Professor Dev Raj Dahal
Senior Political Scientist, Nepal

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The vertical landscape of Nepal offers different climatic zones – tundra, temperate and tropical. It classifies 255 positions in biodiversity that can serve as a basis for sustainable development. It is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. Bioclimatic variations provide reasonable economic opportunities for production diversification, ecotourism, green trade and plant-based products. The great snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas are the source of fresh water and clean energy. It is a vital public good for the survival of all living species. But 20 out of 200 Himalayan glaciers are at risk of exploding at any time.

The World Natural Disaster Index ranks Nepal as the fourth most vulnerable state in terms of ecological risk, ranking 11th in seismic risk and 13th in flood position. In this context, failing to build a partnership with nature and seek other sources to tap into to balance trade deficits other than natural resources will violate environmental protection law and only promote fragile and unbalanced progress. The climate crisis is forcing states large and small to abandon the notion of the unlimited potential for indiscriminate carbon-intensive economic growth to participate in the global economy, because more growth means more CO2 emissions causing the destruction of the environment. This involves the dissemination of modern climate-friendly technologies through global networks of industry, capital flows, research and development and even enables small state governments to facilitate monitoring and enhance accountability and transparency. in the implementation of climate adaptation plans.

The basic premise behind a nation benefiting from a open economic policy of globalization is the conviction that “the process generates employment for a large number of people, that is to say that the labor market is practically not closed and that other countries also follow the rules of its game (Acharya, 2013: 4) on sustainable development. Yet three vital political pillars of globalisation: “privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector and lower corporate taxation, paid for by cuts in public spending” (Klein, 2014: 48).

It does not care about the climate, leaving an imbalance between supply and demand and rendering service delivery in a sorry state. Market-oriented education, health and communication in Nepal, which has dichotomized the rights and privileges of citizenship into public and private, continue to destroy the emotional solidarity of netizens and citizens for national cohesion and “erode the sense of community” (Sandel, 2012: 125). rooted in ecology for its survival and progress. Improving this condition requires rethinking sustainable development and restoring Nepal’s classic ideal of fostering ecological, social, gender and intergenerational justice.

Nepal’s Survival Dynamism from the classical period of human history to the recent past is associated with the wisdom of its ecological policy of thoughtful partnership with nature. There is a deeper Nepalese folk wisdom “Green Forest, Wealth of Nepal” that raises awareness of the temptation, habit and profit of modernized elites to plunder the nation’s natural wealth endlessly and freely, producing what Garret Harding calls “the tragedy of the common”. It inflates ecological deficits, kills the self-sustaining ecosystem, and affects every aspect of the nation’s social, economic, and political institutions.

The Nepalese live in a society where the population is growing and natural resources are diminishing. People’s continued efforts to meet their survival, development and market needs are damaging the mountains, pastures, forests and water sources they depend on for their sustainable livelihoods.

Excessive fossil energy consumption, deforestation and desertification are alarming to the nation, giving rise to a dawning awareness of the relationship of the Nepalese to the vital forces of nature and the various orders of living plants, insects, birds and animals related to each other others within the cosmic web of life. It is defining an option for a common future. Nepal has accepted recommendations from various summits on climate change and has formulated adaptation plans to balance environmental and development needs. How can a symbiosis of politics, economics and ecology contribute to the security of human freedom, food and habitat? Can the environmental costs of production such as pollution, carbon emissions and the depletion of the ecosystem be integrated into its development policy so that the search for human security does not call into question the natural bases of this small state?

The mountainous regions of the Himalayas, whose environmental system and resources are very important for the densely populated Gangetic plain, are ecologically vulnerable. The region’s average temperature has increased by 1.2 degrees Celsius and could warm by 2 degrees Celsius by 2030. Overall monsoon rainfall indicates a decrease and low snow accumulation in the Himalayas.

