Kathmandu, Apr. 4: Nepal's work on tiger conservation has been discussed at the U.S. State Department.
Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and Environment Pem Narayan Kandel informed that during the Secretary-level visit from the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Nepal's international commitments and work on broader conservation and climate change issues were discussed with higher officials including Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of State Kelly Keiderling and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment at the U.S. Department of State John E. Thomson, and the Deputy Assistant Administrator at U.S. Agency for International Development Craig Hart.
Other members of the secretary-level team from Nepal, Director General of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Ram Chandra Kandel and Member Secretary of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) Sharad Adhikari shared their achievements in tiger conservation in Nepal.
During the meeting, the Nepali delegation said that Nepal was close to doubling the number of tigers as per its commitments. The government had made a commitment in 2009 to increase the tiger population to 235 by 2022 from 121 then.
According to Secretary Kandel, during the meeting, U.S. officials also discussed the Millennium Challenge Corporation so far as it is linked to conservation and addresses the issue of climate change. U.S. officials said the MCC project would contribute to environmental conservation as it helps in the development of Nepal's energy sector, clean energy in particular.
The U.S. government assured further cooperation and support to Nepal on climate change and the conservation sector as well, Kandel informed. “Their concerns were on the environment and forest land acquisition-related matters."
Nearly 25 million USD grant for forestry sector (Water Forest) support is already declared which is going to be awarded in June 2022 through USAID, Kandel informed. During the meeting, the higher officials praised Nepal's commitment to climate change at the international level.