10 Feb 2012
Knowledge products on environment,energy and climate change launched
9 Feb, Kathmandu: A new knowledge product; Decentralized Energy Access and the Millennium Development Goals was launched jointly by the Minister of Environment Hem Raj Tated, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Deependra Kshetri and UNDP Country Director Shoko Noda, during the ‘Knowledge Sharing Event for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Knowledge Products,’ organized by the Government of Nepal and UNDP.
Simultaneously three other important publications; The Future for Climate Finance in Nepal, Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review and Economic Analysis of Local Government Investment in Rural Roads in Nepal, were launched on the same occasion attended by donors, senior government officials and I/NGOs.
“Clean, reliable and affordable modern energy services are pre requisites for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said the Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission.
Focusing on Climate Change issues, Minister of Environment Hem Raj Tated said, “Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to impacts from climate change. The nature of the climate threats differ according to the locations due to its different geography and require specific understanding and solutions. The Government of Nepal is committed to address the emerging issues on climate change but at the same time financing climate change development needs is equally challenging.”
The event also highlighted the need of integrating pro-poor climate and environmental concerns into development planning and economic-decision making. In the context of Nepal, road constructions have used heavy equipments which have been often environmentally damaging resulting in landslides and soil erosion. The UNDP Poverty Environment Initiative study undertaken aims to integrate the rural infrastructure issues for better planning and budgeting at the national and local level.
The Government of Nepal through the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) of the Ministry of Environment has been giving high priority to the promotion of rural and renewable energy technologies. The difficult topography of the country, lack of road access and the general poverty of rural people have led to a search for least-cost methods for incrementally improving energy access. Renewable energy technologies (RETs) such as micro-hydropower, improved water mills, solar home systems and household biogas have provided reliable and cost effective energy services to hundreds of thousands of rural Nepalese households.
Launching the report, UNDP Country Director Shoko Noda said, “It is important that the Government and all development partners foster a closer collaboration to further expand the dialogue, consultation and share their knowledge on energy, environment and climate change in a harmonized manner to influence policies for benefitting the rural poor communities.”
Despite enormous hydropower potential, more than 80 percent of total energy consumption is from traditional biomass in Nepal. Only 12 percent of energy consumption comes from commercial energy sources, such as petroleum and electricity, and electricity represents nearly 2 percent of the total energy consumption. Only about 56 percent of population has access to electricity, including both on-grid and off-grid. The urban areas have better access to electricity relative to rural areas (93 percent versus 49 percent). About two-thirds of households use firewood as their main source of fuel for cooking. The heavy reliance on such traditional fuels for cooking has a negative impact on the surrounding environment, the family health due to indoor air pollution, and poses additional burdens on women who are tasked to gather the fuel.
UNDP has had a fruitful partnership with the Government’s Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) and also the World Bank, to bring modern forms of energy including electricity to over 50,000 households of rural Nepal that would not have been connected with the national grid anytime soon. By the end of 2012, the UNDP Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihoods (RERL) Programme will have supported the communities to install and operate about 450 micro hydropower plants generating 10 megawatt electricity and benefitting over 100,000 households all over Nepal.
For more information on the publication;
Decentralized Energy Access and the Millennium Development Goals: http://www.undp.org.np/uploads/publication/UNDP-Decentralized-Energy-Access-and-MDGs-book_20120209103333.pdf
The Future for Climate Finance in Nepal:http://www.npc.gov.np/uploads/publications/2012011212345.pdf
Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review:http://www.npc.gov.np/uploads/publications/2012011212346.pdf
Economic Analysis of Local Government Investment in Rural Roads in Nepal: http://www.lgcdp.gov.np/home/pdf/RuralRoadReport.pdf