Multi-stakeholder Inception Meeting on Policy and Advocacy for Reforming Brick Sector

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Background

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April and its aftershocks have destroyed or damaged more than half a million buildings across Nepal, including more than 25,000 public buildings and a rich set of historical monuments and cultural icons. It is a large‐scale disaster affecting millions of people across at least 30 districts, and will require a major rebuilding effort. In this regards, the availability of construction materials is a major concern. 

In the Kathmandu Valley, more than 100 brick kilns were damaged with four deaths reported, and almost 90% brick production has come to a halt for the last two months. These brick kilns will need to be rebuilt to meet the high demand for building materials during reconstruction. We have an opportunity to rebuild these kilns in ways that saves resources and reduces pollution.

Brick kiln modernization offers large potential for energy savings; to reduce black carbon and CO2 emissions, to save agricultural land from degradation, to improve the profitability of brick enterprises, to improve working conditions and the health of workers, and to provide better quality building material to consumers. Technological developments during the last century have helped make the manufacture of bricks an efficient and highly productive process. Rebuilding the kilns after the earthquake, we can introduce some of these new techonologies.

The brick industries in Nepal functions seasonally, and production will resume in December. We have a narrow window of time to redesign the damaged kilns in more energy efficient and environmentally friendly ways. Immediate action is being taken, including: 

  • Preparation, dissemination, and training of engineered design and construction standards;
  • Development of policy recommendations for regulators building on existing policies; and
  • Investigation of alternative materials, hollow bricks, and the re-use of broken bricks.

As the regional partner for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)’s Brick Production Initiative, ICIMOD aims to achieve significant reductions of black carbon and other emissions from brick kilns, which are responsible for substantial air pollution in many cities of the world. ICIMOD, Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI), and MinEnrgy have jointly taken the initiative to consolidate the state of knowledge on science, technology, and policy existing in the Nepalese context. Starting with the multi-stakeholder inception meeting on policy and advocacy for reforming the brick sector and employing a range of technology and policy approaches, the initiative will work with both governments and brick kilns owners to promote emissions abatement and to prevent new emissions. In doing so, climate impacts will be reduced, local air quality will be improved, and other health, social, and environmental co-benefits will be achieved.

Overall Objectives 

  • Identify main development concerns posed by brick production
  • Articulate a common vision for the brick sector
  • Develop an understanding of policy approaches/ specific policies adopted by various countries
  • Identify technologies that have been applied in the brick kiln sector and analyse policy gaps 
  • Rebuild Nepal’s brick kilns in energy efficient and environmentally friendly ways

Meeting Participants

Participants represent brick entrepreneurs; government officials from regulatory offices; and non-profit, international, and intergovernmental agencies.

Expected outputs

The meeting is expected to bring the following outputs:

  • Discussion on existing policy and regulatory frameworks and identification of gaps
  • Support  to the government in developing and implementing comprehensive policies to modernize the sector 
  • Discussion of available technology options
  • Improved understanding of existing and future financing mechanisms

Time Description
15:30 - 15:50 Registration
16:00 - 16:30 Opening Session

Chief Guest Hon’ble Mahesh Basnet, Minister, Ministry of Industry

Special Guest-Hon’ble Swarnim Wagle, Member, National Planning Commission

  • David Molden, ICIMOD
  • Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar, FNBI
  • Hon’ble Swarnim Wagle,' Member, National Planning Commission
  • Chief Guest Hon’ble Mahesh Basnet, Minister, Ministry of Industry
16:30 - 17:15 Background Presentations

Chair: Arnico Panday, ICIMOD

  • Relevant acts and policy barriers to brick industry growth – FNBI Representative
  • CCAC Brick Production Initiative – Bidya Banmali Pradhan, ICIMOD
  • Improved Kiln Design Suyesh Prajapati, Director - MinErg
17:15 - 18:15 Moderated Discussion

Moderator : Arun Shrestha, ICIMOD

The objective of this session is to discuss public policies and regulations that have successfully addressed the main challenges of the brick sector, as well as to identify barriers and opportunities to scaling up the modernization of the sector. Discussion will cover:

  • Major issues/challenges faced by brick entrepreneurs
  • The role of the state and local policies and acts in modernizing and improving the brick kiln sector
  • How regional policy networks can help develop and mobilize policy knowledge
18:15 - 18:30 Closing Remarks
  • Eklabya Sharma, Director Programme Operations, ICIMOD
  • Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar, Chairperson, Federation of Nepal Brick Industries
18:30 Onwards Dinner hosted by ICIMOD