Nepal’s Finance Minister elected as Vice-Chair of Global Environment Facility

Republic of Panama proposed his candidacy for the post and it was backed by the Netherlands, according to the Finance Minister's Secretariat.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has been elected the Vice Chair of Global Environment Facility (GEF) by a plenary session held under the ongoing Seventh GEF Assembly in Canada. Republic of Panama proposed his candidacy for the post and it was backed by the Netherlands, according to the Finance Minister’s Secretariat. The Assembly that kicked off on August 22 will conclude on August 26.

Addressing the Assembly, Mahat said: “Nepal has protected 45 percent of forest of its total land and contributed to the emission of clean air (oxygen) for the entire human community.”  Such contribution is significant in terms of managing the sources of water for over one billion population in South Asia, he said, adding that Nepal is honestly engaged in efforts to preserve biodiversity protecting rare and endangered wildlife and species.

According to the Minister, despite efforts, Nepal remains highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. It is the 10th most vulnerable nation to such hazards and it continues to witness incidences of landslides, flooding, partial rainfall, dryness, and the increased threat of glacial lake outbursts in recent times. The Finance Minister drew the attention of the participants that the country will require more than 50 billion USD until 2050 to combat the impact and adverse effects from temperature rise. Stressing on the need of effective implementation of programs run through climate financing, he urged for focusing resources, including the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, endorsed by the very Assembly towards the highly-affected countries.

Only expanding the Fund is not going to be effective until it is implemented in an integrated way, the Finance Minister said. Representing the countries at high risk of climate change, Mahat stressed on the need to invest the fund to bring positive change in the living standard of the local people and to enhance the quality of investment project. According to him, environmental sustainability cannot be achieved until and unless significant investment is made in human development sector. Emphasizing on the need of executing the programs of the Environment Fund through the national system, he called for including concrete and identifiable activities in the project and direct the investment in the major activities of the project.