Mains Paper 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations.
From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Kanchenjunga Landscape
Mains level: Regional collaboration for Wildlife Conservation
- 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 smuggling of wildlife across the Kanchenjunga Landscape.
About Kanchenjunga Landscape
- The Kanchenjunga Landscape is a trans-boundary region spread across Nepal, India and Bhutan.
- 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%).
- Other than seven million people, the Kanchenjunga Landscape is also home to 169 species of mammals and 713 species of birds.
- The trio is setting up a joint task force in the road map on achieving the objectives of free movement of wildlife and checking smuggling of wildlife.
Why such move?
- According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 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.
- 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.
- Every few months there are cases of elephants, rhino and gaurs and other mammals crossing over political boundaries, triggering panic among locals across the border and also posing danger to the wildlife.