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Ecotourism and PA Management in Nepal: Experiences and lessons learnt

As part of the Srepok Wilderness Area Project, WWF sponsored an educational and exposure trip for a selected group. These included government officers from the Forestry Administration: WPO Deputy Director, Chief of Forestry Cantonment in Mondulkiri, Police Commissioner in Mondulkiri, a Provincial Judge and the Forestry Administration Project Officer for the MPF. Three WWF staff were also given the opportunity to go on this tour, the Technical Advisor to the project, the Community Extension Team Leader and a local ’Bunong’ woman from a family indigenous to the area who is also part of the MPF Community Extension Team (CET) team. The study tour had multiple aims: a) To provide participants with an opportunity to experience and explore high end eco-tourism operations. b) To interact with and learn from indigenous communities who are active participants in, or direct beneficiaries of eco-tourism projects in and around protected areas. c) To experience and learn from Nepal’s long history of community managed protected areas and the country’s success in maintaining its well known national parks. The benefits of visiting Nepal in search of these goals lay in its Asian context and similarities with the Cambodian experience. The 9-day trip promised to be a full, informative, exciting and educational experience for all participants.

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