The construction of Nepalâ€™s first gene bank is slated for completion in the next three years. A gene bank is a reservoir of genetic resources that helps, among other things, to preserve indigenous biodiversity. As more and more new and improved varieties are replacing the indigenous species, it is important to conserve Nepalâ€™s rare flora and fauna (for instance, over 6,500 flower species are found in Nepal, 370 of them endemic) in order to preserve their genetic adaptability and develop resistance to biotic and abiotic environmental factors. The bank will help secure genetic diversity which is necessary for whole species to adapt and survive. Hence the preservation of rare and adaptable genes assumes great importance.
Genetic diversity has always been one of the defining character tics of Nepal with the richness of its flora and fauna. It is vital that the country preserves its most valued treasures which are also among its selling points in the international tourism market. Besides, genetic diversity increases options for environmentally sound and sustainable agriculture. In all these respects, the gene bank was long time in coming. Its immense importance in preserving endangered and indigenous plant and animal species of Nepal cannot be denied. The hope is: unlike most bureaucracies in Nepal, the gene bank can really serve the purpose it is being established for.