Story | 27 Jun, 2024

National Conservation Forum begins in Nepal, setting example for National Committees across Asia

Kathmandu, Nepal, 27 June, 2024: The National Conservation Forum (NCF) commenced today in Lalitpur, bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders committed to the conservation of Nepal's rich natural heritage. The three-day event, organised by the IUCN Nepal National committee (NNC) together with conservation partners, aims to foster collaboration and explore how nature and the environment can be better conserved and valued to meet national and international commitments.

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Opening ceremony of the National Conservation Forum (NCF), Nepal

Photo: Amit Poudyal/IUCN

The inaugural ceremony was graced by the Honorable Minister of Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal, Nawal Kishor Sah Sudi, who emphasised the urgent need for collective action to address environmental challenges. "Nepal is blessed with unparalleled biodiversity, but it is our responsibility to ensure that future generations can also enjoy this natural wealth," said the Minister. He highlighted the government's commitment to integrating conservation efforts with sustainable development.

Dr Dindo Campilan, IUCN Regional Director for Asia and Hub Director for Oceania, thanked the IUCN NNC for setting a key example and expressed optimism about the forum's outcomes. “This forum is a critical step to help shape the future programme of IUCN, as the outcomes of the discussions will strategically feed into the 8th IUCN Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, between 3 - 5 September 2024,” he said.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Dr Govinda Prasad Sharma and the Chair of National Trust for Nature Conservation, Dr Krishna Prasad Oli, also wished the success of the event through their inaugural speeches. The session was chaired by the president of IUCN NNC Mr Kiran Timalsina. Two keynote presentations on Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) were presented in the inaugural session respectively by Dr Bandana Shakya, ICIMOD and Dr Ghana Shyam Gurung, WWF Nepal.

NCF Nepal

This year's forum, themed "Restoring ecosystems through nature-based solutions," will feature a series of presentations and panel discussions. Over 200 participants, including policymakers, experts, conservationists, academia and community leaders, are expected to attend. The event provides a platform for sharing knowledge, best practices, and insights on environment conservation challenges and cross-cutting issues.

As the National Conservation Forum progresses, participants will continue to explore ways to enhance Nepal's conservation efforts while balancing the needs of development and community welfare. The forum's conclusions and recommendations are expected to be a common voice for conservation partners and stakeholders while presenting in the regional and global platforms.

As IUCN prepares for the RCF, the NCF is a pivotal moment for Members, Commissions and partners to discuss how they can contribute to the regional and global efforts and set directions for the next quadrennial. This collaboration will be oriented towards exploring future cooperation initiatives for addressing environmental challenges and achieving sustainable development. The NCF serves as a reminder of the critical importance of preserving Nepal's unique natural heritage and the collective effort required to ensure its survival for future generations.