Nepal State of Environment Report: The Monthly Overview, April 2014

A project launched in the Far-Western region of Nepal, to provide clean and energy efficient cooking stoves to 150,000 households has become the country’s first of its kind as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) scheme. Read more in this April 2014 edition of the Monthly Overview on State of Environment, Nepal

ENVIRONMENT

A project launched in the Far-Western region of Nepal, to provide clean and energy efficient cooking stoves to 150,000 households has become the country’s first of its kind as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) scheme. In Nepal, the Bio-Gas Support Programme is the only CDM project certified by the CDM Executive Board for financing and has received cash as carbon credits. China and Nepal signed several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the framework of the Third Pole Environment program. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new two-and-a-half year $474,051 conflict management and mitigation project called ‘Conflict Mitigation Through Community Mediation.’ The project will operate in six central and eastern Terai districts of Nepal –Dhanusha, Mahotari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Saptari, and Siraha– and aims to decrease local level conflicts that stem from issues of inclusion or access to resources. Nepal has made new headway in the REDD+ readiness process with the approval of its Emission Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9) organised by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility under the World Bank in Brussels, Belgium earlier this week. The Nepal government has prepared a draft of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Policy, which, among others, includes provisions to establish two institutional bodies to create an enabling environment for PPP projects.

LAND, AGRICULTURE, GRAZING LANDS AND ANIMAL CARE

The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) in Nepal, has come up with a 100-day programme, which, among others, aims to generate self employment opportunities for 1,200 people, raise subsidy in crop and livestock insurance policies to 75 per cent of the premium amount, expand the coverage of livestock vaccination programme and expedite the process of importing hybrid cows from neighbouring countries. Some 150 cattle heads perished to foot and mouth disease in Darchula district of Nepal, in the past few months, said Basanta Bahadur Singh, senior veterinarian at the District Livestock Office.

MINING

Over a dozen of illegal stone quarries operated in Nawalparasi and neighboring districts in Nepal are calling closure gradually. Kanchanpur District Development Committee in Nepal, has imposed a ban on illegal excavation of sand from the southern banks of Jharana River.

DAMS

In Nepal, the Deep Tubewell Irrigation Project Implementation Procedure – 2070 has reached the final stage of completion. Nepal Minister for Irrigation, NP Saud, has said that the Piguwa Irrigation Project would be brought into operation this year. Daraudi Kalika Hydro Pvt. Limited signed a loan agreement of Rs. 700 million with Global IME and Machhapuchhre Bank for the development of Daraudi ‘A’ Hydropower  (6 MW) project in Nepal.

FORESTS

Embankment construction and sapling planting has been initiated under the President's Chure Conservation Programme in Kanchanpur district of Nepal. The Nepal government is keen to join hands with the private sector to work towards sustainable forest management through proper investments, technologies and forest-based enterprises. Wildfire has destroyed 600 hectare forest land at various VDCs in Panchthar district of Nepal. The forest fire that had spread in three community forests in Khotangbazaar area of Nepal, has been brought under control after four days. Forest fires have broken out in more than 10,000 hectares of jungle in Nawalparasi district of Nepal.

POLLUTION

Health experts have warned that the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, could turn into a city of cardiac and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases in next five years if nothing is done immediately to curb air pollution. Kathmandu is the fourth worst polluted city with 101.05 points, according to Pollution Index 2014, after Xi’an, China (101.90), Kingston, Jamaica (103.45) and Accra, Ghana (111.18). Thousands of people from various walks of life, including  Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav, took part in a programme to mark the 50 successful weeks of the Bagmati Cleanup Campaign. A campaign of cleaning the Dhobikhola stream has begun in connection with the ongoing programme of cleaning the different rivers and streams in the Kathmandu Valley.

FLOODS, DROUGHTS AND NATURAL DISASTERS

Around 200 families of Matehiya VDC-1, 2 and 3 in Banke district of Nepal,  have left their homes, fearing that area might be swept away by floods in the Rapti river during monsoon. A 4.4-magnitude tremor was felt in the far-north western part of Nepal with epicentre in the remote Humla district in the Nepal-Tibetan border. According to the National Seismological Centre (NSC), the moderate quake was recorded at 1:36 pm with no damage or casualties reported so far. This is the first incident of tremor recorded in 2014 within Nepal.

HABITAT

Switzerland announced that it will provide a grant assistance of Rs 2.35 billion for Nepal to implement two projects in the country. Out of the total amount, Rs 337 million will be spent for improving family nutrition and resilience of smallholders through the Home Garden Project in 20 districts across Nepal while remaining Rs 2.12 billion will be allocated for the Local Roads Improvement Project for maintenance of over 3,000 kms of existing district roads, according to the Embassy of Switzerland in Kathmandu. Nepal Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Bimalendra Nidhi has announced a proposed budget equivalent to Rs 794.5 million for road expansion in the Tarai.

WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION

The Nepal government, as part of its campaign to supply adequate drinking water, has developed special programmes to distribute and improve water supply in order to address the existing acute crunch. The Janakpur municipality in Nepal, has begun distributing dustbins in order to better manage the solid waste produced by the residents of the municipality. In Nepal, to encourage villagers to build toilets, a Village Development Committee office in Banke has started to distribute certificates to those who have sanitation facilities in their houses. Sulabh International, an Indian social service organisation, has pledged to provide cost-effective sanitation technology in Nepal in collaboration with Zonta Club Kathmandu, an NGO working for the advancement of youth and women.

PEOPLE

Under Secretary and Chief of Department of Children under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Dr. Kiran Rupakheti said 40 per cent children in Nepal are working as labourers. The master plan on child labour 2011-2020 aims to eliminate all forms of child labour in Nepal by 2016 and achieve a complete eradication by 2020.

HEALTH

As many as 103 cases of malaria have been detected in Kapilvastu in the past eight months, according to Kapilvastu District Health Office in Nepal. Bhakunde Village Development Committee (VDC) of Baglung district in Nepal has been declared the fully immunized VDC. Fifteen people have been found suffering from leprosy in Tanahu district of Nepal as of March 14 this year. Around 90 per cent children and labourers working in brick factories in Bhaktapur district of Nepal are found suffering from skin disease and respiratory related problems, said doctors.

ENERGY

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Clean Energy Development Bank (CEDB) to assist Gokarna Forest Resort in Nepal, implement energy and water saving measures and adopt a clean, green growth path.

 

LIVING RESOURCES

Tiger census has begun in Laljhadi Mohana Reserve Area of Kanchanpur district in far west Nepal with the use of camera trapping methodology.  Number of swamp deer has increased at the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve of Nepal in the last five years. Nepal Birds’ Association has started counting Bengal Floricans, one of the world’s rare bird species, at Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Kanchanpur. The counting, which will continue till May 8, began for the second time. Census of the endangered birds was conducted for the first time at the Reserve last year. Despite arrests and seizures, illicit trafficking of wildlife parts continues unabated across Nepal, particularly in the capital city.

 

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