By Suman Udas
The two day clean air summit ended with the draft of concrete action plan to address the air pollution of Kathmandu valley. Six thematic groups have been highlighted in the action plan:
- The first thematic group is” Knowledge Sharing”. It was decided that CANN should strongly coordinate the knowledge management on the Air Quality Related studies and researches; and would collect information from all other stakeholders working on the issue and would also disseminate to all the stakeholders.
- The second thematic group is “Awareness” which would include the actions like awareness to the drivers and passengers; promoting the Eco-driving; and using mass-media as a promotional tool. Also, mobilizing the local groups to address the issue at grass-root level and also generating the awareness sector-wise would be the part of this thematic group.
- The third thematic group is “Policy” in which it was decided that the action plan would work to point out the lacking on existing policy, give expert advice to the government officials for policy reviewing, policy advocacy and communicate the public suggestions to the government.
- The fourth thematic group is “research”. Since, Nepal lacks adequate scientific research in Air Quality Research, it was decided that the plan will work to promote the research in Nepal in collaborative form and also promote academic institution driven researches.
- The fifth thematic group is “Strengthening the CANN Networking” which would include regular follow-ups and organize regular meetings.
- The sixth and the most crucial thematic group is “Budget financing sources and Mechanism” in which various sources of funding and investments were identified and potential mechanisms were discussed.
“Clean Air Summit” was organized on 1st and 2nd November, 2010 at Staff College in Lalitpur. The summit was organized by Clean Energy Nepal and Clean Air Network Nepal. The summit was divided into two days: the first day was devoted to identifying the various issues of Air Quality while the second day focused on drafting the action plan. The first day was again divided into four sessions, viz Government initiations, Civil Society Voice, Voice of Academia and finally, issue identification and prioritization of issues.
In the first session, Mrs. Sushma Upadhyay from Ministry of Environment presented on “Initiatives of MoE”. Then, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Physical Planning and Works, Mr. Kamal Pande presented on the forthcoming “Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport (KSUT) project” which was followed by presentation on “Kathmandu-Bhaktapur extension road” Construction project by Mr. Ram Prasad Pathak, GESU Unit Chief of Department of Roads (DOR). Finally, DSP Basanta Panta, Metropolitan Traffic Police presented on “Traffic Management in Kathmandu Valley: Present Challenges and Management”. The floor was opened for discussion at the end of session.
The second session started with the presentation on “Local case study of Kathmandu valley” by Mr. Gopal Raj Joshi which was followed by the presentation on “VSBK: challenges, benefits and possibilities” by Mr. Suyash Prajapati, VSBK. After that, Ms. Anjila manandhar presented on the “Air quality monitoring in 6 monitoring stations in Kathmandu valley” and shared the results of recent Air Quality Monitoring Study supported by fk Norway, The Hk polytechnic University, CEN and CANN. It was followed by the sharing-presentation of “Walkability in Kathmandu” by Ms. Charina Cabrido. Mr. Meghnath dhimal from NHRC, shared about the 2006 study done by NHRC on health impacts of Air Pollution. Mr. Bijay Man Sherchan, Chairman of NEVI Trade link Pvt. Ltd. discussed about the relevance of Electric Transport in Nepal and also showcased the recently launched models of Electric Vehicles. Finally Ms. Charina Cabrido again shared the results of “Nepal Clean air scorecard” and concluded that Nepal’s position was very disappointing in the analysis.
In the third session which was “Voice of Academia” session, Mrs. Rejina Maskey Byangi presented on the research status of Air Quality Related Researches in Nepal and highlighted the challenges and potentialities of CDES, TU. After third session, the floor was opened for discussion in which different issues on air pollution and transport sector were prioritized.
The second day of the summit started from with the discussion among stakeholders for formulation of action plan focusing on issues identified and prioritized on the day one. The second day ended with the drafting of concrete action plan under the agreement with all the stakeholders. Overall, the summit was successful in bringing the entire concerned stakeholder to single platform for identification and prioritization of air related issues, to formulate the concrete action plan to address air pollution of Kathmandu and the summit was also successful in opening the door cooperation among all the stakeholders and members of CANN.
The main objective of the summit was to bring all the government officials, stakeholders, media and concerned individuals working for clean air in one forum, in order to devise a better coordination among them and to develop a realistic and time bounding action plan.