KYE Seminar of ACMD-III "Contribution of Protected Areas to the National Economy in Nepal"

A two-day seminar organized by the Advanced Course on Management and Development (ACMD)-3 participants under the theme 'Know Your Economy,' was successfully concluded on 26th September, 2023 after the presentation and discussion of the fourth and final session, entitled 'Contribution of Protected Areas to the National Economy in Nepal,' was structured by Group 4 (Nature Conservation Group) of ACMD-3. The seminar, held at Kailash Hall, Sampada Sadan of Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC), was part of a learning initiative aimed at comprehensively understanding and expanding the knowledge on different facets of the national economy.

Mr. Bishnu Prasad Lamsal, Deputy Executive Director, NASC graced the occasion as the chief guest. Distinguished attendees on the occasion included Mr. Tulasi Sharan Sigdel, Senior Director of Studies, Mr. Tara Prasad Kharel, Coordinator of ACMD-3 Group, and other notable guests and participants. The session began with a warm welcome from the event manager, Ms. Shanti Basnet.  Session chair Mr. Uttam Dev Bist provided an overview of the session and introduced the other team members: Dr. Ganesh Pant and Dr. Arjun Sapkota as co-presenters, Mr. Nathu Sah as the rapporteur, and Mr. Paras Pandit as the moderator/commentator. 

Dr. Pant initiated the presentation on providing insights into the conceptual understanding of protected areas and exploring the extent and nature of their contribution on Nepal's economy. He explored the intricate web of backward and forward linkages connecting protected areas, various aspects of people's lives and livelihoods, and the national economy. Dr. Sapkota then explained the key findings of the study along with conclusion and recommendations aimed at improving the management of protected areas, ensuring their sustainable contributions to the economy and the well-being of local communities. Drawing comparisons with the contributions of protected areas in other countries, they emphasized the necessity of restoring nature for human wellbeing. 

Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Mr. Bishnu Prasad Lamsal emphasized the need for KYC module which provides the participants an opportunity in understanding the intricacies of the national economy. Observing all the four sessions of the Seminar, he said that the sessions were instrumental to meet the objectives of the module. He further added that the protected areas with its enormous potential needs a holistic approach for the preservation of our unique biodiversity, to contribute to tourism and local livelihoods. Likewise, ACMD-3 Course Coordinator Mr. Tara Prasad Kharel shared his views on the session topic and stressed that the GDP contribution figure do not necessarily reflect the true picture of and contributions of the respective sector to the national economy. Moreover, he highlighted the issue related to the area overlap of various land use such as forest and agriculture, which requires further verification.

Feedback, comments, and queries raised by the guests and participants were duly acknowledged and thoughtfully addressed by both the presenters and the chair. The commentator commended the presenters for their in-depth exploration of the conceptual framework, highlighting its contributions to the national economy, and the need for sustainable management of protected areas. Finally, the chair concluded the session after delivering the vote of thanks.