This environmental change has brought four critical challenges to conventionally defined state-centric security: First, the effects of climate change transcend the boundaries of domestic and foreign state policy. Today, security studies require planetary awareness and its connections to various subsystems of the living and non-living world. Second, the realpolitik approach to national security planning is insufficient. Human survival requires a careful balance between awareness of human freedom and nature’s level of tolerance for it. This means that cooperation and monitoring between affected states and peoples can stem its negative fallout triggered by the corruption of human free will. Third, the risk of mutual vulnerability to climate change requires mutual security through collective action. Finally, climate change governance – both policy formulation and implementation involves a national, regional and international framework strengthened by states, non-state and transnational actors and their mutual accountability in burden sharing and policy coherence. policies.

Since environmental challenges do not care about man-made national borders, what is needed for its solution is global security. Future conflicts go beyond the limits of state-centric security if one refuses to recognize the systemic links to society, the environment and future generations.

Development based on the rational choice of the powerful reduces both the social costs to society and the ecological costs to the common Earth. Garrett Hardin argues that “freedom in a common brings ruin to all (1968)”. In such a context, small states and the weakest strata of society have to bear more risks because they have limited means to defend themselves. A development which does not recognize the limits of the exploitation of natural resources and which is not sufficiently sensitive to the system brings insecurity to all. Environmental degradation and poverty are closely linked to a complex system of causes and effects.

Without some democratic equity for all Nepalese, poverty fuels the source of insecurity and poses challenges to the environment, society, political order, stability and peace. Neither environmental challenges can be met by military means, nor solved in isolation from the rest of development policies – local, national and international, unless a balance is struck between the Earth’s thermostat-regulating ability and the self-monitoring providing for human beings. .

Deforestation of the Nepalese mountains, for example, causes flooding every year in the Terai, India and Bangladesh. State sovereignty does not provide security for people engaged in agriculture, industry and commerce. When environmental security is transnational in nature, national separation alone cannot become a rational solution. The coordination of national, regional and international policies is essential to respond to climate change. Partnering with nature in a broader sense requires considering a wide range of consequences of climate change for human livelihoods, monsoon forecast insecurity affecting agriculture, hydropower, disease pattern and subjective insecurity to face the future with confidence.

The implications of climate change also have direct and indirect effects on violent armed conflicts of different types such as human displacement, migration, inter-state wars, civil wars, conflicts between non-state groups and political instability.
Nepal has already experienced the effects of climate change in areas such as loss of Himalayan glaciers, shortage of water supply, danger of Chho Rolpa type glacial lake bursting, extreme weather events, the fragile ecosystem, urban pollution, deforestation, excessive digging of rivers, mountains and rocks for sand and stones in the hills of Churia causing soil erosion, lowering of water level, floods damaging fertile land, etc.

They erode natural shields affecting food production and supply. Vulnerable regions require a high level of resource investment in adaptation measures. Nepal’s greenhouse gas emission is low. It has considerable opportunities to attract foreign investment in the clean development mechanism project, including the development of hydropower to meet the national energy and irrigation needs and meet the electricity demand in the north of the country. India in need of energy. The participation of local citizens in green growth, the substitution of non-renewable energies by renewable energies such as solar, biogas and wind, energy savings and energy efficiency, the dematerialization of production and the Judicious use of resources for consumption can contribute to sustainable development in Nepal. A cooperative approach to development provides mutual security for rich and poor.

An entirely anthropocentric approach to development is somewhat outdated, as global climate change requires a global policy response that a small, weak state like Nepal cannot cope with alone. The survival of spacecraft Earth requires the priority of global common interests over petty and parochial interests.

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Courtesy text: Extracts from the recently published book, (2022) “Small States in a Globalized World”, by the Center for Nepalese and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal.
# The entire editorial board of telegraphnepal.com is very grateful to Nepal’s Senior Political Scientist, Prof. Dev Raj Dahal and CNAS Executive Director, Dr. Mrigendra Bahadur Karki.
# published in the greatest interest of the world public: Chief Ed.
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