Ambassador Lenain undertakes maiden visit to Assam
The Ambassador of France to India, H. E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, undertakes maiden visit to Assam (Kaziranga National Park & Guwahati).
Assam, 2-5 November 2019
The Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, undertook a visit to Assam from 2nd to 5th November 2019 to bolster ties between the government of France and the state of Assam.
Ambassador Lenain commenced his visit on 2nd November, travelling from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park to meet on-site members of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Assam Environment and Forest Department, involved in the Assam Project for Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC). There he discussed various issues, such as its management, micro-planning and community engagement, livelihoods and skill development, the impact of 2019 floods on anti-poaching and conservation activities.
On 3rd November evening, the delegation returned to Guwahati to share their tour insights with members of the Department of Environment and Forests, and Assam State Biodiversity Board. A networking dinner, hosted by the office of the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, was organised in honour of the French dignitaries.
On the morning of 4th November, Ambassador Lenain paid a courtesy call on the Hon’ble Governor of Assam, H.E. Shri Jagdish Mukhi, at his official residence. He then met the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, at his Secretariat. Thereafter, he met Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Finance, Planning and Development, Tourism, Cooperation, in the Chief Minister’s Conference Hall.
These meetings were followed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Government of Assam signing a 50-million-euro project agreement (total budget of 62.5 million euros) to support the State government’s initiative to restore Assam’s forest ecosystems and preserve their biodiversity. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, was present during the signing ceremony between Mr Bruno Bosle, AFD Country Director, and Mr Jishnu BARUA, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, Environment and Forest Department.
A brief media engagement with Ambassador Lenain, AFD delegates and various state government officials was held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
Ambassador Lenain was hosted thereafter at Cotton University by the Vice Chancellor, Dr Bhabesh Chandra Goswami, and faculty members for talks on academic exchanges, partnerships and student mobility.
Ambassador Lenain ended the day by hosting a soirée at the Celebration Ballroom, Novotel, for various stakeholders, bilateral collaborators and friends of France to thank them for their support over the years.
On 5th November, after a brief visit to the holy Kamakhya temple, the Ambassador left for a tour of IIT Guwahati. A working luncheon with the faculty, scholars and researchers was hosted by the Director of the institute, Dr T.G. Sitharam, on campus, to deepen interactions on academic exchange programmes between IITG and French institutions of higher education.