Low Carbon news in Nepal in October 2016
Nepal Calls for tech transfer to phase out HFC’s
As most countries are preparing to get rid of potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, Nepal has said it needs huge investment and technology transfer before replacing them with cleaner alternatives.
Addressing high-level negotiations in Rwanda, under the Montreal Protocol, Minister for Environment and Population Jay Dev Joshi said that it would be difficult for Nepal—a developing country and without appropriate cleaner technologies—to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a coolant used in refrigerators and air conditioners, completely.
Nepal Drains glacial lake near Mt Everest as climate change increases flood risk
Nepal has successfully drained part of a giant glacial lake near Mount Everest, averting risk of a disastrous flood that could have threatened thousands of lives, officials said Monday.
Scientists say climate change is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, creating huge glacial lakes which could burst their banks and devastate mountain communities.
Imja Tsho, located at an altitude of 5,010 metres (16,437 feet), just 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) south of the world’s highest peak, is the fastest-growing glacial lake in Nepal.
Climate Change could hurt coffee, help banana production
Nepal’s coffee growing areas are expected to decline by 2050 because of climate change but banana cultivation could flourish in the same time frame, offsetting those losses, says a new study. A team of scientists from the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) in China carried out the study recently published in the journal PLoS One(30 September), which evaluated the potential impact of climate change on Nepal’s burgeoning banana and coffee industries until the mid-century.
Climate change threatens food safety, experts warn
Agro scientists have warned that Nepal’s food safety will be under threat due to the impact of climate change which directly affects farm profit margins, and urged all stakeholders to strengthen efforts to improve technology-intensive agricultural practices.
Nepal has the potential to become self-sufficient in food and even export it, but the sector is hampered by lack of technology, quality inputs and infrastructure, they said.
“Rice consumption in Nepal has doubled to 3.7 million tonnes in the last two decades, and it is growing,” said Abdelbagi M Ismail, a visiting principal scientist from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, the Philippines.
He was speaking at the second review workshop of the USAID-funded project entitled Accelerating the Adoption of Stress-Tolerant Rice Varieties by Smallholder Farmers in Nepal and Cambodia (ASTV) on Monday.
The US government has implemented the Feed the Future Initiative, a project aimed at addressing global hunger and food insecurity, in 22 districts in the Eastern, Western, Mid-Western and Far-Western regions. IRRI is technically supporting the project.
Monsoon Completely withdraws from Nepal
Forecasting Division (MFD) has officially announced the end of this year’s monsoon in Nepal which had entered the country on July 15. The monsoon of 2016, which had already withdrawn from the western and central region of Nepal on October 12, has completely withdrawn from the remaining parts of the country on October 16, according to a press statement issued on Sunday by MFD which falls under the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM).
Nepal is showing the way on climate change
Nepal’s domestic electricity production is 100 percent hydropower-based and therefore 100 percent renewable. Independent power producers have responded to incentives for small and medium hydro power and have flourished thanks to the willingness of local banks to provide credit. As a result, the country’s chronic power shortages and import of coal-generated power from India are both expected to come to an end starting in 2018. Kathmandu also has a sizable and growing fraction of electric vehicles and motorbikes on its streets—perhaps the highest percentage of any city of earth. Given the increase in population and the growing air quality concerns in the city, this is a welcome development that must continue to spread. Importers of petrol and diesel vehicles actively work to slow adoption of additional EV use in Kathmandu, but the recent blockade of goods crossing the India-Nepal border has impressed on many Nepalis the need to be more independent of petroleum imports, and EV’s are seen as one important avenue.
NEA, AEPC join hands to develop renewable power
The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and the Nepal Electricity Authority have agreed to promote, develop and strengthen mini- and micro-hydropower projects in rural areas to improve people’s access to renewable energy.
As per the agreement signed on Thursday, the AEPC and the NEA will coordinate to develop at least ten mini-hydroelectricity plants with installed capacity above 100 kilowatts each as pilot projects in remote districts in an effort to make electricity available to all.
The two agencies will work jointly to strengthen the development and promotion of various other renewable energy sources including solar, wind and bio-gas in rural areas that are yet to be connected to the national grid.
10600 ICS built in Sindhuli, reduce in gender based violence
Under the Nepal Government program “Smoke free house” 10679 improved cook stoves has been built in Sindhuli district. It helped to reduce the impact on human health and also deforestation of an area.
As per the Energy and Environment unit of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), which is supporting the local organizations to build the ICS, the program is still under implementation but until now 9424 mud-ICS and 1255 metallic-ICS has been built. Initially AEPC targeted to build 5000 ICS in this fiscal year but they only succeed to build 2892 ICS but the whole program impact is bigger in the district.
The result is satisfactory in those VDC’s (Village Development Committee) where the local government has implemented Environment Friendly Local Governance (EFLG) project. The VDC’s with EFLG are Bhadrakali, Bhimsthan, Dadiguranse, Bitijor and Bhuwanesori.
Nepal to take a loan of Rs. 2 billion from World Bank
Ministry of Forests have decided to take a loan of 18 million USD from World Bank under the program of REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation). The decision came after the cabinet endorses the Paris Agreement which clearly mentions that developing nation should be granted for free. The expected loan will be for 40 years under the Forest Investment Program of the bank.
Civil society and stakeholders are unsatisfied about the bank and government decision in this pact. They accused bank for forcing the government to take the loan under certain circumstances. Bank promised the government that if they agree in this loan agreement then they will further grant 6 million USD as a grant not loan.
During the high level mission of the World Bank, they stated that if government decides to take a loan of 1.92 billion rupees then they will offer a 10 year interest waiver, the head of the REDD program Dr. Sindhu Prasad Dhungana stated.