We are pleased to welcome Dr. Radha Wagle in our policy champions network. She has agreed to serve as a co-chair of Global Climate Policy and Practice Champions Network.
Dr Wagle is working as a Joint Secretary and Chief of Climate Change Management Division in the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal. Dr. Wagle has more than 20 years of experiences in the field of forestry, biodiversity and climate change, more specifically in community forestry, REDD+, sustainable forest management, protected area management and gender equality and social inclusion in forestry and climate change sector. She did Doctoral research on Women Inclusion in Forest Bureaucracy from Monash University, Australia.
Upon her completion of Mater’s degree, she joined this Ministry as a Planning Officer in the then Planning Division and Foreign Aid Coordination Division, where her support in designing Multistakeholder Forestry Program and drafting Forestry Sector Strategy was tremendous. As reward to her work in the Ministry, government nominated her to participate in Australia Awards Scholarship for her further study in which she was selected by the Australian Government and pursued her PhD from Monash University (2013-16). Her PhD thesis has been crucial to analyze Nepal’s environment sector from gender and social inclusion perspectives.
She recently completed her tenure as the chief and National Coordinator of REDD+ in Nepal (2018-2019), during which she was successfully engaged in negotiation with the World Bank to sell Nepal’s forest carbon equivalent to 9 million metric ton at a price of US$5 per metric ton by 2025. During this time, she worked heavily in finalizing National REDD+ Strategy, Emission Reduction Program Document, Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework and Gender Action Plan for REDD+ all as a pre-condition for the carbon trade negotiation with the World Bank. During this time, she also served as the Executive Board member of UN-REDD and Bureau Member of Carbon Fund of the World Bank from Asia Pacific region. As a part of her responsibilities, she lobbied for the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, women and farmers of Nepal by which they have been recognized as parties to receive carbon benefits under approved Benefit-Sharing Plan.
During September 2019-September 2020, she was selected as the Secretary to the newly formed Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment for Nepal’s Lumbini Province. In this province level Ministry, she led to formulate a number of laws, regulations and new policies related to industries, commerce, tourism, forests, agriculture, environment, culture and gender integration in natural resources. In her role in the province, she supported programs and activities in 8 districts particularly in fruit farming, agro-forestry, community forestry, leasehold forestry for the ultra-poor and cultivation of non-timber forest products.
Dr. Wagle is talking several initiatives for women empowerment in forestry sector. She is providing leadership role in coaching and empowering women in natural resource, agriculture and forestry sectors and has been appreciated by various international partners, other Ministries and non-government actors including British Ambassador to Nepal and British Minister. She has been taking leadership for inclusive and gender responsive forest policy formation.
Dr Wagle is also a leader in the area of gender justice. An informal network ‘Female Foresters Network” has been formed under her leadership in Nepal. This Network is working to create safe working environment for women in the forestry and environmental sectors, demonstrating transformational pathways to achieve gender justice in workplace and professional communities. This network has mobilised more than 1500 forestry professionals to challenge every day issues women face (from sexual harassment to gender based discrimination in organisational representation), as well as advance the professional agenda of women working in the forestry and environment sectors.