WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2005 : Environment last on Nepal’s agenda

Shashi Dhungel

Kathmandu, June 4:

Nepal boasts of enough legal provisions to protect the Himalayan environment, but the apathetic approach and inability on part of officials in implementing these has increased the vulnerability of the people and the country. “Cities are host to the world’s most complex environmental challenges. Haphazard urbanisation, increasing use of fossil fuels and uncurbed

growth in the number of vehicles are some of the causes of acute environmental problems. Though we have policies to address these problems, we lack monitoring and implementation,”

said Bhushan Tuladhar, executive director at Clean Energy Nepal. “There are no clear-cut stipulations insofar as the environment sector is concerned, and skilled manpower is also not forthcoming. There is no separate department under the ministry to look after environment issues. Moreover, there are only 10 members in the division,” said an official at the ministry of environment science and technology. “WED is a day to share environmental concerns and to commit for action towards environmental sustainability. Various innovative works have been done in previous years. But these abate as time passes and again we have to wait for one more year and another campaign. We need to reaffirm our commitment everyday and work for the protection of our environment,” Tuladhar said.

Every year, June 5 is celebrated as world environment day (WED), with a different theme. For 2005, the theme is “Green Cities: Plan for the planet.” “As the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas and accelerating urbanisation in the underdeveloped countries and developing countries has increased, so has the consumption of our planet’s natural resources. This year, the theme provides a timely reminder that we must start to plan for the planet,” said Jivan Acharya, research officer at Winrock International. Exploitation and implementation of renewable energy sources and energy conservation methods would help reduce pollution and improve public health, Tuladhar said. Regarding the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Nepal in 2005 as one of biggest achievements in the environmental sector, Acharya stressed the need for reaping benefits therefrom.


KATHMANDU: World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. WED is hosted every year by a different city and is commemorated over June 5. The UN utilises WED to stimulate worldwide awareness about environment and to enhance political attention and public action towards its restoration and protection. In Nepal, WED is marked with utmost importance. — HNS