“Every country and each citizen of our planet has to join hands together in a global alliance to protect life on earth. Biodiversity is our life.”
-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The Global Alliance for Rhino Conservation (GARC) is an Alliance of Animal rights activists, conservationists and non-governmental conservation organizations from across the world. The GARC International Secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Nepal and co-ordinates the activities of the Alliance, collects and disseminates information, and advocates on behalf of the Alliance at regional and international level. Members include animal/wildlife lovers/rights activists, social workers and Member organizations include animal rights organizations; wildlife organizations, environmental organizations.
GARC works against wildlife poaching and illegal international trade of Greater Asian One horned Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), an endangered wildlife species and other species of Rhino too.
GARC therefore strongly advocates for the safety and security of all the species of Rhino.
GARC is committed to effecting change at the local level through its members and allies, and internationally through the work of the International Secretariat.
The Greater One-horned Rhinoceros is perhaps the most enduring emblem of Nepal’s rich biological heritage. Rhinos are precious gift of nature not only for us but also for our future generation. Not only is it important to conservationists for its ecological value but it also holds a universal value. The Greater One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as “endangered,”.
Out of five species of rhinoceros in the world, one-horned rhinoceros is found only in Nepal and India. In Nepal, Chitwan National Park (CNP) and its surroundings, Bardiya National Park (BNP) and Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (SWR) are the main habitats of the rhinoceros. Kajiranga National Park in India houses the largest number of one-horned rhinoceros. Chitwan National Park was established in 1973 with the objective of protecting one-horned rhinoceros and its habitat. Chitwan National Park (CNP) was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1984 for its high biodiversity and for maintaining ecological process ecosystems of international significance (DNPWC 2001).
In Nepal, the rhinoceros population was estimated at 1000 individuals until 1950 in the Chitwan National Park. In 2008, rhino population size is estimated at 403 individuals in three Terai protected areas of Nepal. So, the number of one horned Rhino is decreasing dramatically putting this species at high risk of extinction. In recent years, rhino poaching has been one of the major threats for the survival of this species (Rhinoceros unicornis) despite great efforts to curb wildlife poaching and trade in Nepal.. Despite the presence of 840 security personnel in 47 security posts, dozens of field staff and about 37 villages inside the buffer zone areas of CNP, the rhinos are being killed. During the period of two months (May-June 2010), 7 Rhinos have been killed by poachers. A total of 28 endangered one-horned rhinos have been killed inside the CNP in the last 11 months of the year 2009/2010.
The main factor behind the decline of the species is the uncontrolled poaching for its horn. The government of Nepal has been showing commitment to the conservation of its rich biodiversity and the survival of flagship species like Greater One-horned Rhinoceros for over four decades. But the there has been no significant changes in the control of poaching; in fact the conditions have been worsening everyday leading the species towards the brink of extinction in Nepal. Therefore, the time has come for carrying out joint initiatives from the global level. This would hopefully bring about the desired change and the Rhino will be safer and secure.
In this regard, TNW Nepal has taken an initiative to form “Global Alliance for Rhino Conservation (GARC)” to save the endangered Rhinoceros with joint global action. The alliance formed in the eve of AFA 2010 is expected to be a milestone step towards achieving the goal of International Year of Biodiversity (2010) declared by the UN.
GARC’s mission is to ensure that the endangered wildlife species, one horned Asian Rhino are protected.
Basic Principles of GARC
The Global Alliance for Rhino Conservation (GARC) is a network of animal lovers and non-governmental organizations from all regions of the world, who share a deep concern for the protection of one horned Rhino.
GARC is committed to work for sensitizing the political, governmental, legal and social systems and structures which contribute to the protection of the Rhino from its threats like poaching and habitat destruction.
GARC welcomes co-operation with all organizations, agencies or persons who share its principles.
GARC is organizationally independent and will refrain from any party political, governmental, commercial or religious affiliations. However, members are autonomous and free to enter into affiliations of their choice, as long as these are not contradictory to GARC’s Basic Principles.
Mr. B K Dalit, a young Green Activist was invited to attend the Asia for Animals (AFA) Conference 2010, the largest, most representative Asian animal protection conference, hosted by Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), Singapore on January 2010. In the event, he had presented a paper on Rhino conservation in Nepal titled “Mission Rhino-Direct and Grass roots lobbying”. (http://www.asiaforanimals.org/Speakers%20Presentations.htm).
More than 391 animal rights activists representing 207 organizations from across the globe had attended the AFA 2010 and everyone showed strong interest to work for the conservation of the Rhino. He proposed the conference to pass the declaration for joint action on Rhino protection. The conference also passed the AFA declaration/resolution with the consent of all the delegates to work together for the protection of Rhino by sensitizing the government and concerned agencies. (www.vegvibe.com/blog/AFA%20Resolutions%202010.pdf).
After coming back to Nepal, he proposed the AFA delegates and many other animal rights activists through email to form Global Alliance for Rhino Conservation (GARC) to launch joint global campaign. Most of all the animal conservationists showed strong concern for Rhino and gave consent to be associated with the alliance. With overwhelming response from the global communities and stakeholders, he finally founded the Global Alliance for Rhino Conservation (GARC). The main objective of the alliance will be to raise a strong voice and act together to save the one horned Rhino from extinction.
The founding of GARC lay in the acknowledgement of the need to engage politically with the issue of Rhino poaching and its massive illegal trade by focusing on animal rights perspective, while incorporating the voices of Rhino and other animals in policy discussions.
What we do
The main role of the GARC is advocating strongly and jointly for the safety and security of the one horned Asian Rhino. As such, our activities focus on gathering, analyzing and disseminating information among members, coordinating collaborative projects among members, carrying out relevant research and analysis on poaching and illegal international trade, and advocating regionally and internationally for the protection of the Rhino.
GARC works in a two-year programme cycle, known as the “multi-year programme”. Deciding the strategic direction of the Alliance is done in consultation with member organizations, and other individuals, networks, and organizations that work in partnership with GARC. This consultation happens primarily at the Asia for Animals (AFA) Conference, held every year to review progress and plan for the next year and cycle. Strategic discussion also happens at regional or thematic consultations held during the programme.
As member organizations work autonomously, collective action is often around advocacy, information sharing and discussion on issues of common concern rather than on a specific project. Priority issues and activities are identified and agreed upon, and will be coordinated by the International Secretariat.
The core programmes of the GARC during 2010-2011 include:
- Giving final shape to International Board
- GARC Representatives/Members in at least 50 countries
- Communications and Information
- Events & Meetings
Contact: GARC International Secretariat
GPO Box 7403
Vinayak Marg, Mitrapark, Kathmandu
Tel: + 977 1 2313933