Green Wire: Kathmandu’s Human-Leopard Conflict, and Nepal’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Kathmandu’s Human-Leopard Conflict

A female leopard gets ready for her meal at the Zoo.

A female leopard gets ready for her meal at the Zoo.

Early in the morning on May 22, 2012, a large male leopard weighing 42 kilos (92.5lbs) had made its way deep into Kathmandu’s urban perimeters. By dawn, it was about less than two kilometers (1.4miles) away from the American and Australian embassies in the city. By 6AM locals had spotted it, by 9AM authorities had been informed, and by 11AM the scared leopard had been darted successfully, twice. The animal was rehabilitated and was added to the Central Zoo’s otherwise all female leopard population. Not all leopards rescued in and around Kathamndu are this lucky.

“We rescue almost seven to nine common leopards a year,” she explained. “But unfortunately, most times by the time we get to them they have been severely beaten by locals so quite a number of them end up dying even as we try to save them,” Sarita Jnawali, project manager at the Central Zoo, had explained at the time when I was writing about the case. You can read that story, Leopard In The City, here.

Earlier this year, In April, a photo of a leopard severely beaten and eventually killed in the valley made the front page of the New York Times.

Today, another news of locals mob-lynching a 5.5 feet long female leopard:

“A mob killed an adult female leopard at Gairi Gaun, Ramkot, after the big cat attacked three persons, today. Three leopards have been killed across the country since April this year.

According to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, human encroachment upon wild animal’s natural habitat forces them to stray into human settlements, as a result of which these creatures lose their lives.”

Nepal’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

A Brick kiln in Kathmandu.

A Brick kiln in Kathmandu.

Nepal is considered one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. The Himalayas which run through the country’s entire norther border have become an icon of the urgency to act on climate change mitigation and adaptation. But what is Nepal’s contribution to the greenhouse gases that cause global warming and climate change? In terms of emissions, not much at all. Republica daily reports today:

“Nepal´s new report on National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, being finalized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE), confirms that Nepal, the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emits mere 0.027 per cent of global greenhouse gas emission. 

“The new report shows Nepal generated 24,856 Gg (gigagram) greenhouse gas during the period studied for preparation of the inventory. However, with forests sequestrating as much as 12,776 Gg greenhouse gas, Nepal´s net emission stands at just 12,080 Gg. When the first report was prepared, Nepal´s gross emission was 24,525 Gg. As a result of sequestration of 14,778 Gg gas, Nepal´s net emission stood at just 9,747 back then.

“A careful analysis of two reports shows a slight decline in forest´s capacity to sequestrate carbon, hinting at rampant deforestation being reported from across the country. Nevertheless, irrespective of how forest´s sequestration capacity seems to have declined between the periods of two reports, the new inventory suggests that Nepal is very close to being carbon-neutral.”