Natural history museum of Nepal is situated on the lap of Swayambhu stupa, a world heritage site in the west hillock of Kathmandu valley. Swayambhu hillock is itself a famous place not only in the context of the culture, religion and history of Kathmandu valley, but also equally famous place for the early plant hunters in Nepal.
The mission of the Natural History Museum, Tribhuvan University is to inspire natural science research of national/international significance; to serve a research and educational facilities with timely environmental information relating natural history to present-day environmental and cultural issues for both Nepali and foreign researchers; to connect the Nepali people with their own country's natural history, and to deliver an urgent message that the Nepalese themselves are trustees of this fragile natural heritage; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of flora and fauna of Nepal.
- To collect and preserve floral, faunal, geological and other natural specimens from different parts of Nepal.
- To study and research or make provision for study and research on natural resources, ecology, environment of Nepal.
- To provide training on natural history of Nepal.
- To prepare documents of natural history and related fields.
- To establish collaborations with the business community, as well as other National and International natural history, educational, and environmental institutions /organizations.
- To create general interest on the conservation of natural heritages and related fields and to arise general consciousness against polluted environment and conserving natural resources.
- To create general awareness among country people on preservation, conservation and sustainable uses of the natural resources.
The first collector
The first plant hunter or collector in Nepal was Sir Buchanan Hamilton (1802-3), a British resident in India, who collected many plants in Nepal from Swayambhu, Narayanhiti and Gosaikunda. In Swayambhu alone he discovered 27 type species nad named the plant for the first time by their local Newar or Nepali names. Though many of these plants have already disappeared from this hillock, this needattention so as to conserve the natural environment and its indigenous plants. Since Natural History Museum is established in this site, it can take immediate measure for the conservation of this area with the cooperation from concerned authorities.