“We WILL Play Coordinating Role”

<br><EM>Dr. GANESH RAJ JOSHI</EM>

Oct. 11, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-09 Oct. -08-2010(Ashwin 22, 2067)
After the approval of NAPA by the cabinet, Nepal has completed the first important task to seek international support for its climate change projects. In this context, Dr. GANESH RAJ JOSHI, secretary to the Ministry of Environment, spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on various issues regarding the NAPA process. Excerpts:

Since we have been talking about NAPA for a long time and Nepal has finally prepared the document, what difference does that make now?
NAPA is very important for Nepal as it has identified projects and action plans for immediate implementation in vulnerable areas. Now we need to manage finance for those projects, areas and regions.

From the very beginning, everyone talked about the question of ownership. After approval by the cabinet, who owns this document now?
Following the approval of the NAPA document by the cabinet, it is Nepal’s national document.

What will be the role of the Ministry of Environment now?
In the process of its implementation, the Ministry of Environment is a coordinating agency. We are implementing a few projects that may be implemented by the Ministry of Environment itself. But, a majority of the projects and programs will be implemented by concerned ministries and some projects may be implemented by private sector and others by NGOs, INGOs and civil society. Implementation agencies will be as per the size and nature of the projects. Ministry of Environment is not a major implementing agency. We just play a coordinating role.

What is the state of financing?
A lot of finance is coming and the flow is good. We need resources for the implementation of 43 immediate action plans. Among them, some projects need urgent implementation. If we have limited fund and they ask for priorities projects, we want to implement Churia Integrated project and there will be the program for forest, bio-diversity and agriculture, watershed management, disasters. Agricultural projects are needed in vulnerable districts of far west and mid-west. There are 9 vulnerable districts. For those food deficit and at risk food security districts, we need to protect local beans and crops varieties.  There are some local crop varieties which have higher crop productivity.

What do you want to say about the NAPA document?
We have prepared a very good NAPA document. It covers all the sectors and cross cutting areas. Now we can request Nepal’s development partners to make finances available in order to implement the projects in the concerned areas and sectors. Now we can question Nepal’s donor partners that you have pledged for this. Probably, what we can do now is policy coordination as in National Planning Commission. We need to have this kind of project. Even in the implementation of Agricultural Perspective Plan, I realized the need to have such a unit for policy coordination. Since the sole responsibility of implementation of APP is given to the Ministry of Agriculture, no other line ministry takes any responsibilities. In the name of agriculture road, there were extensive road constructions. The concept behind agriculture road is that it should link productive areas to the market. Aim of such road is to fetch fertilizer and return agriculture products. This is for two way flows.

How do you see the commitments?
UNDP, DFID, and Danida have already expressed commitment for NAPA and we will request others, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, to follow NAPA while in the process of development of resilience projects.

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