In 2014, Action for the Wild has agreed to support the Red Panda Network (RPN) Forest Guardian programme. This programme empowers the communities within red panda habitat, by employing local citizens to protect their community forests in Eastern Nepal.

Forest Guardians are local ambassadors for red panda conservation. They are working within their own communities to build a Community Forest Network: an inter-community initiative to protect local forests.

RedPandaUpdateForest Guardians organize workshops that spread awareness about threats to red pandas and offer solutions that protect this species, while offering opportunities that are both environmentally and economically sustainable.

RPN currently has 42 Forest Guardians from 18 Village Development Communities, monitoring 35 blocks in 14 Community Forests, and these numbers are climbing. These guardians greatly benefit both the survival of red pandas, as well as the livelihood of the Forest Guardians and their families.

Below is a letter from Panjo Sherpa, expressing why he became a Forest Guardian and his experience in this position.

“Hi, I am Panjo Sherpa, forest guardian of Deurali Conservation Community Forest, Yamphudin-2. I am studying at grade 12. I have been involved in Red Panda Network since 2 years. Himali Conservation Forum used to organize different conservation related programs and activities at my village and I came in contact with them. When they wanted to hire some local forest guardians for research and take care of Red Panda. I have shown interest upon it and they selected me during their meeting.

  I used to listen about Red Panda since my childhood that it is shy and endangered animal and also I learn about its importance during the meetings and workshops organized by RPN. I also got inspiration from the members of Kangchenjunga Conservation Area during my work. The salary of forest guardian provided by RPN is supporting me to continue my study.

  After joining the work as forest guardian I knew about the importance of wildlife and forest for the living beings. Red Panda is on critical condition and is on need of conservation. It cannot be conserve with only single organization and person but it need to be conserve with the collaboration from the government, NGOs and INGOs”

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