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FAO Facilitated Cross Border Consultation Meeting among the Gangetic Plain Countries

28 March 2017: A two-day Cross Border Consultation Meeting among the Gangetic plain countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan India and Nepal was successfully held from 27 - 28 March, 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The meeting was jointly organized by FAO and SAARC Secretariat, and was attended by national parcipants from four Gangetic Plain countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. The meeting was also attended by key representatives from Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP), Regional Support Unit for SAARC (RSU-SAARC), and ECTAD Bangladesh and Nepal. The meeting aimed on developing a longer-term plan for the safer trade of live animal and animal product.
Dr. Yubak Dhwaj GC, Secretary, Ministry of Livestock Development (MOLD), Government of Nepal,  as a Chief Guest, delivered the opening remarks highlighting the importance of cross-border collaboration between the Member States in controlling the transboundary animal diseases in the region. He mentioned that the four countries of the Gangetic plains are part of the same ecosystem with similar disease status in human beings, animals and environment.

Dr Somsak Pipoppinyo, FAO Representative for Nepal and Bhutan delivered the welcome remarks while highlighting FAO’s role in providing technical assistance and advocacy to support the member countries for effective animal health management for the control of TADs control including emerging zoonosis.

Mr Sangye Rinchen, Director Environment, Natural Disasters & Biotechnology (ENB), the SAARC secretariat also addressed the meeting. He mentioned that in South Asia, the high impact transboundary animal diseases (TADs) including Avian Influenza (AI) are causes of concern due to their impact on economics of livestock production and on livelihood of farmers besides the threat of emerging zoonotic diseases.
Dr Wantanee Kalpravidh, Regional Manager, ECTAD, FAO-RAP led the technical session and also presented on account of best practices on cross-border dialogue held among ASEAN countries. Other presentations included value chain studies, animal movement and risks and opportunities for safe trade, country updates through gallery walks, group discussions and plenary session were made during the technical sessions. The meeting acknowledged and considered the expert inputs from the different prospective.

In the end, the meeting agreed and prepared a set of recommendations for continuing and improving the cross-border coordination mechanism among the Gangetic Plain Countries.

Participants’ group photo of the Meeting Dr Wantanee conducting the participatory workshop
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