China, Nepal reach historic biodiversity agreement
Beijing, China – WWF welcomes the historic pledge by China and Nepal to work together to better protect nature in their countries.
On June 3, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on environment and biodiversity conservation, made between the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation of the Government of Nepal.
This is a historic moment for both the countries as their governments have joined hands for the first time to promote cooperation in the field of biodiversity conservation, management of forest resources and protection of wildlife.
The two countries agreed to implement the obligations of international multilateral environmental agreements and conventions to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity.
“The signing of this MoU is a milestone for co-operation between the two governments in the field of biodiversity conservation as well as a big opportunity in controlling smuggling of wildlife and their parts and promoting the joint initiatives for livelihoods based on conservation,” said Honorable Minister Mr. Deepak Bohara, Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal.
WWF China and WWF Nepal, along with TRAFFIC, WWF’s specialized global wildlife trade programme, played a pivotal role in fostering cooperation between the governments of the two countries.
“This cooperation will help towards conserving the natural heritage and benefiting the people in both the countries,” said Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, WWF Nepal.
The agreement comes as the world’s governments have not met the promise they made in 2002 to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.
China and Nepal are two of the 13 range states where tigers can be found today. Tigers are in the spotlight this year during the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar. There are possibly as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild and WWF is working this year to secure political commitments that will double the number of tigers by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
Ms. Yin Hong, Deputy Administrator of State Forests Administration, People’s Republic of China and Mr. Yuba Raj Bhusal, Secretary of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation Government of Nepal signed the MOU in the presence of Honorable Minister Mr. Deepak Bohara, Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, Government of Nepal.
The Department of International Cooperation of the State Forestry Administration of People’s Republic of China and Department of Forests and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, and the Government of Nepal will be the implementing agencies of the agreement for the two governments respectively.