NTNC-ACAP organized a coordination meeting with Rural Municipalities (RMs) and Conservation Area Management Committees (CAMCs) on 12th May 2023 at the ACAP headquarters in Pokhara. The meeting was chaired by the NTNC Chairman Dr. Krishna Prasad Oli. Honourable Man Bahadur Gurung, member of the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament of Nepal, was the chief guest.
Project Director of NTNC-ACAP Dr. Chiranjibi Prasad Pokheral made the welcome address, laying down the objectives of the meeting. Dr. Rabin Kadaria, senior conservation officer, presented ACAP’s major achievements and future plans, also highlighting about ongoing issues and challenges. The session focused on the need for resolution of major legal issues and ambiguity between RMs and ACAP.
RM chairpersons voiced their concern calling for the urgent amendment of the Conservation Area Management Regulation (CAMR) 2053 and the Conservation Area Management Directives (CAMD) 2056, noting that it be made compatible with the Local Government Operation Act 2074.
Local government participants stressed on the issue of revenue collection and sharing from natural resources, mainly from the collection and extraction of riverbed materials and forest products. Concerns were raised on ways to ease procedures for environmental study of developmental works. Points maintaining the immediacy of the next meeting to bring together all three tiers of government – local, provincial and federal – to resolve ongoing legal issues between local government and conservation area management stakeholders, along with establishing clarification on revenue sharing were made.
CAMC chairpersons appreciated the role of NTNC for its long contribution in nature conservation, building community-based conservation capacities and awareness. They emphasized on the need for CAMC reformation, further strengthening institutional capacity, and amendment of the CAMR 2053.
At the meeting, NTNC Member Secretary Mr. Sharad Chandra Adhikari shared his commitment for continued collaboration and coordinated action. He noted that NTNC would compile all issues raised at the meeting into a report, based on which future discussion to resolve legal issues and concerns would be undertaken. The member secretary spoke about NTNC’s willingness to work with RMs in both environmental and development-related priorities.
Chief Guest Hon. Man Bahadur Gurung reflected about the legacy of NTNC’s contributions, noting the important role it would continue to have in building conservation capacities for the future. Hon. Gurung emphasized about NTNC’s farsightedness, demonstrated by its sustainability-led agenda and actions. He spoke about the need for NTNC to deliver as per the changing context, noting that the amendment of CAMR 2053 was essential to address the issues raised by the local government.
Closing the meeting, NTNC Chairman Dr. Oli spoke about the importance for strengthening institutions like NTNC. He reiterated NTNC’s commitment to continue to take concerted initiative to amend the CAMR 2053 and resolve the issues raised in the meeting. Dr. Oli also spoke for improved synchronicity and partnership-building among the local government, ACAP and CAMCs.
Chairpersons of 12 RMs and 13 CAMCs attended the meeting. NTNC Programme Director Dr. Naresh Subedi, senior officers, ACA Liaison Officer Mr. Lokendra Adhikari, among other NTNC-ACAP persons participated.