The program was held on September 1, 2009 at Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Development Market to promote the sales of Japanese persimmon fruit in the market. The program was attended by Mr. Komal P. Timalsina, Chairman of the Cooperative; Dr. B.K.P Shah, Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives; H.E., Charge de'affairs, Embassy of Japan, Mr. Tadashi Fujiwara, and JICA's Chief Representative, Mr. Noriaki Niwa. Japan Government assisted the efforts of Nepal Government to establish and develop the Horticulture Development Project Phase I, II, and follow up, which was implemented from 1985 till 1999. Considering the congenial climate available in Nepal for the cultivation of Japanese persimmon and the increasing interest in this fruit, it can be said that there is a very good prospect of increasing the living standard of farmers through the persimmon cultivation as well as exporting it to other countries. It is estimated that more than 12 tons of Japanese persimmon was produced this year.
A Minutes of Discussion (M/D) was signed on October 28, 2009 between JICA and Ministry of Local Department/Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads. JICA dispatched Preparatory Survey Team on the Project for the Improvement of Community Access to Nepal. The purpose of this team is to explain the draft final report and confirm the environmental and social considerations (Initial Environmental Examination) of each bridge studied under the project.
Altogether there are 35 bridges (selected from initial 108 bridges studied) covered by this study in five districts (Sindhuli, Kavrepalanchowk, Ramechhap, Sindhupalchowk and Mahottari). The selected roads (for bridge construction) in these districts are taken as the corridor having proximity to the Sindhuli Road under construction by Japanese Grant. Mr. Yoshio Fukuda, Senior Representative of JICA Nepal Office who is also heading the survey team signed on behalf of JICA and Mr. Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, Joint Secretary, signed on behalf of Ministry of Local Development whereas Dhana B. Tamang, Director General signed on behalf of Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads.
JICA and Supreme Court of Nepal co-hosted a two-day seminar on "Criminal Justice System and Criminal Procedures" from October 29 to October 30. The seminar's main objective was to identify issues and challenges on criminal justice system to feed into criminal justice reform discourse in Nepal through a comparative study of Japanese and Nepali criminal justice system and criminal procedures. Participants included Honorable Justice Kalyan Shrestha as the Chair Person; His Excellency Tatsuo Mizuno, Ambassador of Japan as the Chief Guest; Mr. Taro Morinaga, Lecturer and Government Attorney, as the key resource person from Japan; and also Criminal Law Reform and Improvement Task Force, Supreme Court, General Attorney's Office, Judges, Nepal Police, Law Commission, academics and donor community.
JICA Alumni Association of Nepal (JAAN) conducted a two-day training on "Food Preparation and Preservation" for local community at JAAN CDC building in Balkhu, Kathmandu from November 1 to 2, 2009. The participants were local women from the surrounding areas. Two members of JAAN volunteered to teach preparation of doughnuts, Namkeen (small biscuits) as well as methods of preserving pickles.
On November 1, 2009, the street of Thamel Mall was bustling with Japanese people living or working in Nepal. The street festival in Thamel was organized by Japanese Thamel Association and JICA to showcase various cultural activities, Japanese food, and stalls displaying various products. This year, there were various Japanese groups and associations including JICA volunteers (JOCV) who participated in this festival. Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) had put up their own stall selling coffee, organic vegetables, and various other products created by local women from their associated work organizations such as "Women for Human Rights, Single Women Group", "Nepal Disabled Women Association", "Community Based Rehabilitation-Patan", "Women Skill Development Project", "District Agriculture Development Office", and "Women Development Office". The money generated from the sale of the products went to the respective organizations.
On November 4, 2009, JICA hosted a VSAs meeting in its office premise. The meeting was attended by various representatives from CECI, RUNVAN, VSO-Nepal, CCS Italy, AYAD/VIDA, UNV, and JICA. The main focus of the meeting was to hold a discussion on the upcoming International Volunteer (IV) day on December 5 such as planned activities for the day, budget allocation and the roles of the volunteer agencies. The next VSAs meeting will be held on 12 November 2009 in CECI, Baluwatar.
A six-member team on the Project for the Nationwide Master Plan Study on Storage Type Hydroelectric Power Development headed by Dr. Akira Niwa visited Nepal from November 2 to 21, 2009. The main purpose of the study team was to hold discussion with the concerned agencies in Nepal and to collect data and information in order to determine the scope of works of the Master Plan Study itself.
In order to get the first hand information on the site conditions of the existing/ongoing projects and the prospective projects, the team visited Middle Marsyangdi Hydro Electric Project, Upper Seti Storage Hydroelectric Project, Madi Ishaneswor Storage Hydro Electric Project, Kulekhani I, II and III Projects.
