Kathmandu, Nepal – With tigers as the muse and Global Tiger Day a platform, WWF Nepal’s The Generation Green campaign brought together more than 1,000 young minds through a variety of events to bring out their interpretations of tigers and their protection.
In the lead up to 29 July, youth participated in four different events centered on tigers. These included an inter-college debating league and art challenge, a creative writing contest, and a social media-driven creative slogan challenge. At a special ceremony organized to mark Global Tiger Day, winners from all the category events were awarded while an open mic event was organized to add to the celebrations giving the young participants a three-minute window to perform for tigers. From beatboxing to contemporary dance, a special song penned for tigers and a magic show dedicated to the iconic species, the creativity of Nepal’s youth soared with their roar…all for the sake of the endangered tiger.
Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal said: “We are looking at a future where tigers can roam free in the safety of their homes, where tigers can thrive from one generation to the next. This future needs to start from the present; and how better than by engaging young people in the push to protect tigers.”
Mandira Panta, from St. Xavier’s College (participant of the debating league) said: “The final motion of the debating league, ‘This house will free all tigers from captivity’, helped both debating sides understand that tigers belong to the wild. Captivating tigers for the sake of farming or entertainment does not justify their conservation. The notion that confinement (within protected areas) is also a form of captivity only goes to show the loss of habitat for tigers.”
There is an estimated 198 tigers in Nepal. As the country strengthens efforts to secure the goal of doubling its wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger, successes such as the achievement of 365 days of zero poaching, thrice since 2011, and an enabling environment created out of high-level political will and strengthened collaboration between enforcement agencies, conservation partners and grassroots communities bodes well for tigers in the Himalayan nation.