KATHMANDU, June 5: Civil Society Organizations have urged political parties to fulfill the environment-related promises made during the 2017 parliamentary and provincial elections.
Issuing a press note on Tuesday, Climate Action Network South Asia Nepal (CANSA- Nepal) and its member organization KIRDARC and Prakriti Resources Centre (PRC) have sought accountability on the part of political parties to translate their commitments made in the election manifestos.
Their statement comes as the government recently tabled Environment Protection Bill in parliament and the bill, according to the organizations, has not addressed key issues related to the environment.
“All political parties must urgently start discussions within and among them on the bill and make sure the bill is well aligned with the commitments they have expressed in their election manifestos,” said the organizations in their joint press note issued on the eve of the World Environment Day.
The organizations said that political parties have failed to live up to their commitments to protect and conserve environment. “Environment has been accorded low priority by the parties,” said the organizations.
They have alleged that the country's political leadership takes environmental concerns as an obstacle to infrastructure development. “Environment rarely finds place in their discussions and the parties have no dedicated committees within their organizations to tackle environmental problems,” reads the press note.
In their election manifestos, the political parties had expressed commitment to develop and promote clean energy, properly manage natural resources and forest, conserve water resources, control pollution and manage solid waste. A joint manifesto of the then CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Center) promised to generate 15000 MW of electricity generation from hydro power, solar power and other renewable energy sources and conserve the Himalayan glaciers.
Nepali Congress, in its manifesto, has included plans to check air pollution in Kathmandu, reduce use of fossils fuels and enhance renewable energy production. Similarly, other political parties promised to manage natural resources and forest and develop promote clean energy.
Stating that Environment Protection bill has recently been tabled in the parliament the organizations have started that the bill is highly crucial as it determines Nepal's long term commitments to sustainable development. “All political parties must urgently start discussion within and among them on the bill and make sure the bill is well aligned with the commitments they have expressed in their election manifestos,” they stated.