New nat’l forest policy to empower local govts to combat climate change

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 22, 2018-

The new National Forest Policy envisages empowering all levels of government, particularly local units, to deal with the impacts of climate change.

The policy that is being drawn up to fit the federal set-up has made climate change one of its top priorities, according to Ishwari Prasad Poudel, spokesperson for the Department of Forests (DoF). 

“The draft policy has included many sectors related to overall environment, forest and climate change, which is a major threat to our country,” said Poudel. “The policy will guide central government and also local levels in taking actions to mitigate climate change.”

 The policy will act as a framework to guide all levels of government in designing their own action plans and policies for combating the impacts of climate change. 

The new policy, which will replace the extant National Forest Policy-2015, has incorporated wide range of issues to help local communities better cope with adverse impacts of climate change, according to Poudel. 

“Previous policies were not as clear on climate change. They had not covered broader areas relating to climate change. The upcoming 

policy aims to address the issue of climate change by including all international treaties on climate change,” said Poudel. 

The new policy has proposed a provision in which all forestry related programmes must include measures on climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Other key feature of the policy is introducing programmes to increase the resilience of the vulnerable communities while arranging technology and resources for better handling of climate change problems . 

“We believe this policy will serve as framework for local levels, which is suffering the most due to changing climate. Based on larger themes, local level can draft their own programmes and actions for preparing themselves against climate change,” said Poudel. 

The policy also aims to control carbon emission and discourage deforestation and forest fire, as well as identifying specific risks of particular communities and utilising the indigenous knowledge and skills in addressing the problems. 

Various studies have rated Nepal as one of the most vulnerable countries of the world in terms of adverse impacts of climate change.  

Published: 22-01-2018 07:30

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