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Our Progress

The Red Panda Network’s vision is to ensure the survival of wild red pandas and preserve their habitat for future generations to study, experience, and enjoy.

We are committed to protecting wild red pandas and preserving their habitat through the empowerment of local communities by adaptive community-based research, education and carbon mitigation. Our immediate goal is the creation of Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Red Panda Protected Forest, located in Eastern Nepal, which will be the world’s first protected area dedicated to red panda.

We have enjoyed the following success in our first 7 years:

2012

• Doubled funds raised and began tripling the active conservation area to three districts in Eastern Nepal
• Began expanding from Eastern Nepal to Central and Western areas with a survey in Khotang district
• First bottom-up red panda conservation committee (RPCC) founded by community members in Taplejung including forest user groups, district agencies, women and civil society members
• Trained this RPCC in awareness and 14 ‘forest guardians’ as wildlife and habitat monitors
• Unveiled construction site for the future Community Conservation Resource Center
• Lectures to European and American Zoo congresses, and Roots & Shoots volunteers in the US
• Co-funded and presented at the first Red Panda Population and Habitat Viability Assessment in China
• Launched Red Panda Research Scholarship Contest for Nepali Master students.
3. International Red Panda Day with more than 40 zoos on 4 continents, schools, more than 100,000 visitors and doubled the funds raised (over $13,000).
• Created a Red Panda Roots & Shoots volunteer group in Nepal that already involved 4 schools and organized IRPD events.
• Created a red panda iPhone game that reached new audiences who had never heard about red pandas with over 30,000 downloads in the first few months.
• Three ecoTrips with international visitors all saw red panda and increased red panda-conservation-based revenue to local communities
• Obtained investor funding and launched the pilot-phase of the planned Eastern Nepal Highlands REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) carbon offset project.
• Signed agreements with all three district FECOFUN (federation of community forest user groups) to begin sample biomass surveys once sample sites are identified.

2011

• Recognized by the Government of Nepal as International Non-Governmental Organization in Nepal
• Transitioned our leadership to our first new CEO internationally and a new team in Nepal
• Completed a successful feasibility study for a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) carbon offset project
• Both ecoTrips with supporters in Taplejung and Ilam successfully saw the elusive red panda
• Trained 14 “forest guardians” in Taplejung district for our Project Punde Kundo
• Completed awareness initiatives with our communities and drafted the first EcoTrails in Taplejung district that will allow sustainable visitor guidance through red panda habitat and attract more support to communities and conservation

2010

• Became independent from Earth Island Institute as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the US
• Completed baseline survey of red panda in Taplejung district
• Conducted 3 eco-trips with supporters from Hong Kong and the United States
• Created International Red Panda Day, the first international day celebrating the uniqueness of red panda
• Conducted camera trapping pilot study of red panda in the wild
• Trained 14 more “forest guardians” for Project Punde Kundo
• Produced a red panda awareness poster in Nepalese

2009

• Created the first multi-district study of red panda in Nepal
• Trained 12 more “forest guardians” for Project Punde Kundo
• Created a red panda awareness poster
• Separated from Red Panda Network – Nepal
• Created Red Panda Network – Asia with a new team and conducted new baseline survey in Taplejung district

2008

• Received 2 years of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) funding for Project Punde Kundo
• Conducted 1 ha reforestation
• Conducted Awareness Activity for World Environment Day
• Supported Environmental Journalism Training
• Conducted follow up – forest guardian training

2007

• Creation of Red Panda Network – Nepal – our country affiliate in Nepal from 2007 to 2009
• Opened offices in Kathmandu and in the field
• 5 permanent staff and 13 temporary staff in field
• Received funding from many zoo partners and an increase in online donations
• Articles in National Wildlife, Business Traveler, Oriental Daily
• Support from 30 schools around the U.S.
• Support from inspiring school children around the world
• Support from individuals in 20 countries
• Re-issuance of our sponsored zoo funding from North America, Asia and Europe
• Our second eco-trip with participation by the Cultural Film Fund for their upcoming “It’s Your World” documentary series
• Captured the first pictures of red panda in the wild using digital cameras

2006

• First eco-trip
• Creation of Project Punde Kundo – hiring of 13 forest guardians
• Received funding from several zoos and from many individuals from red panda adoptions
• Support from 15 schools around the U.S.
• Creation of the Red Panda Ranger Program
• Support from inspiring school children around the world
• Support from individuals in 8 countries

2005

• Creation of The Red Panda Project – acceptance as a project of Earth Island Institute
• Strategic partnership with The Mountain Institute
• Fund 25% of the budget of two community-based organizations in eastern Nepal
• Reforestation of 1 acre of red panda habitat
• Improved cattle management workshop
• Medicinal plant rearing workshop
• Backing of the Government of Nepal for our work in eastern Nepal

Our 5 Year Goals

1. Conduct community-based baseline research on red panda and its habitat in each of its range countries by 2015.

2. The creation and implementation of the:
• Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Community Forest Conservation Union
• Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Community Eco-tourism Committee
• Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Sustainable Business Forum
• The first research center for restoration of Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf Forest

3. Identify and preserve 15 unprotected red panda “hotspots” by 2020: areas with red panda sub-populations of 50 or more individuals.

4. Assist communities in devising socially and environmentally responsible forest management plans and income alternatives.

5. Increase awareness of the important ecosystem services provided to the region by the fragile eastern Himalayan broadleaf and conifer ecoregion amongst local villagers, decision makers, and government officials.

6. By 2020, reduce the deforestation rate of eastern Himalayan broadleaf and conifer forests by 10% from its 2008 level. (The Department of Forest Resources and Survey, stated that there was a 2.3% rate of deforestation in the mid-hill forests from 1979 – 1994. Thus at this projected rate over a 10 year period the rate of deforestation would be 23% in mid-hill forests in Nepal. Our goal is that our work will cause a 10% decrease over 10 years (1% a year). This would be the equivalent to a 43% decrease in overall deforestation in our working area.)