Hon'ble Minister for Forests and Environment Mr. Ramsahay Prasad Yadav made his first visit at the NTNC central office today coinciding on the occasion of the Trust's 40th Founding Day. The Hon'be Minister was accompanied by MOFE Secretary Dr. Pem Narayan Kandel, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Dr. Ramchandra Kandel, and President Chure-Tarai Madhesh Conservation Development Board Member Secretary Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal.
A welcome event was organized on this occasion together with an orientation meeting that was chaired by the NTNC Chairman Dr. Madhav Bahadur Karki. The NTNC Member Secretary Mr. Sharad Chandra Adhikary briefed the guests about NTNC's conservation journey and its conceptualization as an autonomous not-for-profit institution established by a Legislative Act of the Government of Nepal in 1982. A presentation by the NTNC Executive Director Dr. Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya about NTNC's more recent achievements and focus areas followed, along with discussion about new ideas and initiatives to tackle emerging challenges to nature conservation and protected area management in Nepal.
NTNC's science-and-people-centred approach, its human resources capacity, and its close government partnership in accelerating the nation's biodiversity conservation and sustainable development targets was appreciated by the high-level guests. Some of NTNC's immediate challenges related to future protected area management modality, especially in the Annapurna and Manaslu Conservation Areas, were discussed, along with COVID-19's impact on Nepal's biodiversity conservation and protected area communities, increasing challenges from human-wildlife conflict, climate change, along with prospects in strengthening nature-based tourism, climate resilience projects and green economy capacities.
Congratulating NTNC on its efforts, the Hon'ble Minister conveyed that he looked forward to future discussions to learn more and close-in on pressing issues being faced by NTNC. He said, "I have gathered and thus anticipate that NTNC's role to promote science and innovation, and strengthen a harmonious relationship between nature and people will be central to our mission."