Finland supported the Strengthening of Environmental Administration and Management at Local Level (SEAM-N) showed how to secure clean environment with a Lesson from Local level environmental administration to national policies.
According a press release issued by Embassy of Finland, the project handing over ceremony was organized on 17th December 2014 and on behalf of the government of Finland Ambassador of Finland to Nepal Asko Luukkainen handed over all the project assets and technical reports to the Government of Nepal.
The Strengthening of Environmental Administration and Management at Local Level (SEAM-N)), is a bilateral project between the government of Finland and Nepal began in 2002. Since then, the local administration authorities in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal have been supported in establishment of an efficient environmental administration, monitoring and enforcement system. Ultimately practices of environmentally sustainable development have been integrated into decentralized administration in Nepal. The total budget support for the I, II and completion phase (2002-2014) was about 11.3 million Euros.
SEAM-N has been very active in raising environmental awareness among a number of stakeholder groups, ranging from industrialists of different scales, local government authorities to school teachers and students as well as urban and rural citizens.
SEAM-N has worked in close cooperation with district authorities in Panchthar, Ilam, Jhapa, Dhankuta, Morang and Sunsari districts. Some of these districts have major environmental problems due to large industries. Some of these districts have become the champions of environmental administration in Nepal.
Key achievements include the establishment of a green city (Ilam), strengthening tea cooperative for organic farming and certification, mass awareness programs on safe use of pesticides and benefits of organic farming, supporting industries for Waste Water pre-Treatment and Waste Audit and implementation of integrated environmental management concept in the region. The project has successfully established a regional Environmental Service Centre (ENSC) in Biratnagar.
Finland believes that substantial measures in pollution control and sustainable environmental management are questionable until the enforcement of environmental legislation and regulations is in place, on the one hand, and financial instruments are available, on the other. While situation in the legislation is satisfactory, much remains to be done to enhance financial instruments for the protection of environment.
Recently the Government of Nepal has taken a major step to establish environmental sections in all the DDC in Nepal. The next challenge is that the officials of newly established environmental sections of all 75 DDC’s in Nepal are trained properly. This is a precondition to the implementation of the Environmentally Friendly Local Governance (EFLG) concept. This concept is the flagship of the Ministry of Local Government and Federal Affairs, which aims to implement the concept throughout the nation.
Environmental Service Centre (ENSC) need to be developed to be a full-fledged Environmental Service Center with laboratory and expert service including Information management and dissemination system in place. MOFALD environmental library, Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network (EMIN), all databases, guidelines, manuals, research papers and other SEAM-publications placed under Enviro-Nepal web (http://www.enviro-nepal.com) need to be maintained and enriched. Environmental Monitoring Indicator Network (EMIN) need to be continued to show way forward towards establishment of National Environmental Information System (NEIS) in Nepal.