Prez calls on all to protect environment

Kathmandu, October 7

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has appealed to all to make efforts for environmental protection, promotion and management.

Addressing the inaugural session of Environment Conference organised by the Department of Environment with the support of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in here today, she said that explosive population growth and unplanned urbanisation were adversely affecting waste management and environment protection.

She also expressed concern about the growing incidents of forest fire and natural disasters which were causing a huge loss of lives and property.

The president said, “I am confident that the government is committed to endorsing various international general conventions and treaties determined by ‘The Paris Agreement’, other conferences on reducing the greenhouse effect and the ‘Beijing International Conference on Combating Desertification’ and developing national polices, laws and organisations as per the spirit of such events.”

Minister of Forests and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet said the government was making efforts to address problems of climate change, environmental degradation and unplanned urbanisation.

According to ICIMOD, the overall objective of the convention is to initiate the preparation of a national framework to guide provincial and local governments in formulating their provincial and local level environmental policies.

The Environment Convention is thus designed to provide opportunities for discussing and sharing lessons about various facets of the environment (air, water, and land), to identify possible gaps, to improve legislative instrument at the federal level, and to guide provincial government in formulating provincial environment frameworks and policies.

“Common agreed upon agenda and declaration is expected to facilitate and provide a framework for provincial and local level environment policies,” it said.  Article 30 (1) of the constitution guarantees ‘clean environment’ as a fundamental right, and elaborates that ‘every citizen shall have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment’. Article 30 (2) of the constitution also encourages the state to formulate necessary legal frameworks to balance environment and development. Secretary at MoFE Bishwonath Oli said although the development activities had eased people’s lives, increasing pollution posed serious threat to human life.

In the spirit of the constitution, and in the context of the shift to a federal governance system, it is important to discuss key environmental issues and gaps in Nepal’s existing legislative and policy instruments, and to develop environmental legislative frameworks for provincial governments, ICIMOD informed.