From the President

  • Published Date : February 4, 2021

Kosmos Biswokarma

New Year, new spirit!

The year 2021 began on a positive note. Hit hard by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the overall activities of the people got badly affected last year, with almost no activities that would lift the spirit of the people in general. The pandemic not only impacted the travel around the world, but also had negative impact on the issues of environment and sustainable development which we at NEFEJ continue to work on.

However, with the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President and the Vice-President of the United States of America on January 20, a positive vibe has been enthused on those working towards achieving the goals set by the Paris Agreement on climate change. It has been five years since the historic agreement reached in Paris to reduce the greenhouse emissions and limit the rise in global temperature not exceeding 1.5 degree Celsius. The Biden administration’s immediate decision to get back to the climate change deal, which the previous Trump administration had backed out from, has given a new lease of life to the all-important deal as the US has one of the biggest stakes on the issue. It is, however, yet to be seen how the US would commit itself in reducing the carbon emissions in the days ahead. But, at least, some hopes definitely have risen on a positive note.

And, more importantly, the United Nations too is said to be shifting its focus from Covid-19 to climate change. “The state of the planet is broken,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said in his speech on December 2, adding that the “central objective of the United Nations for 2021 is to build a truly global coalition for carbon neutrality.”

Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the signatories have failed to meet the goal of reducing the carbon emissions. Instead, it is reported that the emissions have increased since then with many incidents of its impact like floods, landslides, drought, etc. increasing significantly in recent years.

As one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of impact of climate change, Nepal too has faced significant increase in impacts of changing climate. However, the government here is yet to realize the importance of addressing the issue. It is important more than ever that we realize the fact that climate change would bring massive damages in the coming years. Hence, we need to work towards adaptation and mitigation of these impacts.

Though the Nepal government has approved the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that set out Nepal’s commitment towards minimizing the impact of climate change and work towards achieving the goal of net-zero emissions and a resilient economy, a lot needs to be done to realize this goal. But going by the working style of the government, we can hardly believe that it would make any impact as it has been taking decisions against the goals set in the NDCs.

However, we at NEFEJ would continue to get engaged in informing the masses about the impact of climate change, as one all important aspect is to educate the masses. Climate change communication has become very important now and we at NEFEJ continue to work towards creating awareness on the issue. We not only highlight the issues through our medium of communication – Aankhijhyal, a weekly video magazine, Radio Sagarmatha and – but also hold workshops, train journalists, encourage them to write and produce stories on climate change and take them on field visits.

No doubt that the year 2020 was totally impacted by Covid-19 pandemic, but with the advent of vaccines, we should keep our spirit high that this year would be a lot better – both in terms of our personal health as well as the health of our society, the nation and the world at large. Until next time.