The Department of Environment is set to conduct environment protection programme in 25 schools for the running fiscal 2021-22, covering all seven provinces.

A report published by the department said that community, government and private schools with basic or secondary level education would be entitled to grant for the conduction of this programme.

It has also invited application, accompanied by, proposal, implementation plan, activities and cost estimate from the interested schools. The department informed that the deadline for submission of application was until mid-November.

The proponent schools will be selected on merit basis in line with the 'School-centric Environment Protection Programme Procedure, 2019'. A seven-member committee led by deputy director general of the department selects the schools and carry out evaluation and monitoring of the programme which lasts for one year.

According to the department, this programme aimed at making 'Nepal Clean Environment' mega campaign launched by the federal government a success. It involves expansion of the greenery promotion and pollution control activities to the community and schools of all provinces for developing the sanitation as a culture.

It also envisages to activate the persons, families and communities for environment protection by creating awareness from the school level.

The school-centric environment protection programme will be conducted in all provinces in a proportional manner based on annual budget and programme.

Preference will be accorded to such schools where such programme was not conducted before, it said. The procedure requires the department to put the schools studying environment subject on higher priority for conduction of the programme.

The department will enter into an agreement with the selected schools for the conduction of the programme. The schools concerned are required to submit bills to the department for reimbursement of budget not exceeding Rs 80,000 after completion of the programme. While implementing the programme, the selected schools will have to expend the amount in seven activities.

They include plantation, waste management, pollution control measures, environment promotion, rainwater harvesting and renewable energy, displacement of plastic bags and awareness activities.

Article 30 (1) of the constitution of Nepal enshrines 'clean environment' as a fundamental right, and states that every citizen shall have the right to live in a clean and healthy environment.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 30, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.