Posted on 06 April 2022
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between National Lake Conservation Development Committee (NLCDC) and WWF Nepal on 6th April 2022 to establish a working mechanism where both institutions come together by sharing expertise, knowledge, and resources in achieving common goals and objectives for the conservation and sustainable management of lakes and wetlands of Nepal, and the prosperity of the local communities.
Through this MOU, NLCDC and WWF Nepal seeks to collaborate in designing mutually agreed strategies, programs and projects that focus on the conservation of lakes, ponds and wetlands that hold significant social, cultural and biodiversity value and can be instrumental in promoting tourism. The partnership also aims at strengthening research and establishing robust knowledge management system in close collaboration with the communities, conservation partners and government agencies at local, provincial, and federal level. In long run, WWF Nepal believes that this partnership will support in materializing Nepal’s wetland policy and National Ramsar Strategy and Action Plan.
Around 5% of the geographical area of Nepal are wetlands and around 5,358 small and large lakes and ponds have been mapped in the country. Besides being a life support system for humankind, these lakes and wetlands also provide habitat for a wide range of flora, fauna, and migratory birds. They play a significant role in flood regulation, ground water recharge, wastewater treatment and carbon sequestration and are intricately connected with culture and livelihoods. However, due to climatic and anthropogenic threats, our unique and multi beneficial ecosystem continue to degrade every day. This partnership envisions to leverage key strengths of both institutions to sustainably manage, protect, and restore them for the well being of human and nature.
During the signing event, Ms. Sita Shahi, Executive Director of NLCDC stated “NLCDC is intensively working on sustainable conservation and wise use of lakes and wetlands to achieve our goal -"Lakes conservation for nature and prosperity" - which would not be possible without joint efforts of conservation partners like WWF Nepal. I believe this partnership will also significantly contribute to conservation governance and institutional capacity development.”
Dr. Ghana S. Gurung, Country Representative of WWF Nepal further added “Wetlands are lifelines of people and nature, however, the impact of climate change are most visible in freshwater ecosystems which is why there is urgent conservation need. This MOU will further strengthen our partnership with government of Nepal and help in continuing our work in creating wetlands and support in establishing additional RAMSAR sites which hold international importance.”
Immediately after entering this partnership, both institutions will be working towards supporting the Government of Nepal in assessing potential Ramsar sites of the country so that recommendations to declare them as Ramsar sites can be put forward.