January 2019, Kathmandu,

Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) Secretariat at AIT Solutions, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Deputy Director Mr. Manesh Lacoul visited Kathmandu on 25-28 January 2019 to seek further collaboration with the Government of Nepal to address sustainability challenges including  wildlife and forest crimes across the region. During the trip, he paid a courtesy visit to the Office of the Honorable President of Nepal to express gratitude to the Office for the support extended during the Bangkok Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation for Addressing Wildlife and Forest Crimes and Attaining SDGs.

Mr. Lacoul paid a courtesy visit to H.E. Mr. Matrika Prasad Yadav, Honorable Minister of Commerce, Industry and Supplies (photo left)  and presented the token of appreciation and the conference proceedings. Mr. Lacoul and Minister Yadav, who is also the former Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, discussed on the key environmental challenges that require urgent attention and the possible technical support that can be provided  to manage them in an effective manner. Minister Yadav has expressed interest to visit AIT to understand the roles that Institute can play.

Further, Mr. Lacoul met Mr. Sushil Pyakurel, Adviser to the President on political, social and human rights issues (photo below) and presented the token of appreciation to the President for her commitment and leadership exhibited through her video message to address the conference. Mr. Lacoul also presented the conference proceedings and briefed Mr. Pyakurel on the outcome of the conference and the plan for follow up actions to the conference. They held discussions on various environmental issues of concern to the Office of the President and potential support that AIT and AIT Solutions could provide to address them.

In addition, Mr. Lacoul held discussions with Mr. Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation; and met with Mr. Siddhartha Bajracharya, Executive Director of National Trust for Nature Conservation; Mr. Pradeep Bhattrai, Program Officer of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network; Ms. Sara L. Litke, Regional Environmental Officer for South Asia and Mr. Jay Pal Shrestha, Regional ESTH Affairs Specialist, U.S. Embassy on collaboration relating to wildlife conservation, capacity building and enforcement against wildlife and forest crimes. Mr. Lacoul also met up with Mr. Santosh Shrestha, a representative from private sector to discuss on the innovative application of ICT tools and engagement of private sector for wildlife conservation in Nepal.

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Mr. Manesh Lacoul with Mr. Sushil Pyakurel, Adviser to the President, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal