KATHMANDU: Nepal observed the World Environment Day on Friday but the country is yet to make policies on climate change to tackle the global threat. The slogan of the day this year was ‘Your planet needs YOU! Unite to combat climate change.’.

“The country lacks a climate policy. I wish the concerned ministry would formulate it as soon as possible,” said Subas Chandra Nembang, chairman, Constituent Assembly, while addressing a programme organised by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) today. “I am ready to help prepare policies on the issue.”

He said it was not enough to ritually observe the day. “Deforestation has posed a serious problem in the country in its transitional phase. Political parties should iron out differences while addressing national issues,” he said. “The new constitution should guarantee at least 40 per cent of national territory as the forest.”Umesh Prasad Mainali, secretary, MoEST, said the ministry was preparing to implement international conventions on climate. “We are preparing an action plan,” he added.

The environment day was first observed in 1972 on June 5 to mark a UN convention. “Thirty-six years on, global warming is still affecting wildlife, climate, crop production, environment and temperature,” said Mainali.

Robert Parker, UNDP resident representative, said it was essential to change the course of global climate change. He urged the government to tackle global warming for economic and environmental benefits and called on all to contribute to making the earth cleaner through better environmental practices.

Tree plantation drive

KATHMANDU: Ullens Education Foundation (UEF) organised a tree plantation programme on Friday at Khanse Bhanjyang in Nala of Kavre, on the occasion of the World Environment Day, 2009 with the slogan of ‘Your Planet needs you! Unite to combat climate change’. People from all walks of life planted more than 3000 saplings as a response to the global call to the protect our planet. CA member Dr Arzu Rana Deuba, Chief District Officer of Kavre Netra Prasad Neupane, District Forest Officer Kiran Shrestha, District Soil and Conservation Officer Kruschev Shrestha, senior journalist Yuvaraj Ghimire, were present in the programme.