President Bhandari visits IUCN headquarters in Switzerland

Kathmandu, June 17

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari yesterday met Inger Andersen, director general of International Union for Conservation of Nature, at the organisation’s headquarters in Gland, Switzerland to discuss opportunities for enhanced collaboration on nature conservation and sustainable development.

An IUCN Member State since 1974, Nepal has collaborated with IUCN on the design and implementation of national policies, strategies and guidelines relating to the environment and development.

Most recently, the collaboration has focussed on ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction, access to and equitable use of genetic resources, agroforestry and bioenergy.

IUCN was also actively involved in the development of Nepal’s Nature Conservation National Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development.

“It’s a pleasure to visit IUCN headquarters and refresh the memories of this organisation’s contributions to environmental conservation and sustainable development in Nepal,” a press release issued by the IUCN quoted President Bhandari as saying.

“IUCN is honoured to welcome President Bhandari at its headquarters,” said IUCN Director General Andersen. “Nepal is a true conservation success story. Its efforts to curb poaching and conserve flagship species have led to incredible results and should be seen as a prime example to follow. Our collaboration over the years has demonstrated that successful nature conservation can go far beyond species, helping local communities adapt to the effects of climate change and achieve sustainable development goals.”

Nepal is home to rich natural resources, diverse ecosystems and globally important species, including tigers, snow-leopards and elephants. It also hosts one of the healthiest populations of one-horned rhinos. Its anti-poaching efforts – which involve an active engagement of the military and local communities and the use of cutting-edge technology – have been particularly successful, and have largely eliminated poaching. This enabled Nepal to achieve some of the highest globally-recognised standards in protected area management.

A flagship IUCN-led initiative – the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme – aims to conserve wild tiger populations and their habitats, while supporting human populations in key tiger conservation landscapes across Asia.

There are 21 IUCN Members in Nepal representing the country’s government and civil society sector.