Buffer Zone: Meaning and Introduction
Buffer zone is defined as “the area surrounding a park or reserve encompassing forest, agricultural land, settlement, village open space and many other land uses forms”(Banskota et.al, 1999).
Buffer Zone in Nepal
Concept of Buffer Zone was introduced in the 4th amendment of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation Act 1993. It is considered as an effective management tool outside the Park boundary and focuses primarily on the community development. The rationale behind the establishment of the Buffer Zone is to help mitigate adverse impacts on Biodiversity (inside the Parks and reserves), while at sometime enabling the local people to improve their socio economic situation (Banskota et al, 1999). One of the main objectives of establishing Buffer Zones is to meet the natural resource needs of local communities as well as minimizing human impact on protected areas. The other objectives are to improve the lives of these communities and to support them to organize themselves into strong, self-governed institutions capable of undertaking pro-consolation and pro-development activities in and around that they inhabit (Bajimaya, 2004).