The Buffer Zone concept was promulgated by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation in Nepal in 1993 for certain protected areas to encourage the local communities to be more reliant on economic activities within such a zone rather than illegally exploiting the resources inside National Parks. The second purpose was to make the communities more aware of wildlife conservation since it is in their best economic interests to reduce poaching of rhinos and tigers which can make tourism profitable.
At Chitwan National Park, home to approximately 300,000 people, a Buffer Zone Management Committee was established as well as 21 User Committees and 1,700 User Groups. At Bardia National Park, a Buffer Zone Management Committee was established as well as 15 User Committees and at least 226 User Groups. Some 50 % of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation’s (DNPWC's) protected area gross revenue from tourism is distributed to the local communities through these committees and groups. In mid-2012 the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation substantially increased the entry fees to those visiting Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, increasing revenue partly to enable a larger amount to be paid to the local communities.
One way that the communities around Bardia National Park help to protect rhinos is to contribute voluntarily over 100 youths to patrol the borders of Bardia National Park and this has become more efficient due to the better coordination between the park and the community. In Chitwan National Park, 22 user committees provide voluntary anti-poaching units of between 9 and 13 people for each unit. In 2011 and 2012 local farmers and villagers became more experienced and committed, spotting outsiders coming into the area possibly attempting to find out about rhinos to poach.
There has been a large amount of support from NGOs. One of the largest Nepalese NGOs, the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), has been instrumental in their support including efforts to improve people’s livelihoods, safeguard people and crops from wild animals and investment to protect rhinos that wander into the Buffer Zone. NTNC also plays an important role in funding informants in the Buffer Zone to help catch rhino poachers and traders. NTNC set up a fund in 2005 and 2006 of NPR 5,000,000 (then worth US$ 69,444), the interest on which is used to pay informers to patrol outside the Park boundary and to help maintain anti-poaching vehicles. For example, in the north of Badia's National Park's Babai Valley NTNC and the DNPWC have set up anti-poaching units from the local communities. In one month alone, October 2012, these units helped to confiscate 41 guns from poachers in this area. Families who give up guns were supported with alternative livelihoods.
NTNC has additionally put considerable effort into educating the community on the importance of wildlife to their future wellbeing and encouraging those people living close to the Park boundary to plant crops unpalatable to rhinos and other wildlife (such as mint, citronella and camomile) as a deterrent to the farmers’ fields.