Joint task force to protect wildlife

Context:

  • The governments of India, Nepal, and Bhutan are actively considering having a joint task force for allowing free movement of wildlife across political boundaries and checking to smuggle of wildlife across the Kanchenjunga Landscape, a trans-boundary region spread across Nepal, India, and Bhutan.
  • The objectives of this move to provide free movement of wildlife and checking smuggling of wildlife.
  • The landscape stretches along the southern side of Mount Kanchenjunga covers an area of 25,080 sq km spread across parts of eastern Nepal (21%), Sikkim and West Bengal (56%) and western and south-western parts of Bhutan (23%).

International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development:

  • According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD), a regional knowledge development and learning center, 1,118 sq km of riverine grassland and tree cover were lost in the landscape between 2000 and 2010. 74 % of the area was converted into rangeland and 26% to agricultural land.
  • Other than seven million people, the Kanchenjunga Landscape is also home to 169 species of mammals and 713 species of birds.
  • Studies by the ICIMOD suggest that between 1986 and 2015, as many as 425 people were killed by elephants and 144 elephants were killed between 1958 and 2013.

Source:IE