6.1 THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Being the focal point of the Convention on Biological Diveristy, the overall responsibility for implementing the NBS will lie with the MFSC. The relevant ministries and departments are responsible for implementation of their sectoral biodiversity plans. The National Biodiversity Co-ordination Committee (NBCC) will facilitate inter-sectoral co-ordination during NBS implementation and oversee monitoring and evaluation.
The National Biodiversity Unit (NBU), under the Environment Division of the MFSC, will act as the secretariat for the NBCC and will serve as the forum for information exchange between government line agencies, NGOs, and the private sector during implementation of the NBS. The NBU will also prepare status reports to be submitted to the Secretariat of the CBD at five-year intervals.
The Ministry of Population and Environment will also play an important role in the long-term implementation of biodiversity conservation in Nepal through the application of the Environment Protection Act, 1996, and Regulations, 1997. The rigorous application of environmental impact assessments will be essential for eliminating and mitigating potential threats to biodiversity arising from development projects. However, the MOPE needs to put more emphasis on enforcement of mitigation measures as prescribed in the EIA reports and monitoring such activities, and taking action against those violating the prevailing laws.
The Department of Plant Resources and the Department of Forest Research and Survey, in collaboration with various research institutes, will continue to conduct flora and fauna inventories and research e.g. on biodiversity assessment and monitoring.
The NBS will be implemented through project activities outlined in the periodic Nepal Biodiversity Implementation Plans (NBIP). The first 5-year NBIP will be for the years 2002 – 2007. Effective implementation of the NBS will require the creation of the following two bodies:
National Biodiversity Co-ordination Committee (NBCC)
Thematic Sub-Committees (TSC)
These and a Biodiversity Co-ordinator (BC) are discussed below. The relationships between these organisations are presented in the organogram at the end of this chapter.
6.2.1 THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE
A National Biodiversity Co-ordination Committee (NBCC) will be established, composed of one senior level representative from each of the relevant government ministries, the private sector, civil society, and major donors – 12 to 15 members in all. The minister of MFSC, the lead ministry for the CBD, will chair the NBCC and the secretary of the MFSC will be the member secretatry of the NBCC. Advisors and other participants will attend as observers by invitation in the NBCC meeting. The NBCC will meet every six months, more frequently if required, and business will be conducted on consensus.
The primary task of the NBCC will be to develop policies for consideration by Government and provide institutional, political, and operational guidance for the implementation of the NBS through the NBIP. It will be the NBCC’s responsibility to ensure that projects and activities remain within the Strategy framework according to the objectives adopted herein. The NBCC will also provide oversight for all components of the Implementation Plan and facilitate co-operation between projects across different sectors and the donor community.
A Biodiversity Co-ordinator will ensure that the NBCC achieves its goals (see below). The co-ordinator will attend meetings. The Co-ordinator will be responsible for NBCC policy implementation and direction, and for keeping the NBCC informed on progress with all aspects of NBS implementation.
The NBCC will be accountable to the Government through the lead minister. It will approve and publish the Annual Biodiversity Report for Parliament and the Nepali People, which will include:
a comprehensive report on progress over the previous year
a report on projects completed
an evaluation of projects ongoing
new projects to be initiated
a report on the work envisaged over the following year
This annual report could form the basis of Nepal’s Report to the Conference of Parties of the CBD.
The work of the NBCC will be funded through the Biodiversity Trust Fund or any other source agreed upon by the committee.
6.2.2 THEMATIC SUB-COMMITTEES
The NBCC will establish five sub-committees to address the five Biodiversity Themes identified in the CBD, namely:
Forest Biodiversity - including Protected Area ecosystems and species (in-situ and ex-situ)
Sustainable use of biological resources
Each sub-committee will be made up of 3-4 members and will be chaired by a senior official of that sub-committee. NBCC may nominate 1-2 technical experts in each of the TSCs. The chairperson of each sub-committee will be a member of the NBCC; however, additional, valuable expertise may be brought into the committees.
The tasks of each sub-committee are to:
ensure that the theme for which they are responsible is adequately addressed in the work envisaged in the Implementation Plan;
serve as a clearinghouse for ideas, proposals and initiatives on the particular theme;
serve as a forum where the comparative merits of proposals can be debated and from where a consensus view can be taken to the plenary NBCC;
serve as the expert group in the particular theme for matters of policy, direction, etc., (technical and advisory aspects).
Each Thematic Sub-Committee will meet at least every six months, prior to the NBCC meeting.
6.2.3 NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY UNIT
The National Biodiversity Unit (NBU) under the Environment Division of the MFSC manages the implementation process of directions and policies provided by the NBCC and according to the NBS and NBIP.
The NBU is a small team of professionals led by the Biodiversity Co-ordinator under the Environment Division. It is responsible for day-to-day administration, and management of programmes including financial resources, co-ordination between Thematic Sub-Committees and projects, monitoring, reporting on progress, providing support and technical advice to project managers, information management, etc on behalf of the Government. The NBU will be composed of the Bio-diversity Co-ordinator, assitant Biodiversity Officer, secretary, an administrative assistant, a public relations officer, a data and information expert, and other clerical and support staff as required.
6.2.4 BIODIVERSITY CO-ORDINATOR
The Biodiversity Co-ordinator will be the head of NBU and will serve as manager under the supervision of the chief of the Environment Division, to work on the implementation process. This is a full-time Government position from the MFSC with executive authority and adequate flexibility. The Biodiversity Co-ordinator will be an experienced person in the field of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection and management. The Co-ordinator will be a recognised person for his/her accomplishments and have credibility and the respect of colleagues and the conservation community. The Co-ordinator will have excellent interpersonal skills and have effective oral and written communication ability with politicians and senior decision-makers as well as with scientists, technical experts, industrialists, educators, NGOs, community leaders, special interest groups, the private sector, donors and the general public. The Biodiversity Co-ordinator is accountable to the Government, the NBCC and the Chief of the Environment Division. The Biodiversity Co-ordinator has ultimate responsibility for delivery of the NBS outputs and for its ultimate success, but can only achieve this with full support and collaboration from everyone involved in the implementation of the NBIPs.
6.2.5 THE ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
The non-governmental community will continue to be a central player in biodiversity conservation in Nepal during implementation of the NBS.
The King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, UNDP, IUCN-Nepal, The Mountain Institute, and WWF-Nepal will join HMGN in the implementation of integrated conservation and development projects and in other specific areas. Concerned national NGOs and community-based organisations will be mobilised to undertake conservation and development activities. ICIMOD will contribute its expertise in the implementation of integrated mountain development programmes.
6.2.6 THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTES
The Institute of Science and Technology, the Institute of Forestry, and the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences of Tribhuvan University will be engaged in biodiversity research, either independently or in collaboration with government line agencies. The Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, among other research institutions, will support the implementation of biodiversity conservation programmes.
The National Agriculture Research Council, the National Agriculture Research Institute and the National Animal Science Research Institute will address genetic diversity in crop and livestock species.
The centres such as musk deer research at Godawari and the Centarl Zoo (to some extent) will serve as ex-situ centre for the conservation of endangered fauna. The Botanic Garden and Conservatories (eg. Brindavan, Tistung and Mai Pokhari) will serve as in-situ and ex-situ centres for plant conservation.