Climate change poses challenges for Nepal, finance minister calls for Global attention

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat took the stage at the 7th Assembly of the World Environment Fund, shedding light on Nepal’s pivotal role as a significant water source for over a billion individuals across South Asia.

He underlined Nepal’s achievement in dedicating 45% of its total land area to forests, thereby ensuring a pristine oxygen flow that benefits the global human community.

Dr. Mahat spotlighted Nepal’s commendable strides in the realms of biodiversity and environmental preservation, which have yielded safeguards for endangered species and wildlife. This diligent effort has resulted in remarkable boosts to the populations of tigers and rhinoceroses.

He also emphasized the global significance of Nepal’s forests and natural resources, signifying them not merely as domestic assets but as shared global treasures.

Drawing attention to the mounting threats posed by climate change, the Finance Minister flagged Nepal as the world’s 10th most susceptible nation to its impacts. Recent times have witnessed surges in floods, prolonged droughts, and even glacial eruptions.

Anticipating a temperature rise of 0.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius by 2030, Dr. Mahat estimated a potential investment requirement exceeding $50 billion by 2050 to tackle the ensuing consequences. He passionately called for heightened global awareness and concerted support in addressing these pressing challenges.

Delving into Nepal’s proactive endeavors in environmental conservation, the Minister underscored the Climate Fund’s managed initiatives. He emphasized the indispensability of cohesive action to grapple with the multifaceted repercussions of climate change.

Dr. Mahat sought backing from diverse international entities, including the Global Biodiversity Fund and the United Nations Development Programme.

Additionally, he proposed exploring the concept of “Debt to Nature Swaps” to secure supplementary resources through efficient management of Nepal’s natural assets and the innovative implementation of investment tools.

Expressing appreciation for Nepal’s robust strides in biodiversity and environmental preservation, Dr. Mahat advocated for targeted programs under the aegis of the Environment Conservation Fund.

These programs would play a pivotal role in the creation of eco-friendly infrastructure, elevation of local communities’ living standards, and fortification of environmental sustainability.

Wrapping up his address, Dr. Mahat highlighted Nepal’s remarkable contributions to forest, wildlife conservation, and environmental protection. These efforts have garnered recognition and endorsement from diverse international leaders and organizations.

With a heartfelt expression of gratitude for global cooperation, he urged for continued support and collaboration to effectively combat the challenges presented by climate change.

Concurrently, at the event, Dr. Mahat was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the 7th Assembly of the World Environment Fund. During the assembly, he actively engaged in dialogues with leaders of various international organizations and delegates from 83 countries. The event concluded with a notable address by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday August 27, 2023, 04:48:47 PM |

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