ICIMOD Supports National Action Plan for SLCPs Mitigation in Nepal

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Study team leader Amrit Nakarmi, presenting the national action plan for SLCPs Mitigation in Nepal
Photo: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) organized a half-day stakeholder validation workshop on the national action plan for short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) mitigation on 26 May 2017. The workshop was organized in Kathmandu to share findings and receive policy feedback for further refinement and finalization of the national action plan for SLCPs mitigation in Nepal. SLCPs are climate enforcers that have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere and a warming influence on climate. They have detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture, and ecosystems.

As the issue if SLCPs is a recent one, Nepal does not have policies that specifically address it. The Atmosphere Initiative of ICIMOD supported its regional member countries in developing a national strategic action plan for mitigating emissions of SLCPs and their precursors from different sectors to reduce negative impacts on public health, food security, and climate change. Therefore, in 2015, ICIMOD commissioned a study on policy gap analysis with a focus on SLCPs in Nepal, covering existing policy and plans related to various sources of air pollution, across different sectors. On the basis of the number of policy gaps identified in existing policies and plans, a team of consultants, through consultations with relevant stakeholders, has prepared a national strategic action plan for SLCPs mitigation to support the Government of Nepal with the support of ICIMOD.  

The action plan utilizes the standard analytical tool developed by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) under its Supporting National Action and Planning on SLCPs  (SNAP) initiative. “It estimates, for the first time in Nepal, national level SLCPs emissions under a business as usual (BAU) scenario while evaluating the likely benefits of implementing SLCP mitigation measures on climate, health, and crop yield under different mitigation policy scenarios,” said Bikash Sharma, Senior Environmental Economist, ICIMOD.

“The major mitigation measures for SLCPs are readily available technologies and methods which, if implemented effectively, will have huge potential co-benefits in terms of avoiding premature death, avoiding crop loss, and reducing global warming,” said Amrit Nakarmi, the study team leader. This requires enabling governance mechanisms though the creation of a separate SLCP and Air Quality Management Section under the Environment Management Division at the Ministry of Population and Environment to formulate, implement, and monitor policies related to air pollution and SLCPs. 

The action plan is expected to foster collaboration at the regional and national levels towards achieving the adoption of national and local policies and programmes. “We expect this will significantly improve air quality and protect public health and the environment while contributing to the mitigation of climate change, the enhancement of quality of life, and other co-benefits,” said Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD. 

The event was attended by relevant government officials, experts, and members of the Environment Protection Council, among others. Many gave policy feedback. During the event. Prabhu Budhathoki, member of the National Planning Commissions, Nepal, in his closing remarks stressed the timeliness of the study and assured his supportive role in the process of formalizing a pursuable, effective strategic action plan to mitigate emissions of priority SLCPs in the country.