3 May, 2013
Housing sector has a significant contribution to urban economies in cities. 18% of total urban employment in Nepal is said to be contributed by construction industries. On the demand side there will be need of an additional 1 million urban houses in the decade of 2011 to shelter urban population. To meet this demand with the conventional building practices will contribute notoriously to pollution and climate change factors. Nepalese cities are facing challenges in water scarcity, waste management and environmental pollution. Growing climate variability is also likely to exacerbate pressure on the urban services. To enhance sustainability and adapting climate change impacts, it is imperative to include eco-friendly practices and to curb the energy consumption in the housing sector – both embodied in construction materials as well as operational.
Under the Switch Asia call of European Union, the programme aims to fulfil the increasing demand for goods and services ultimately reducing exploitation of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants. The programme works on the ground, with producers and consumers, mainly among Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and consumer groups in Asia to achieve this objective.
To respond to such a situation, UN-Habitat and partners (IHS, ENPHO, CEN, SLTDC and FNCCI) has launched Green Homes: Promoting Sustainable Housing in Nepal (2013-15). This project is funded by European Union under SWITCH Asia call for Sustainable Consumption and Production. This three-year project will invest Euro 1,015,525 and will be implemented primarily in three cities of Nepal viz Lalitpur, Pokhara and Dharan with wider impact to other municipalities. Presenting the overview of the project Mr. Padma Sunder Joshi, Habitat Programme Manager for Nepal highlighted the scope of the project. Green Homes incorporates five major areas- green building, passive solar design, energy efficiency, water conservation and sustainable management of waste and waste water at household level.
Mr. Kishore Thapa, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development thanked European Union for their generous and continued support and UN-Habitat and partners to take up this important development agenda which will help the government to address one of the important issues incorporated in the National Shelter Policy, 2012. Offering his support to the project implementation the secretary expressed his satisfaction to UN-Habitat bringing up this green agenda and look forward the best practices that comes out from this project to be mainstreamed in the urban development.
Speaking in the Launching programme, Dr. Alexander Spachis, Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to Nepal expressed his satisfaction of being able to offer support in such an important issue and expressed his hope that the successful implementation of this project, contributing to the mitigation of climate change and reducing poverty through the creation of green jobs, and through economic, social and environment development. “We believe this effort will contribute to Nepal becoming a better and healthier place to live, in line with the proposal for an internal EU Environment Action Programme 2020”; he noted.
Mr. Suresh Prakash Acharya, Joint Secretary, MoUD, suggested to incorporate three important factors in the Green Homes- safe against disaster, cost effectiveness, and replicability. Dr. Mahendra Subba, Director General of Department of Urban Development and Building Construction showed his satisfaction as this project will complement the government initiatives to improve building quality. Chairing the session Mr. Bhushan Tuladhar, Regional Technical Advisor of UN-Habitat said, “green homes are more than just building: it includes green lifestyle. Mr. Om Rajbhandary, FNCCI welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of the programme.