Call to draw benefits from climate change meets

Kathmandu, November 18:

Experts on climate change today urged the government to strongly air its demands at international meetings to secure optimum benefits for Nepal, which is affected by global warming though it does not emit greenhouse gases.

The experts were speaking at an interaction organised by the Climate Change Network Nepal to come up with consolidated and unified opinion on benefits that small countries like Nepal can secure by adopting the Clean Development Mechanism. It enables small countries like Nepal to draw benefits by adopting environment-friendly systems.

“The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) should forge coordination with other ministries, departments, line agencies and civil society organisations on climate change and debates on it,” said Sandip Chamling Rai, climate change officer, WWF Nepal.

The 13th Conference of Parties (CoP) of Kyoto Protocol (COP 13) is being held in Bali from December 13. A delegation from the MoEST is taking part in the conference. Nepal needs to immediate work for the preparation of second national communication report, he said.

“Nepal believes that the CDM is an opportunity to mitigate the effects of climate change. We have a conductive environment for developing CDM projects. The Biogas CDM project is our first effort in this regard. We hope appropriate methodology will be developed to support such an initiative,” he added. The CDM was created to assist developed countries in achieving their Kyoto targets through investing in projects in developing countries, and to assist developing countries in achieving their sustainable development goals.

“No specific activities were really listed on the government’s five-year programme,” he said. Dinanath Bhattarai, project officer at Practical Action, said there is a need for increased international technical and financial support and cooperation to build the capacity of least developed countries like Nepal to respond to climate change. “Nepal should align with regional and sub-regional groups, mainly with the Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and partly with China for influencing Nepal’s interest at the convention and protocol and also for dealing with the immediate issues that crop up in the negotiation.”

Mira Khanal, joint-secretary, MoEST, said the ministry will do its best to incorporate most of the suggestions from the experts in the Cop 13. “Since we lack manpower and expertise, we need more cooperation from all stakeholders to come up with a unified voice in the conference,” he said.