Nepal on Tuesday sought cooperation from its neighbours, including India, for trans-border conservation efforts to save tigers and its natural habitat, even as the country grapples with smuggling of illegal wildlife products to China.

“The government is committed to conserve biodiversity of nature and strengthen trans—border cooperation with the neighbouring countries,” Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said while addressing the inaugural session of the four-day Global Tiger Workshop 2009 in the capital.

“Poaching and habitat loss are the primary problems facing the conservationists,” he said.

The Nepalese premier stressed on effective trans-order cooperation to ensure better conservation in these areas.

There has been no trans-boundary meeting between Nepal and India since 2003 at the national level, though local level meetings regularly take place to address other issues.

Around 250 scientists, tiger experts, policy makers, conservationists and government officials from 20 countries, including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, China, have gathered to find ways to protect the striped cat.

The tiger population in the wild has now declined to 3,500, which was estimated at more than 7,000 in 2000.