Dr. Barbara Hendricks, German Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, has underlined the need of all the Nepalis to take part in the local level elections.
Talking to media persons, including RSS, this morning, before leaving for Bhutan on completion of her four-day visit, Minster Hendricks expressed hope that Nepal’s local election would help deepen democracy at the grassroots.
“As a German Minister, I would not say how Nepal should organize elections, but I would urge Nepali citizens to go out and vote in the elections,” she said.
Minister Dr. Hendricks said that the objective of her visit was to further strengthen long-standing bilateral friendship and cooperation between Nepal and Germany, and to get first-hand information on the progress made in environment and forest related development projects supported by the government of Germany in Nepal. She termed the visit a successful one.
While in Nepal, Minister Hendricks had bilateral dialogues with Nepal’s Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Shankar Bhandari and Minister for Environment Jaya Dev Joshi. The dialogue with the Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation focused on the measures for conservation of Natural resources, bio-diversity and facing challenges posed by climate change. German Minister Hendricks appreciated Nepal’s community forestry model and said Nepal could proudly share its expertise with the world. Praising Nepal’s rich bio-diversity, Minister Hendricks said Nepal had competitive advantage in the sectors of wild life conservation and climate resilient skills for mountainous countries. She praised Nepal’s hosting of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development- ICIMOD. Germany is eager to support a Himalayan Regional Conference on Soil Conservation in Kathmandu this year, on which further works have to be done.
Stating that arrangements have been made for providing training in Germany to Nepalis on sustainable forest management and related technical skills and knowledge, Minister Dr. Hendricks said Minister Bhandari has been invited to pay a visit to Germany for bilateral talks and to observe the progress made by Germany in management of forests.
“Germany has been providing assistance to Nepal for the post-earthquake reconstruction and we are willing to extend technical assistance if needed,” the German Minister said.
In the meeting with Minister Shankar Bhandari, she said, Minister Bhandari appreciated Germany’s support in Nepal’s development process and thanked the people and government of Germany. Recalling a brief meeting with German Minister in the sidelines of World Bio-Diversity Conference in Mexico’s Cancun last year, Minister Bhandari also expressed commitment to the transparent utilization of German Development cooperation. Minister Bhandari requested German support for Nepal’s candidacy in United Nations Human Rights Council, to which German Minister replied she would personally advocate in favour of Nepal, expressing commitment that she would try to convince the right ministry in Germany as soon as she is back. Minister Shankar Bhandari also raised the point of possible cooperation in developing football in Nepal.
The German side requested Nepal to become a signatory of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species. Nepal has already signed the Asian treaty on the protection of migratory birds and animals.
During the dialogue with the Minister for Environment Jayadev Joshi, issues related with climate change and their impact in the livelihoods of the people was discussed. Emphasis was given to the necessity of the two countries to work together to develop climate smart technologies for farmers.
Minister Hendricks visited Kalchebesi Resilient Mountain Village in Patlekhet VDC of of Kavre District. Kalchebesi, a completely organic model village with the involvement of communities, highlights how Nepalese farmers could tackle the challenges of climate change, developing skills of local people for adaptation on the one hand, while on the other, putting additional efforts into forest restoration, forest management and nature conservation. Minister Hendricks left for Bhutan on 5th April, from where she is scheduled to fly back to Germany on 7th. RSS