
In the establishment of the Dhanushadham Protected Forest, MWT and the DoF held over 100 community meetings with various stakeholders from the 10 surrounding villages. Throughout these consultations we educated the local community about conservation.
We continue to meet regularly with leaders in the community to update them about our conservation work. We also continue to present to community groups upon request.
As a result of these consultations:
- Livestock grazing has stopped in the forest in order to establish re-growth
- Wildlife rescues have increased over 100% (particularly amongst snakes and turtles), instead of killing the animals
- Community members state they have a communal responsibility to protect the forest. They will even call MWT if they see others cutting down trees or pulling bark from the protected forest
- The community is more aware of waste management practices and use available waste diversion techniques
- Locals and tourists alike come to the DPF to enjoy nature and wildlife at no cost
Awareness Activities in Schools and Colleges
We are often invited to present at schools and colleges, or host school groups at the DPF (approximately 1 presentation per week) to educate our future generation about conservation.
Our other school-related activities include: Helping establish Eco-clubs, organizing painting competitions, moderating environmental debates, providing teachers and students quizzes and workshops, providing orientation classes, organizing school cleaning programmes, and more!
Job Training and Fellowship
We partner with the DoF to host student volunteers interested in environmental and wildlife conservation. Students stay at our Volunteer accommodation at the DPF for 9+ days and help with various conservation tasks such as species identification, wildlife tracking, data input, etc.
We have many tourists come to the DPF as part of their pilgrimage to the Dhanush Temple. Visitors also come for bird watching, nature walks, field trips, boating and more.