How does Red Panda Network protect red pandas? One crucial step toward protecting the endangered species is to build awareness about the species with the community that shares its habitat! Red Panda Network conducts red panda conservation through community-based fieldwork, whether it’s training forest guardians, meeting with locals and forming conservation committees, or even taking conservation curriculum into elementary schools. On August 13, Red Panda Network and Himali Conservation Forum (HCF), our field partner organization in Taplejung district took things one big step further: we held our first-ever conservation talk and sensitization workshop with the Armed Police Force.
Red panda conservation was the topic of discussion at the talk and sensitization workshop held on August 13, 2014 at the Armed Police Force (APF) headquarters in Taplejung. The program was well attended with 70 people from the barrack, including the District Superintendent of Armed Police (DSP), Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Assistant Sub-Inspectors, Head-Constable, Assistant Head-Constable and constables.
“I was driven to create this event because of the strong link between security forces and conservation and the urgent need to coordinate and act in unison on behalf of red pandas,” said Sonam Tashi Lama, Conservation Coordinator for Red Panda Network. Together with HCF we started something very important for the future of red pandas in eastern Nepal, today.”
The presentation included an introduction of Red Panda Network, general information, current status, conservation threats and importance of red panda, and legal provisions about red panda conservation in Nepal. What they can do for the conservation of red panda and current scenario of red panda crime was also presented at that program.
The program at the APF barrack lasted for two hours and thirty minutes, and was concluded with a musical performance by the barrack staff. The DSP made a nice thank you speech and presented a formal Thank You note to Red Panda Network and Himali Conservation Forum, acknowledging the link between security and conservation and declaring the need for cooperation and coordination between our work and theirs, in the future. He promised his staff will now take heed of red panda conservation as they patrol the Village Development Committees (VDCs) that are known to have red pandas in Taplejung.