Remarks by Hon. Sujata Koirala, Member of Parliament, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister at the 10th Anniversary of the Founding of International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization (IESCO) in Jinan, PR of China on March 2016.
His Excellency Dr. Jiang Mingjun, Founding Chairman of the IESCO,
Honorable Founding Members of the IESCO,
Executive Committee Members,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed a great pleasure to be amongst such distinguished and eminent persons in this beautiful and historic city of Jinan and be able to speak a few words.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our host for the kind hospitality extended to us and sincere thanks for the excellent arrangements made for this meeting.
I also take this opportunity to express my happiness and thank the General Assembly and specially Prof. Dr. Jiang Mingjun of the Global Parties Climate and Ecological Alliance (GPCEA) for appointing me as the President of the Women Affairs Committee of GPCEA.
Let me congratulate the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization on its 10th Anniversary and the successful completion of two consecutive Five Year Plans. In such a short span of time, we have witnessed how IESCO has grown as an international organization and has become an important actor worldwide. Its role in bringing together political parties, parliaments and governments of various countries towards promoting ecological safety at the international level and to achieving sustainable development is commendable. I would like to express sincere thanks to our host China for its role and contributions in enhancing the status of this organization.
The importance of the work done by IESCO cannot be overstated as we become more aware over time about the impacts a changing climate has on us individually, on our countries and globally, affecting the living standards and quality of life of peoples everywhere.
It is imperative to take note of the evolving global consensus regarding the issue of climate change and sustainable development. We are aware that for the earth to be an inhabitable place for posterity, industrialization, consumption and behavior patterns need to change.
When we talk of development, I feel that it should not be limited to economic growth and wealth generation based on the statistical aggregates of national income figures only, it should also include human development and the quality of life, which takes into account the importance of ecological sustainability.
Today with the availability of new technologies and their prospects, it is possible to depart from the traditional model of industrialization or development and build an economy that is both environmentally sustainable and increases the quality of life for its citizens. Here, I would like to underline the importance of constant cooperation from the developed world to the developing countries in the form of financial resources, as well as technological-, and knowledge transfers.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Speaking of my country Nepal, which is beset with tremendous natural beauty, spanning all climatic ranges from tropical in the plains to arctic in the Himalayas, and is blessed with immense natural wealth, the role nature plays in our daily lives is enormous. The effects of climate change, natural disasters, and ecological crises have a profound impact on all sectors of our economy and therefore on the lives and livelihoods of our peoples.
In a country as vulnerable as ours to the vicissitudes of nature, the economic development path to be sustainable cannot be haphazardly chosen. It has to be carefully planned, with appropriate plans and policies in place for mitigation, adaptation, and prevention of the negative effects of climate change, and to strike a sustainable balance between economic growth and human development in line with a green development model.
I would like to share with this distinguished audience that, Nepal has been strengthening the institutional and legal frameworks for effective protection of biodiversity since the signing of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in 1992. After Rio 1992, Nepal established the Ministry of Environment and the high level Environment Protection Council to specifically focus on environmental issues. The Environment Protection Act, and the Environment Protection Regulation Act were adopted in 1996 and 1997. Nepal has prepared and implemented guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Impact for evaluating the quality of all development projects in the country.
Nepal in 2009, formed a high-level 25 member Climate Change Council, chaired by the Prime Minister to address the growing climate change concerns. At the same time, a separate Climate Change Management Division was established under the Ministry of Environment to formalize the coordination with relevant institutions, NGOs, INGOs, academia, private sector and development actors for coordinating on climate change activities and collaborative programs.
Nepal has put in place the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) and Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPA) to address the requirements of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These strategies and action plans seek to increase community adaptive capacity through livelihood support, improved environmental resource governance, collective responses, improved service delivery, and access to green technology and finance. It adopts a watershed and landscape-level approach for addressing issues related to biodiversity loss, water scarcity, food security, disease outbreak, disasters and governance.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, I would like to draw the kind attention of this distinguished audience to the unprecedented changes and transformations of human and physical landscape. Demographic transformations, development, the emergence of new centers of economic dynamism and the growing challenges of climate change are placing the foundations of the current international system under stress. I see that the next five years will be crucial for defining and agreeing on a common vision regarding the challenges we are facing on the environmental front. More cooperation, making smart investments for the future, and adopting a comprehensive and fair international architecture that in particular addresses the issues of poverty, technology- and knowledge transfers for developing nations, and the necessity for green development in general, will set us on a more sustainable path regarding good relations amongst countries and improving the quality of life amongst our peoples.