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Response measures

In response to deteriorating biodiversity, many countries are party to international agreements. All except Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand are party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD specifies a framework of measures at the national level for the conservation of biodiversity and many countries have prepared National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and submitted National Reports. Most countries are party to CITES and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Conservation in Nepal
The National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act was implemented in Nepal in 1973, and its amendment in 1993 has provided for the involvement of local people in species conservation. Buffer zone management was introduced in 1996 with the Buffer Zone Management Rules which allow local people to access ecosystem resources in protected zones. Under the Forest Act 1992, 13 plant species have been protected. The government has also given legal protection status to 26 species of mammals, 9 species of birds and 3 species of reptiles. A total of 17 protected areas (eight national parks, four wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve and four conservation areas) constitute about 17 per cent of the total area in the country (MOPE 2000).

National responses aimed at conserving biodiversity have been variable in effectiveness, with many initiatives suffering from a lack of data and common understanding of ecological systems. Protected areas have been set up in different countries but they tend to be geographically limited and disconnected. The proportion of protected area to total area in most countries is lower than the 10 per cent norm recommended by IUCN.