Sustainable forest development in Nepal and Bhutan

Two workers wearing safty helmets cleaning solar panels on a rooftop

Forest in the Pokhara region, Nepal; Photo: Sylvia Reinhardt

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks visits Nepal and the Kingdom of Bhutan from 2 to 9 April at the invitation of their respective governments. The aim of her visit is primarily to exchange ideas on forest development, conservation and adaptation to climate change, as well as to engage in bilateral dialogue with the ministers for agriculture, forestry and environment from the two South Asian states.

Hendricks conducts bilateral talks in Nepal with the Minister of Population and Environment, Jaya Dev Joshi, and the Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, Shankar Bhandari. The topics for discussion will include sustainable village development and rehabilitation of forests and agricultural mountainous regions in the country. The visit is also to be seen in the context of the conflict between forest development, environmental protection and reconstruction following the severe earthquake of 2015.

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks visits the research centre at the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Photo: © BMUB/Inga Wagner

In Bhutan, Hendricks will hold bilateral talks with the country’s Prime Minister, Lyonchhen Tsehring Tobgay, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Lyonopo Yeshey Dorji. Here the focus will be on German support for sustainable forest management in Bhutan and issues relating to species conservation. In addition, the visit will include an audience with His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan.

Small houses are built on grassland at the bottom of a hill which is covered by a Forest managed by the community in Paro, Bhutan; Photo: Sylvia Reinhardt

The German Environment Ministry is supporting a project geared to sustainable forest development in Nepal und Bhutan using funds from its International Climate Initiative (IKI). Hendricks will have an opportunity to learn more about the components and results of this project when she visits the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari, the mountain village of Kalchebesi (both in Nepal) and a forest management area in the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park (Bhutan). Here the focus is also on developing an approach that combines socio-economic aspects and climate resilience with the region’s climate-friendly village-based agriculture. The project helps equip village communities to take a more hands-on approach with their contribution to climate change mitigation and forest management.

The Federal Environment Minister looks at a model of a simple but effective flood warning system, built with small wood houses and a bridge in a small creek in a forest; Photo: © BMUB/Inga Wagner