Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Future of KMTNC bleak



Despite the palace's direct involvement in the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC), the future of that organisation does not seem to be secure. King Birendra is the patron and his brother the chairman of that organisation. At present, the financial state of the organisation is very weak, many high-ranking officials have resigned to join other institutions, the management is weak, and realising this many international organisations that were earlier helping the KMTNC have started to back out.

According to sources in the KMTNC, among those who have resigned sensing that their future there is not secure are project director Siddharth Bajracharya, chief officer Mahesh Pudasaini, administrative officer Anil Ranjit and engineer Bijay Gurung. Other officials too, are beginning to think about their future and are waiting for the right moment to put in their papers.

Almost eight months ago, the chief of the UK chapter of KMTNC, John Chappel, had asked the chairman, Prince Gyanendra to intervene since the management was proving to be inefficient.

International organisations that have been supporting the KMTNC have raised many questions but have not received satisfactory answers. SNV, the Dutch aid agency, which has funded the KMTNC for the past ten years, has indicated that it is pulling out in two years' time. Its annual contribution amounted to more than Rs 10 million. NORAD, too, has stated that it will not be able to help a couple of years from now. The WWF, which till now gave almost $100,000 per year, has also stated that it will be reduce that amount to $20-30,000.

The KMTNC, established in 1982, does not have its own sources of income, beside the entrance fees charged of tourists entering the ACAP area. The management of ACAP was handed to the KMTNC for ten years in 1991/92 and the lease period ends next year. That means even this small trickle of funds is going to dry up. No one knows how KMTNC will function after this. This is one reason why many employees are quitting.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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