JUL 23 2011 – At a time when the urbanization process has accelerated at an exponential rate threatening the quality of city life, the government in support with the concerned stakeholders is conducting a study on vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning in Kathmandu this year.
Nepal has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to impacts of climate change and is a country with one of the highest rates of urbanisation, the linkage between cities and climate change is a critical issue, according to experts.
The government record shows that urbanisation is growing at the rate of 6.44 percent every year. It has been estimated that the country’s urban population will reach 25 percent by 2015 and 50 percent by 2025, according to Suresh Prasad Acharya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works.
Nepal being one of the countries with the highest urbanisation rate, it is high time that we discussed on adaptation and mitigation methodology including urban planning and legislation to impacts of climate change, said Bhusan Tuladhar, technical chief at UN-HABITAT Nepal, office.
Kathmandu Valley is facing a series of problems like waste management, sanitation and growing slum areas due to the lack of urban planning strategies and legal framework.
The new study being undertaken under UN-HABITAT’s Cities and Climate Change Initiative will help understand and address the linkages between climate change and urban development in Kathmandu, particularly relating to water management, Tuladhar said.
Though the government has adopted a National Urban Policy for the balanced national structure, healthy and economically vibrant urban environment and effective urban management since 2008, it is not effectively implemented as the urban environment is found significantly deteriorating.