Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) inaugurated Ranibari Community Forest (RCF) - Bird & Biodiversity Learning Center on the occasion of BCN Day i.e. 24 April 2017 at Ranibari Community Forest, Kathmandu. With an objective to conserve the urban biodiversity and manage the LCF as model forest for bird and biodiversity conservation, BCN with Ranibari Comminity Forest initiated its construction last September. The learning center was inaugurated by Hari Saran ‘Kazi’, founder president of BCN.
“It was just an idea when we approached BCN and discussed how both organizations could work together in the field of conservation and to see the idea shaping up within a year makes me really happy “, shared Santosh Bikram Shah, President of RCF at the event. Ishana Thapa, Director BCN said that the research center is an attempt to benefit all the urban conservation enthusiasts like students and BCN members who could learn about birds, biodiversity at convenient location.
Prof. Karan Bahadur Shah said that people’s interest towards birds is rising and such learning center can be helpful for people from all walks of life. “It is a coincidence that our first bird observation began from this very place some 40 years ago. I can remember we observed almost 62 species of birds back then”, said Hari Saran Kazi. Mr. Kazi also showcased almost century old bird paintings by Raj Man Chitrakar. The event came to its closure after concluding remarks from Yubraj Basnet, President of BCN.
Ranibari Community Forest: RCF is located at the north western part of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, is one of the few remaining natural forest patches. This is probably one and only community forest in urban setting of Nepal. The forest is floristically rich for native plant species as well as for home for many migratory and residential birds. The 6.95 hectare area of forest is surrounded by dense human settlements. Since there are no other open areas and parks in vicinity it receives tremendous pressure as a recreational site and large number of people visits the community forests every day. One of the main issues underlying this problem is the inadequate awareness and understanding among the public and decision-makers about the value of a clean, green environment for urban residents and importance of nature conservation. Thus RCF can be developed as a model biodiversity conservation learning center that will benefit the local people and students of Kathmandu and adjacent cities like Patan and Bhaktapur.