Green projects on the cards

Kathmandu, January 22:

The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MOEST) is literally in the thick of things now, with a number of institutional efforts related with carbon trading, promotion of information technology, micro-hydropower and environment, among others, reaching a crucial phase of implementation.

“We have, among others, become successful in preparing Project Idea Note (PIN) concerning carbon trading with the World Bank. Letter of Intent (LOI) has been signed.

Of course, this is one of the many jobs accomplished after formation of the incumbent government in April,” said Minister of State Man Bahadur Biswakarma at the MOEST today. The MOEST also plans to provide grant to anyone willing to invest in microhydro projects.

Under the PIN signed, the World Bank will be buying the carbon calculated on the basis power generated by microhydro projects in Nepal. Carbon will also be sold on the basis of solar energy generated.

The bank has agreed to pay $6 per metric tonne with annual earning likely to hit $200,000. Carbon will also be traded with gobar gas, with selling price at 7 million euro per tonne.

Efforts are also underway to dispose outdated insecticides stored at Amlekhagunj, which are considered as lethal for public health. “We are likely to take them to furnaces in either Germany or France where the material will be burnt. This will free the country from dangerous material,” Minister Biswakarma further said. Other things on the card are e-governance which will have support coming from Asian Development Bank (ADB), with total bill running into $ 30 million. “There will be some 20 priority sector projects under this,” Minister Biswakarma told reporters. Also on anvil is the Rural Energy Grant Policy which will ensure that anyone who invests in microhydro projects gets grant. “This will give a boost to carbon trading.”

The MOEST objectives for the next five years comprise installing solar power gadgets in about 175,000 households, supply microhydro power to about 175,000 thousands , providing solar tukis to 275,000 households and 500,000 improved cooking stoves.

Other institutional immediate goals include having a Department of Environment in place of Directorate and founding a Science Learning Centre at the cost of Rs 120 million with the cash coming from the Indian government.