Environment agencies’ integration in offing

Kathmandu, March 4:

The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) is working to integrate major environment agencies being run under two ministries — the MoEST and the Ministry of Forest and Social Conservation (MoFSC).

The MoEST is going to find out similarities in the handling of three areas of environment - desertification, climate change and biodiversity - so that problems related to implementation as well as duplication will be traced and resolved.

Currently, desertification and climate change are handled by the MoEST, while the MoFSC is handling biodiversity.

“The ministry is going to start a project in two weeks to solve all environment-related confusions at the policy level,” said Batu Krishna Upreti, chief of the Environment Assessment Section at the MoEST.

The National Capacity Needs Self-Assessment for Global Environment Management Project (NCSAP) will identify, confirm or review priority areas for action within the three thematic areas and identify related capacity needs within and across the areas. It further intends to catalyse targeted and coordinated action, and requests for future external funding and assistance. Similarly it also intends to link country action to the boarder national environmental management and sustainable development framework. The Rs 14 million project will be nationally executed and the MoEST will be the National Executing Agency, which will last for one-and-a-half-years.

“It will find synergies among and across these areas to direct actions towards achieving the national goal of sustainable development,” he said.

Upreti further said that the outcome of the project is to identify priorities and needs for capacity building to protect the global environment, taking into account the three global conventions on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

“For example, we have national action plan on desertification but it alone cannot work, as the subjects are closely related with biodiversity and climate change as well,” he said, adding that such confusions on policy level are going to be cleared through this project.

He further said similar projects are being implemented or are on the way to be implemented, which will be combined in the future.