NTNC, in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), the Nepal Foresters’ Association (NFA), and the Society for Conservation Biology Nepal (SCBN), hosted a roundtable discussion on the pressing issue of human-monkey conflict in Nepal.
The event brought together a consortium of key stakeholders and experts to discuss perspectives on addressing the escalating problem of human-monkey conflict, affecting farming communities across Nepal.
The roundtable discussion took place at the Tiger Hall within the DNPWC premises in Babarmahal, Kathmandu with more than 50 attendees, consisting of prominent experts, government officials, and dedicated stakeholders, deliberating on seeking solutions.
Dr. Kiran Poudel, president of NFA, delivered the session's opening remarks, emphasizing the criticality of organizing the roundtable. The program was facilitated by Mr. Ambika Prasad Khatiwada, senior conservation officer of NTNC.
Discussions were mainly focused on policy and institutional roles, knowledge and evidence-based approaches, applied interventions and practical solutions, and aspects underscoring relief provisions for human-monkey conflict management in Nepal.
A four-member panel of experts consisting of Dr. Sabina Koirala, an expert in primate behavior; Dr. Krishna Prasad Acharya, former secretary of MOFE; Mr. Lekhnath Pokhrel, representing the Rural Municipality Federation; and Dr. Sindhu Prasad Dhungana, director general of DNPWC, shared their positions on the ongoing human-monkey conflict issue.
Their insights shed light on the complexity of the problem and the need for immediate action. Following the panel's remarks, stakeholders from various organizations added their perspectives on the current local and global scenario of human-monkey conflicts, highlighting potential best practices and response strategies that could be adopted.
Dr. Popular Gentle, advisor to the Prime Minister of Nepal, called on conservationists, foresters, policymakers, and researchers to devise innovative approaches for tackling the growing burden of monkeys on farmers' livelihoods, including the national economy.
Human-monkey conflict roundtable deliberations at the Tiger Hall, DNPWC premises
The roundtable led to several important conclusions, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the human-monkey conflict as a national issue. Additionally, it emphasized the need for knowledge-based research and policy changes within the framework of current legislation to address the issue successfully. Population and spatial-based zoning were also recommended to comprehend monkey populations and crop-raiding trends.
Stakeholders also expressed concerns about the cultural and traditional components of managing monkey populations, and it was highlighted that any solutions must consider multiple factors. Former Bagmati Province Minister for Forest and Environment Mr. Bishal Khadka advised for creativity to handle this complex issue.
Although monetary loss from monkey crop raiding is yet to be formally established, annual loss worth millions is estimated to be suffered by farmers.
Addressing the growing human-monkey conflict in Nepal requires immediate action and coordinated efforts from all stakeholders. NTNC remains dedicated to escalating these efforts and looks forward to collaborating with all concerned parties to address this critical issue.