Green shoots in 2014

The year 2014 saw Nepal garnering international attention for its efforts in the REDD plus programme. This year also saw the Chure Region being declared an ecological conservation area

Pragati Shahi

REDD plus 2014
In 2014, Nepal was one of the four developing countries in the world celebrated for promoting forest conservation by controlling deforestation and degradation. It was also held up as an example of how a country could plan to profit off forest carbon stocks while playing a role in mitigating the impacts of climate change.
This was a significant achievement for a country working to institutionalise Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD plus), a carbon-reduction mechanism endorsed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. REDD plus aims to help developing countries get funds from developed countries for sustainably managing forests.
Nepal’s being chosen as a shining example came about as a result of its submitting the Emissions Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9). The meeting, which approved the submission, was organised by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, under the World Bank, in April this year.
With the approval, Nepal is eligible to access additional financial resources of up to USD 70 million (Rs 700 million) to work on REDD plus schemes, which have been undertaken since 2005.
 According to Krishna Prasad Acharya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, the focal agency that works on the REDD plus scheme, the approval of the project idea has opened new frontiers for Nepal. It will help in contributing towards the government’s attempts to institutionalise and help enter carbon markets; it will also help with accessing carbon credits for forest conservation in the country and at the same time improve the livelihoods of the local communities who are protecting the forests.
Globally, deforestation and forest degradation are considered major drivers of gas emissions, which exacerbate global warming. In Nepal, the deforestation rate is considered to be 1.3 percent per annum, with the Tarai region witnessing 1.7 percent on average. As per the REDD plus scheme, developing countries like Nepal are eligible to access international funds for their efforts in forest conservation, enhancement of forest stocks and controlling deforestation and degradation along with sustainable management of forests. The funds will be provided by the industrialised countries responsible for climate change.

Environment

Chure conservation 2014

A cabinet meeting held on June 17 decided to declare Chure as an ecological conservation area

- Pragati Shahi

Foul air, filthy water

Politicians need to show that the country is liveable, and not just one in which they happen to live in. Air and water quality is no less important than federal boundaries

- Gagan Thapa & Kashish Das Shrestha

The polity

Faking democracy

The past year has simply been a continuation of political party posturing, individual political ambitions and manoeuvrings, (un)diplomatic interventions, and flawed solutions proffered by the all-important foreign aid sector

- SEIRA TAMANG

Diplomacy

Beyond the borders

Nepal successfully hosted international political leaders and a regional summit this year. But if the country is to exploit the rise of India and China, it needs to set straight its foreign policy priorities

- Anil Giri

The law

Code equality

In 2015, the new civil and criminal codes have a chance to create history by ending laws discriminatory to women and gender minorities. Sadly, the bills seem like poor amendments of the Muluki Ain that they seek to replace

- Weena Pun

Disaster

Reassessing a year of disasters

The year 2014 was plagued by disasters that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives

- Prateebha Tuladhar

Entrepreneurship

Startup nation

A whole host of entrepreneurs are finding market niches to explore

- Shibani Pandey

Infrastructure

A liveable metropolis

Pre-Saarc, the Capital received a makeover. But will these changes be preserved and will infrastructure development continue at the same, rapid pace?

- Samik Kharel

Headliners

NEWSMAKERS 2014

They were in the limelight, for reasons right or wrong

Med schools

An industry run amok

The medical education sector was plagued by politicking and scandals in 2014.

- MANISH GAUTAM

Interview

A portrait of the artist

Sushma Joshi is a writer and filmmaker. Her book of short stories, ‘The End of the World’, was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award in 2009. Her second book, ‘The Prediction’, was published in 2014. A novel is forthcoming. She has a BA in International Relations from Brown University, and an MA in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research. She runs Sansar Media, a publishing and film production company. The Post spoke to Joshi about her career as a writer and Nepali writings in English.

- Sushma Joshi