Empowering local youth for the conservation of the Bengal florican in Koshi, Nepal

Aditya Pal

The Bengal florican, a critically endangered bird, faces severe threats in Nepal's Koshi region due to habitat loss. Previous CLP project surveys have found a sizeable yet vulnerable population living outside protected areas, where conservation efforts are limited and wildlife laws are not strongly enforced. Many local youths are seen carrying hunting tools like catapults, indicating a need for more awareness about wildlife protection laws and the ecological importance of preserving species like the Bengal florican and other birds. The region needs targeted conservation outreach and education programs to promote community stewardship, especially in local languages. The lack of attention from authorities further compounds the vulnerability of the population living outside protected areas.

This project aims to enhance the conservation of the Bengal florican in Koshi, Nepal, particularly outside protected areas, by raising local awareness and actively involving the community, especially the youth. This initiative builds on previous CLP efforts by focusing on community engagement and education regarding the Bengal florican's ecological significance and conservation requirements. Through the establishment of eco-clubs in local schools and the Bengal florican festival, the project will foster active youth engagement and community involvement, including habitat monitoring and protection activities.