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06 Apr, 2022

A memorandum of understanding focusing on enhancing the value of protecting and managing Nepal's natural heritage and biological diversity has been signed between KTK-Belt (Koshi Tappu Kanchenjunga Biodiversity Education Livelihood Terra Studio, Inc.), the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). 

The agreement was signed at a program organized earlier on Saturday in Washington, D.C., between KTK-Belt Director Mr Rajeev Goyal, the DNPWC Director General Dr Ram Chandra Kandel and the NTNC Member Secretary Mr Sharad Chandra Adhikary in the presence of the Ministry of Forests and Environment Secretary Dr Pem Narayan Kandel. 

MOFE Secretary Dr Kandel noted that the agreement would be an important contribution for delivering improved support to Nepal's overall conservation objectives. NTNC's Member Secretary articulated the purpose of the agreement, aimed at adding value to its mission of conserving, promoting and managing Nepal's flora and fauna better in the days ahead, whereas the DNWPC Director General spoke about the wider scope of the agreement to provide impetus to Nepal's overall natural resource management and biodiversity conservation initiatives.

The Nepali delegation had visited the U.S. to attend a United Nations-organized event. During their time they also held courtesy meetings with various government agencies, including with the U.S. State Department, the Nepalese Embassy in the United States, and the Nepalese Ambassador to the United Nations H.E. Amrit Bahadur Rai. Senior U.S. Government officials lauded the Nepali side for the initiative being taken to strengthen Nepal-U.S. conservation cooperation and collaboration and have expressed interest to widen partnership and future conservation support.

KTK-Belt is a U.S.-based non-government organization with over fifteen years of experience working in eastern Nepal. Its Director Rajeev Goyal said that the agreement reached with the Government of Nepal would encourage it to work more and contribute better in achieving Nepal's biodiversity conservation and sustainable development targets. It has an agreement with the Social Welfare Council of Nepal, where its projects focus on enhancing local environmental learning and biodiversity conservation initiatives in eastern Nepal through viable alternative income generation and livelihood-based activities, promoting traditional knowledge and skills, providing agricultural and biodiversity-related trainings, environmental education, and building community resilience, among other interventions.