Forest fires are transforming a large swathes of forests into degraded and barren land in the country every year, with the incidences found increasing in the recent years due to climate change phenomenon to some extent. Limited studies conducted on bush fires have stated that more than 95 percent of cases are due to human activities, either due to ignorance or negligence. In the recent years, the clearance of forest due to forest fires and release of harmful pollutants is observed at an increasing rate than due to deforestation in the country.
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Air pollution due to rapid urbanisation compounded by population growth and unplanned development works in the South Asian cities is affecting lives of millions of populations. The Kathmandu Valley, which is undergoing infrastructure changes including expansion of roads is witnessing severe air pollution threats, particularly during the dry season. With poor air quality monitoring and regulation, the particulate matter s, suspended and harmful gases has threatened public and at the same time degraded the local environment.
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The local communities have developed different approaches and response mechanisms to deal with different water-induced disaster including flooding in Kailali district, one of the most vulnerable districts in the country to flooding, landslide and earthquake. From life vests made up of plastic bottles to farmer-managed irrigation systems and biological embankments using bamboos and other locally available stuffs, the communities have used their traditional knowledge and expertise to deal with disasters. Unfortunately, these local efforts have neither been documented nor strengthened to help vulnerable ones with disasters.
The story can be read at http://epaper.ekantipur.com/ktpost/showtext.aspx?boxid=1364796&parentid=20831&issuedate=16122012
After successfully transferring technical expertise and experience on ‘homegrown’ bio-gas plant technology, a clean form of energy that has helped to meet the energy demands of thousands of rural populations across the country and beyond, Nepalese experts are now ready to share their knowledge on mini-micro hydro projects in relieving countries like Nepal from energy crisis and improving economic opportunities. Nepal has gained its expertise based on its more than four-decade long experience on developing micro hydel in most of the rural parts of the world and helped the poor and underprivileged communities to get access towards clean form of energy..
Every year during the monsoon season, incessant rains trigger landslides, destroying roads and sweeping away settlements while flash floods wreak havoc on communities, inundating entire villages and farmland. Property worth millions of rupees is destroyed and innumerable lives lost. What comes next is often worse. Homeless and landless, natural disaster victims are often forced to fend for themselves, living in makeshift structures, squatting on public or private land and combating hunger and disease. http://www.ekantipur.com/2012/10/11/capital/disaster-mgmt-efforts-pick-pace-in-kailali/361419.html
Plans to improve Kathmandu’s deteriorating air quality by introducing new monitoring initiatives are unlikely to bear fruit, thanks to the government laxity in assessing the level of pollution in the air that is taking an increasing toll on public health every year. http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2012/09/10/development/air-pollution-still-a-major-bugbear/239468.html
As climate-induced natural disasters like floods and droughts become more frequent, the government needs to focus on research and development of the agriculture sector to improve production, according to experts. http://ekantipur.com/2012/09/07/capital/climate-change-threatens-agri-sector-experts/359899.html