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Participation in sixth Regional Conservation Forum meeting in Bangkok

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The Sixth Regional Conservation Forum (RCF ), organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia Office, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Government of Thailand, and the National Committee of IUCN Members in Thailand, was held in Bangkok from 10-12 August. Over 450 participants from across Asia gathered to discuss regional programmes focusing on progress, gaps and future directions.

A side event on ‘Nepal Earthquake: Supporting a nature-based response and recovery to strengthen long-term resilience’, was organised by the Nepal National Committee (NNC), IUCN and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Over 50 experts and conservation practitioners from the region stressed the need for greater collaboration to overcome the socio-ecological impacts from the recent Nepal Earthquake and to protect Nepal’s rich biological and cultural heritage. The event was attended by many including the IUCN President Mr Zhang Xinsheng.

In his keynote address, Basanta Shrestha, director of strategic cooperation at ICIMOD, took account of the magnitude of damage brought by the recent earthquake in Nepal and its more than 300 aftershocks. He highlighted the collective efforts of the Government of Nepal and other organisations that have supported the disaster relief and recovery efforts, including ICIMOD. With a brief introduction of the ecosystem-based conservation approach, Nakul Chettri, coordinator of the Kangchenjunga Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative at ICIMOD, highlighted contributions of NNC-IUCN members through their immediate actions with relief materials including food, temporary shelter and medications to the natural disaster.

In closing, Arzu Deuba, IUCN regional councillor for South and East Asia, highlighted the need for both short-term and long-term strategies to restore the natural heritage that was lost during the Nepal earthquake.

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