Policy Level Interventions to Improve Brick Industry in Nepal

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Photo credit: Jitendra Bajracharya/ICIMOD

A national consultation workshop titled Brick Sector in Nepal–National Strategic Policy Actions was organized on 26 May 2017 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop was part of Policy and Advocacy Network (PAN), under the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Brick Production Initiative, for which the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is the lead implementer in Asia. The event was jointly organized by ICIMOD, the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI), and MinErgy Pvt Ltd.

The purpose of the workshop was to present a compiled report and to seek input from concerned institutions to further refine it. The document intends to provide decision makers necessary tools and information for effective policy formulation and policy implementation to transform the brick-making sector.  

In his welcome remarks, David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, said, “One of the components of this initiative is policy and advocacy network. This is where this workshop comes in … exploring how to reach out to policy with regard to brick kilns.” Explaining the objective of the network, he said that one of the components of the Clean Brick Kiln Initiative is to raise awareness with the Government of Nepal and among sub-national entities, and to provide decision makers with information and programmatic support related to cleaner policy frameworks to improve brick kiln conditions and operations. 

At the workshop, a team presented a report prepared in collaboration with and drawing from consultations with different countries under the guidance of the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI), MinErgy, and ICIMOD. Those present gave feedback, which will be incorporated into the finalized report. A former Secretary of  the Government of Nepal, Krishna Gyawali, team leader of the report preparation team, said that the report will help decision makers pursue policy and budget financing actions, as well as advance meaningful development, both in the implementation and the enforcement of regulations to reduce emissions related to brick production. 

The Programme’s Guest of Honour, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Population and Environment (MOPE), Narayan Timilsina, in his opening remarks, commended the workshop participants on their contributions to finalizing the report and requested the representatives of all departments and organizations to take ownership of the document. He also highlighted the need to explore alternative building materials, other than bricks, in Nepal. 

Vice President of the Federation of Nepal Cottage & Small Industries (FNCSI), Mohan Katuwal, said that brick kilns play an important role in the field of development and are considered an important industry in Nepal. He urged the government to strengthen the implementation of existing policies.

“The brick industry is often regarded as an unorganized sector. The development of the national strategic policy in Nepal is an indicator of our agreement to bring about positive changes and organize things within the industry. This will help us set and define rules for smooth operation of the industry,” said President of the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries, Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar. 

The workshop was attended by officials and representatives from several government ministries and departments. These included the Ministry of Population and Environment, the Department of Cottage and Small Industries, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MOFALD), the Department of Irrigation (DOI), the Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MOLRM), and the Department of Environment (DOEnv).  Also present were representatives of the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries, the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI), MinErgy, and brick entrepreneurs, development partners, experts, and other stakeholders.

“Other regional member countries of ICIMOD like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have similar concerns regarding their brick industries. The support received from FNBI to help change the scenario of brick kilns is commendable,” said Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Programme Coordinator of ICIMOD’s Clean Brick Kiln Initiative.