One ministry mooted for forests, environment

Kathmandu, April 23

There may soon be one ministry and only three departments related to the forest and environment at central level in the federal setup.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Dhananjaya Paudel said a draft proposal had been already sent to the Ministry of General Administration last week, suggesting formation of only three departments.

There are five departments — forests; national park and wildlife conservation; soil conservation and watershed management; plant resources; and forest research and survey — under the ministry.

“There will be one department each for forests and wildlife, while a single department has been proposed to look after soil conservation and environmental issues,” Paudel told The Himalayan Times. He said the names and structures of the departments might be changed as per suggestions from the Ministry of General Administration.

Though the draft proposal has already been forwarded to the MoGA, the five departments have been lobbying the government to form separate departments instead of merging them. Director General of the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Bijaya Raj Poudyal said no structures had been fixed as the issue was still under discussion.

Information Officer at MoGA Yajna Nath Dahal said as the forest ministry had local level structures it would remain, and the Population and Environment Ministry may join it later.