After a series of discussion with the Nepalese side, Dr. Akira Niwa, team leader of the JICA Preparatory Study Team signed the Minutes of Meeting (M/M) with the Nepalese side on November 19. The signatory from the Nepalese side are Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Shanker P. Koirala and Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, Dr. Jivendra Jha.
Under its training program, JICA Nepal Office has been allocating training program for the Person with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nepal to promote the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Various training courses have been designed to help PWDs to live independently in local communities while maintaining their dignity and to remove various social barriers. In 2009, Mr. Kiran Shilpakar from National Association of the Physical Disabled-Nepal (NAPD) and Mr. Indra Prasad Upadhya from National Federation of Disabled-Nepal (NFDN) participated in training on 'Employment Promotion and Realization of Decent Work for the Persons with Disabilities' from June 15 to August 1, 2009. Thus, with a thought that the experience sharing is the first step to implement gained knowledge, both the participants agreed to share their experiences at JICA Nepal Office on Nov 7, 2009. The main objective of the program was to share gained knowledge and action plan on training as well as focus on gaining collective support for the effective implementation of ex-participants' action plan in Nepal. The program was attended by more than 60 representatives from concern stakeholders such as Disabled CA Member, Representatives from Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Disability Organization's representatives, other ex-participants of same course, Donor organizations, JICA Nepal and Media Persons.
On November 19, JAAN organized a solid waste management program at JAAN CDC building in Balkhu, Kathmandu. The one-day training on preparation of organic manure through kitchen waste was given to the local community. The program was also attended by H.E. Mr. Tatsuo Mizuno, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal and Mr. Toru Take, Senior Representative of JICA Nepal Office.
JICA and the Ministry of Local Development (MoLD) signed Record of Discussions (R/D) on November 20, 2009 for the implementation of Strengthening Community Mediation Capacity for Peaceful and Harmonious Society Project at DDC and VDCs/Municipalities of the targeted districts (Sindhuli and Mahottari). The objective of the project is to build the capacity and mechanism for dispute management mainly through community mediation.
JICA Nepal with Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) conducted seminars on November 25 and 27 in Janakpur and Kathmandu respectively.The seminars aimed to provide journalists, media related Government officials and CA members a platform to discuss the prevailing issues surrounding media and journalists in Nepal particularly during the constitution making process and after the promulgation of new Constitution.
The Key Resource persons were Dr. Keiichi Hashimoto, Senior Advisor to JICA; Mr. Shigeru Ueda, Senior Expert of NHK Global Media Services; Ms. Akiko Ejima, Professor of Meiji University; Mr. C.K. Lal, Columnist; Mr. Yuvraj Ghimire, Chief Editor of Rajdhani; and Ms. Kiyoko Ogura, journalist. The seminar had more than 60 participants including Secretary of MoIC, representatives of Nepal Press Institute (NPI) and Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), local journalists, district government officials, and CA members.
Strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluation System (SMES) project, a technical cooperation support of JICA Nepal to National Planning Commission Secretariat (NPCS) conducted third Monitoring and Evaluation Policy forum on December 8, 2009. The SMES Project conducts the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Policy Forum every year during its project period (2007-2009). Previous forums were conducted in December 2007 and February 2008. The participants included Chief guest, Hon. Vice Chairman of NPC, Dr. Yubraj Khatiwada; Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Noriaki Niwa; Chief Secretary, Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire; Japanese Minister Councilor to Nepal, Mr. Tadashi Fujiwara; and Mr. Yoseki Nagase, Senior Advisor of KRI International and Ex Vice President of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
JICA with Ministry of Environment (MoE) conducted an in country training on "Climate Change/CDM seminar: Development of PINS and PDDs for CDM Project" from January 26 to January 28 in Kathmandu. The main objective of the seminar was to enhance the capacity of stakeholders for formulating or implementing CDM project. The in-country training shared practical knowledge such as CDM key concepts, Project flow, Approval procedure, Project formulation, including the general information of Climate Changes/CDM. The Key Resource persons were Dr. Naoki Matsuo, CEO of Climate Experts, Ltd.; Mr. Masato Kawanishi, JICA Senior Advisor (Climate Change); Mr. Marco Van Der Linden, Carbon Finance Advisor, SNV, Nepal Office; and Mr. Batu Krishna Uprety, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation. The seminar combined lectures and group works. Representatives from Ministry of Environment (DNA), Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Irrigation, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Consultant, Private Company related to CDM/Climate Change and JICA Nepal participated in the training.