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1. Background

Wetlands are considered as fertile lands for agriculture and rich from the point of view of biological diversity. These wetlands provide habitat for several species of wildlife and lie within various ecosystems of highmountain and lowland plains. The wetlands of the country’s lowlands alone support 32 species of mammals, 461 species of birds (among which 15 species are rare), 9 species of turtle, 20 species of snake and 28 species of fish. Wetlands are home to several species of flora and fauna and play an important role in plant and animal diversity. Wetlands are also crucial in maintaining various sources of underground water, preventing landslides and controlling the loss of nutrients. These wetlands also provide ample opportunities for scientific research. The wetlands policy has been
formulated for planned conservation, maintenance and development of the country’s wetlands, while providing support to economic, social and cultural development of local communities by improving their living
conditions through wise use of these wetlands. Nepal has shown its commitment to wetlands conservation, specially
the conservation of waterfowl habitats of international importance, by signing the Ramsar Treaty 1971. The present wetlands policy is in conformity with the Article 3 (1) of the Convention and with regard to the
need for the preparation of a national policy deemed necessary by the signatory nations. The policy is also in conformity with the directives of the signatory nations passed by the contracting parties in 1996, regarding the mobilization of local communities for their active participation in the management of wetlands listed in the Ramsar Site as well as other wetlands and their watershed areas.
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2047, Nepal Treaty Act 2047, Local Self Governance Act 2055, Forest Act, 2049, Water Resources Act 2049, Electricity Act, 2049, National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029, Aquatic Conservation Act 2017, Soil and Watershed
Conservation Act, 2039 and Environmental Protection Act, 2053 and the existing Regulations thereunder do not define wetlands and mention wetlands management. Since that these Acts and Regulations do not have
any provision for community participation in wetlands conservation and management through wise use of wetlands, the wetlands policy has taken into consideration all aspects.

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