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Inauguration

Ambassador inaugurates Nepal-Australia friendship Batika in Pokhara

The Australian Embassy supported the Batika, which was planted with both Nepali and Australian species, through its Australian Alumni Public Diplomacy Fund.

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KATHMANDU: HE Felicity Volk, Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, inaugurated the Nepal-Australia Friendship Batika in Pokhara’s Maidi Botanical Garden today.

The Australian Embassy supported the Batika, which was planted with both Nepali and Australian species, through its Australian Alumni Public Diplomacy Fund.

The project was designed by Mr Rishi Ram Tripathi, a life member of the Association of Nepalese Alumni from Australia (ANAA), and is expected to attract hikers in the Maidi Pakho Community Forest.

“Australia and Nepal are longstanding partners in community forestry and environmental preservation,” Ambassador Volk said at the Batika’s inauguration.

This Batika will literally grow to represent Australia’s friendship with Nepal and our shared commitment to Nepal’s natural heritage.”

“I congratulate Nepal on its progress toward meeting its COP26 commitment to increase forest cover to 45% by 2030; and I am especially pleased to see women involved in these efforts, from community forest user groups and forest rangers to leading officials at the Ministry of Forests and Environment, such as Australian alumna, Joint Secretary Dr Radha Wagle,” she said.

Ambassador Volk commended Nepal for successfully devolving legal rights pertaining to forest management to communities.

“We must continue to work toward equitable and sustainable market-oriented forest management,” she said. “In this way, communities that have invested time and energy in forest conservation can reap economic benefits for future generations.” We need to come up with new approaches to climate-resilient forest management.”

The Ambassador thanked ANAA for its contribution to the ongoing professional development of Nepali alumni of Australian institutions, as well as its unrivaled role in fostering long-lasting people-to-people connections between Australia and Nepal.

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