Nepal Urged To Take Measures To Address Climate Change

Jun 6th, 2013 | By | Category: Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disasters and Climate Change, Ecosystem Functions, Governance, Nepal, Population, Vulnerability, Weather

072612_0349_NepalsYouth3.jpgChinadaily: Nepal should adopt specific measures to mitigate adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation rather than organizing ornamental programs to mark the World Environment Day (WED), conservation experts said Tuesday.

Experts also stressed on the need to revise the country’s existing environmental law to bring it at par with the contemporary provisions implemented in the international domain at a time when various awareness programs are going on to mark WED 2013 on June 5.

Authorities are not able to say clearly either Nepal is witnessing pre-monsoon or the monsoon right now as the country witnessed abnormal rainfall throughout the country even in this summer season, according to Lal Bahadur Thapa, a  conservationist.

“If monsoon has moved forward, then certainly food production this year will decrease due to following the traditional farming calendar,”Thapa said. And Nepalese farmers, poorest of the poor, will have to bear the brunt of climate change.

However the government of Nepal (GoN) has no specific plan and programs to mitigate such risks stimulated by the climate change including the melting down of snow level in the mountainous region, experts say.

Nepal, on June 5, is marking WED as an annual event for positive environmental action on the theme of “Think. Eat. Save.” as set by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), an anti- food waste and food loss campaign targeted to limit the devastating effects on the environment due to the drain on natural resources by food waste.

“Nepal needs to act much more at policy level for holding back the vulnerabilities of environmental hazards ensuring the effective implementation of environmental related provisions in existing Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1997,” Thapa who is also the coordinator of Inclusion of Environmental Rights in New Constitution of Nepal Project told Xinhua.

Though, the prime minister heads Environment Protection Council in Nepal, the meeting of that council has been held just the once in its 17-year-history.Environmental law expert Dr. Bijaya Singh Sijapati suggested the government to address the weaknesses in the EPA Act promptly.

“Nepal needs separate laws on water resources, pollution and conservation of the biodiversity,” Dr. Sijapati who is also the member secretary of environmental law committee, Supreme Court Bar Association, told Xinhua.

Nepal has not yet established proper laboratories facilities to help in the activities related to environment protection and pollution control as provisioned in section 11 of EPA Act.

Similarly in order to carry out the functions of mitigation, avoidance or control of pollution, though the Act has deemed of Environment Inspectors in each municipality, the government has not appointed even a single inspector so far.

Amid this scenario, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) and other nongovernmental organizations are busy in organizing various awareness programs all over the country including rallies, plantation of trees, interaction and exhibitions, street drama and so on.

MoSTE will organize a formal program of WED on June 5 accompanied with an Eco fair comprising environment-friendly industries, technologies and alternative energy products, Jayaram Adhikari, under-secretary of the ministry informed.

Chairman of interim election council Khila Raj Regmi will inaugurate the program. MoSTE will also organize a tree plantation program at the UN Park in Lalitpur on June 7.

Earlier on June 1, MoSTE, in cooperation with two local organizations, Cycle City Network Nepal and Rise Global, has concluded a cycle rally titled ‘Pedal for Environment’, from Basantapur Durbar Square to Patan Durbar Square, the areas listed in the world heritage sites in capital valley.

The rally highlighted the importance of cycle culture in environment conservation, said Rajan Neupane of Rise Global.

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