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03 Apr, 2022

A Nepali delegation led by Dr Pem Narayan Kandel, Secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Dr Ram Chandra Kandel, Director General at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, and Mr Sharad Chandra Adhikary, Member Secretary at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), together with officials from the Embassy of Nepal met high-level U.S. Government officials at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. to discuss matters of mutual interests about Nepal’s forest, wildlife conservation and climate change.

Meetings took place on 31 March between the Nepali team and the Deputy Assistant Secretary Her Excellency Kelly Keiderling, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, His Excellency John E. Thompson at the U.S. Department of State. Deliberations were mainly focused on Nepal's conservation efforts being made in target areas to-date, new challenges brought about by COVID-19 and climate change to nature conservation, and future partnership and collaboration priorities between the two countries.

The U.S.'s long support and cooperation in helping Nepal meet its biodiversity conservation and sustainable development targets, increase its ecological and community resilience in priority landscapes, improved initiatives for scientific research and capacity-building, and the need to revive Nepal's protected area economies, keeping in perspective that tourism activity has dropped by 80 percent since COVID-19, heavily impacting conservation funding, was also discussed prominently.

  • Nepali delegation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary Her Excellency Kelly Keiderling
  • Nepali delegation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, His Excellency John E. Thompson
  • Nepali delegation with USAID officials in Washington, D.C.

In his briefing, the NTNC Member Secretary made known about NTNC's working relationship with various national and international government and non-government organizations. The importance of NTNC's accreditation as a direct access entity to the Green Climate Fund, that will enable it to develop projects necessary for ensuring Nepal's green development capacity and climate-resilient future was shared. NTNC's role as one of the four core partners of the recently concluded USAID funded Hariyo Ban Program in Nepal, along with its preparedness and optimism to be a key implementing partner in the recently announced U.S.-funded ‘Jal Jangal’ Project was also made known.

NTNC's ongoing collaborations with the U.S. also include, projects and partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, academic institutions like Michigan University, Cornell University, San Diageo State University, and University of Minnesota, and Zoos like Columbus Zoo and Denver Zoo.

The Department of State officials congratulated the Nepali side for the important work being done despite the limited resources at home and increased threats to nature, also sharing their appreciation to further strengthen and expand Nepal-U.S. cooperation through conservation collaboration. The Nepali delegation thanked the U.S. Government and the people of America for their kind and vital support and cooperation in its conservation efforts.