Chitwan National Park in Nepal is a World Heritage Site, home to tiger and rhino populations teetering on the brink of extinction. But an enormous construction project would put those species in grave danger.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chitwan National Park has been called the “jewel in Nepal’s crown.” But if huge railway and highway construction projects are allowed to proceed, that jewel — and the animal species that call it home — could be lost forever.
Demand that the government stop the proposed highway through Chitwan National Park.
Last July, Nepalese Finance Minister Shankar Koirala proposed two major transport projects in the south of Nepal: the East-West Electric Railway and the Tarai Hulaki Highway. The possible routes of both the highway and the railway cut directly through Chitwan National Park.
Over the last forty years, endangered tiger and rhino populations have called the park home, which has helped both species survive threats from poaching and environmental destruction. Cutting down huge swathes of trees or digg ing kilometres’ worth of tunnels to make room for a highway and a railway will set back those conservation efforts by decades.
The projects may also damage eco-tourism in the region; in 2013 alone, more than 150,000 people visited Chitwan National Park to marvel at its beauty and take in sights that are inaccessible anywhere else on Earth.
Perhaps worst of all, it’s not even necessary to disrupt the ecosystem of the park: going around the area altogether would only add a few dozen kilometres to the tracks and roads, and it would save the animal and plant populations of the park for years to come.
Putting in another transit corridor in Nepal just isn’t worth it. Ask the government not to allow the construction of a highway and railway through Chitwan National Park!
You can sign the Care2 petition here