Refresher Training for Forest Guardians on Red Panda Monitoring in Taplejung
RPN’s Asia team has accomplished a two-day refresher training with great success in the mountain villages of Taplejung district on October 11-12/2012 in collaboration with Himali Conservation Forum (HCF), one of our Partner Organizations in Eastern Nepal. Altogether 14 participants including 12 Forest Guardians, 1 Field technician, and 1 Chairperson of the recently founded Red Panda Conservation Committee, all of them members of local communities, participated in the training.
The major training topics were: an introduction to red panda biology and ecology; Biodiversity: meaning, importance, causes of threats and conservation efforts; Methods and techniques of red panda monitoring; GPS handling techniques; and legal provisions pertaining to wildlife (focusing on red panda) conservation.
RPN’s Database & GIS Specialist – Mr. Rajiv Paudel, RPN’s Community Conservation Coordinator (CCC) – Mr. Damber Bista, District Forest Officer of Taplejung – Mr. Naresh Thakur, and the HCF Program Coordinator– Mr. Ramesh Rai facilitated the workshop sessions. A three-hour field work was conducted on the last training day. The Forest Guardians practiced what they learned in the field, including the way of walking along each transect, quadrat sampling, GPS handling and data collection.
Two Forest Guardians, Dawa Sherpa from Yamphudin Village Development Committee (VDC) and Bikram Limbu from Sikaicha VDC rotated out of the active team and were acknowledged for their efforts over the past two years. The two newly recruited guardians were selected based on their superior qualification and they completed the training successfully. The best four Forest Guardians – from Mamankhe VDC and Kalikhola VDC – received rewards for their outstanding performance. Altogether 14 sets of rain gear were provided to the teams, and for the first time eight sets of GPS (Garmin eTrex 30) were entrusted to the responsibility of each VDC team, which will make their monitoring work more precise and represents a significant development in professionalism and capacity building of the community-based monitoring teams.