KATHMANDU, Feb 2: Focusing on the issue of climate change and its effects on bio-diversity, Ministry of Forestry and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) is planning to introduce a 15-year "Bio-diversity strategy and implementation plan."
According to the spokesperson of the ministry Krishna Prasad Acharya, the draft of the plan is already ready and is being reviewed by experts. “Necessary changes would be made based on suggestions or comments of the experts,” Acharya said.
The ministry had tasked the Kathmandu Forestry College with the responsibility to prepare the draft. Acharya informed that the plan would be finalized and passed by the cabinet by March.
Officer at the ministry Hemraj Acharya stated that climate change has been identified as the major challenge affecting wildlife and bio-diversity. The draft has identified 6 different areas that need focus for sustainable development.
With an aim to curb environmental degradation and regulate haphazardly carried out developmental activities, the government had introduced a similar program in 2002. As climate change was not such a burning issue then, the program concentrated only on bio-diversity issues.
“The earlier the approach was to tackle the environmental and developmental issues without focusing on climate change. Now, as the climate change is perceived to have wider impact on environment and wildlife, the new strategy is expected work accordingly,” said Acharya.
The six areas identified in the draft to promote bio-diversity are: wetland area, unprotected forest area, wildlife protected area, grazing lands, mountain area and agricultural areas.
“Nepal is party to the Convention on Biological Diversity and our ministry is the focal body to oversee this. Earlier in 2002, the government had developed and implemented Nepal Biodiversity Strategy and Implementation Plan,” said Acharya. “Now is the time to revise the plan with focus on new problems added by climate change for the conservation and sustainable management of bio-diversity,” he added.