This document discusses environmental issues facing Nepal due to both climate change and non-implementation of sustainability policies, particularly around e-waste management (handling of recyclable and non-recyclable materials from non-functioning electronic equipment) of information and communication technology (ICT) tools. It addresses waste management policies, ICT use and its growth potential, and the growth potential of e-waste, as well as its effect on the country.
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed by Nepal more than a decade ago, but it has not been applied to e-waste management. Also, a national climate change policy was made public in late 2009. However, there has been no legislation for implementation of either. A climate change initiative of the Ministry of Environment and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) calls for data collection and the establishment of a knowledge management platform for a national web-based climate and development portal. A solid waste management bill of 2008, though providing directives for waste categorisation, disposal, and data collection, is silent about e-waste management.
The document details the burgeoning use of ICTs – for personal use, particularly mobile phone use, for information access, particularly radio with a growing sector providing internet access, and for data collection, including climate change, agriculture-related weather, and waste management data. “There is an urgent need for Nepal to formulate e waste and climate change policies and, given the SMART 2020 report, make an effort to integrate ICT-enabled low-carbon economic growth in economic growth policies and plans….
As the population of Nepal grows, and ICTs become more integral to daily life, there is a growing threat of e-waste as well as the carbon footprint of ICTs themselves. At the same time there is an opportunity that future leaders in Nepal can use ICTs to better people’s lives and the environment….
To achieve sustainable development in Nepal, the following steps forward are inevitable.
- Nepal must quickly act on adapting the Basel Convention to the national context and come up with national policies and legislation.
- The Ministry of Environment should quickly establish a division on e waste and start baseline work such as surveys to generate data on e waste and to help establish monitoring systems.
- The draft climate change policy should be finalised and enacted as soon as possible and should clearly indicate how ICTs can be integrated, as well as including regulations on e waste.
- The Nepal IT [Information Technology] Policy should be revised or amended to include the role of ICTs in sustainable development and climate change.
- The civil society and private sectors should also act on the issues of e waste and climate change in Nepal.”
Contact Information: Kishor Pradhan – Panos South Asia Source: Email from Kishor Pradhan to The Communication Initiative on December 9 2010.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>