Eco-friendly local governance soon

Ministries and stakeholders have started discussions on the Environment Friendly Local Governance Framework 2013, which the Cabinet approved on October 9, in a bid to implement it in all local bodies from the current fiscal.

Officials of the National Planning Commission, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), Ministry of Science‚ Technology and Environment‚ Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation‚ Ministry of Land Reforms, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Urban Development are ways to implement the programme in a coordinated manner, according to the MoFALD, the major implementing body. “The comprehensive meeting that began today will make a pledge tomorrow to implement the framework,” officials said.

It is an integrated policy that aims to encourage local bodies and people to protect the environment and the improve sanitation situation. It covers waste management, environment protection, climate change, disaster risk management and local governance issues.

The guideline envisages keeping households‚ toilets‚ wards‚ villages, and urban areas neat and clean. It has also provisioned basic, improved and special indicators along with local investment in the environment sector. The major indicators are a toilet with a pan, waste segregation (organic, plastic, general and hazards) at home, washing hands with soap, energy saving technologies, use of alternative energy, harvesting rainwater or groundwater recharging at the household level, planting at least two big plants and flowers, and stool management of pet dogs.

“The framework will be implemented in coordination with line ministries, including agriculture and home,” said Sumitra Amatya, executive director at the Solid Waste Management Technical Support Centre. “We are also one of the stakeholders tasked with implementing the framework,” said Amatya, who is one of the participants at the meeting.

Rural road projects and haphazard use of plastics are major threats to the environment and sanitation at the local level. The country saw the construction and operation of roads with a total length of 51‚000 km after the restoration of democracy in 1990‚ according to MoFALD. Moreover‚ there is a 12‚000-km strategic road network under the Department of Roads across the country.

source: Himalayan Times, 18 Feb 2014

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