The new Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) Dr. Deepak Kumar Kharal made his first visit at the NTNC central office today after recently taking office this past week. He was accompanied by the DNPWC's Ecologist & Information Officer Mr. Haribhadra Acharya. Receiving the guests were NTNC's senior team members led by the Member Secretary Sharad Chandra Adhikary.
Following exchanging of pleasantries a short briefing and discussion session was organized. A presentation about NTNC's ongoing programmes and projects was made by NTNC's Executive Director Dr. Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya, drawing light on some of the key strategic areas being pursued to keep with conservation targets in spite of Covid-19, concomitant protected area management challenges and loss of tourism revenue.
Other important areas covered included NTNC's growing focus on climate change and sustainable development initiatives, human-wildlife conflict, wildlife rescue and growing linear infrastructure challenges. The need for prioritizing and coordinating future investments for ongoing projects implemented by NTNC, like the Arna enclosure in Chitwan, the blackbuck enclosure in Shuklaphanta, vulture conservation and breeding centre (VCBC), molecular lab, and wildlife hospital in Chitwan was also made known.
The Director General's attention was also drawn on the urgent need for securing and sustaining the Annapurna Conservation Area's prominence as an important natural heritage, both at home and abroad, and devising a future management modality that is able to take cognizance of new stakeholders and aspirations, without undermining conservation sensitivities and achievements made so far.
A commitment to enhance coordination between the two institutions with new leadership at both DNPWC and NTNC was shared. Applauding NTNC as an "intrinsic and special partner of DNPWC," Director General Dr. Kharal said that "with unique strengths both institutions had the potential to complement each other much more." He maintained that "NTNC's strengths in science-based research, wildlife management and community-based conservation was pivotal to inform future protected area management positions better."
Expressing his good wishes and optimism NTNC's Member Secretary said "the new Director General Dr. Kharal brings immense knowledge and experience in forest and natural resource management, and that is very good news for all of us passionate about conservation."