The Embassy of Nepal and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (RBGE) and the British Council organized a reception and climate-focused panel discussion to mark the centenary of the signing of the 1923 Nepal-UK Treaty of Friendship at Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh on 5 October 2023.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Nepal to the United Kingdom H E Gyan Chandra Acharya highlighted the significance of 1923 Friendship treaty, collaboration with RBGE in biodiversity conservation and climate change effects in Nepal. He also mentioned about the special collaboration between RBGE and the Nepalese institutions on research, capacity building, conservation and development in the recent times. He appreciated the British support and cooperation in various sectors of Nepal including climate change and biodiversity conservation. He also touched upon the ambition of Nepal in regard to the net zero emissions and the sectoral strategy, while highlighting the high climate vulnerability of Nepal including the impacts of the melting of glaciers and other climate induced disasters. Mentioning RBGE’s collaboration in Nepal’s biodiversity conservation under different projects, Mr. Simon Milne, Regius Keeper of the RBGE stated that Nepal and RBGE’s association was an excellent example of productive, meaningful and warm collaboration which was initiated more than 200 years ago by a Scotsman, Francis Buchanan-Hamilton, who made the first scientific botanical collections from Nepal. Deputy Director of FCDO Ms. Charlotte Coles, in her remarks, stated that the historical bonds of friendship between the two countries had been further deepened with the enhanced bilateral engagement between the two countries and highlighted UK’s support in climate change and biodiversity conservation of Nepal. She assured of UK’s continuous cooperation to Nepal’s socio-economic development in the days ahead.
A climate-focused panel discussion was held in the second part. The panellists, Dr. Mark Watson, Scientist at RBGE, Prof. Hugh Sinclair from the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Inge Panneels from Edinburgh Napier University and H.E. Gyan Chandra Acharya spoke on biodiversity, geology, impact on the economy and national efforts and international cooperation respectively. The discussions included impacts of climate change on various sectors in Nepal over the last 100 years with the particular focus on biodiversity, economy, geology and prospective impacts in future. They also discussed about the national efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and the need for a comprehensive, substantive and multistakeholder international collaboration and support to tackle them in an effective manner.
The programme was attended by climate experts, British friends of Nepal, local diplomatic community, members of Nepali community and representatives of academic institutions.
Embassy of Nepal, London
6 October 2023