Kathmandu, May 20, 2016: A national level seminar and panel discussions has recently beenÂ organized to discuss on Eco-Village Development Solutions by Centre for Rural Technology/Nepal (CRT/N), a professional non-governmental organization engaged in developing and promoting appropriate technologies in rural Nepal.
Eco-Village Development concept combines a number of solutions for poverty alleviation within sustainable energy use, water management, agriculture, gardening and housing. It includes the planning of the right solutions for each village on the basis of geography, climate, livelihood and available resources and emphasizes on capacity building of local community and local ownership. The organization, CRT/N, is a responsible body for implementing a regional project in Nepal entitled â€˜Evidence based Advocacy for Low Carbon, Pro-poor sustainable Eco Village Development (EVD) in South Asiaâ€™.
The organization had chosen 3 VDCs in Kavre District for piloting Eco-Village as model villages. The project identified certain EVD solutions that assist in relevant rural communities to establish eco-villages. The biogas plants for cooking and slurry for fertilizer, clean cooking solutions like improved cooking stoves (ICS), rainwater harvesting, agro practices in plastic tunnels, solar lighting system, organic farming, hydraulic pumps, micro-irrigation system, and improved water mills, capacity building trainings are few initiatives as eco-solutions. The seminar was organized with a view of introducing eco-village as a solution for climate change impacts and for rural sustainable development.
The programme saw interesting and mind boggling presentations by some renowned personalities from government as well as non- government organizations at the national level. Mr. Anjit Gautam, Environment Officer from District Development Committee (DDC) in Kavre, gave a presentation on Environment Friendly Local Governance (DFLG) Framework: A path towards eco-village. Meanwhile, Mr. Niraj Shrestha, Project Officer of EVD from CRT/N made a presentation on project details and progress on EVD solutions, success stories and challenges. Mr. Roshan Subedi, CEAPRED, presented an overview of â€˜Climate Smart Village for Rural Developmentâ€™. Giving a presentation on Gender Mainstreaming in Eco-Village, Ms. Lalita Thapa from WOREC Nepal mentioned the way on promoting food security and sustainable livelihood through women empowerment.
In the â€˜Community Speaksâ€™ session facilitated by Mr. Subash Lamichane, women from various Villages in the district shared their experiences. The session pointed out their success, challenges and issues faced during implementation of EVD solutions.
The panel discussion in this session was focused on the experience of the panelists, challenges and possible solutions on the eco-village concept in rural development. Dr. Indira Shakya (Senior Gender Expert) moderated the session, which consisted of various personalities working in the sector.
Talking in the session, Mr. Suman Basnet (Independent Energy Expert) highlighted about EVD solution. â€œEVD is such concept which touches social, economic, and environmental aspects with a focus on climate protection. EVD is a grassroots level initiative so value generated by it is more valuable and shared. The EVD has raised local level empowerment, their stakes in national level, has helped in knowledge and skills dissemination; such individual act helps for collective solutions,â€ he shared.
Similarly, Mr. Ugan Manndhar, Deputy Director at WWF Nepal explained that eco- village is a very good concept. Speaking in the programme, he mentioned that everyone should be encouraged for â€˜Letâ€™s build our village ourselves. â€œThe low level approach should be developed from village level to the town. The EVD concept can be a good example to showcase at the international level how small actions at local is helping to abate climate change,â€ said he. â€œPeople at grass root are contributing to climate mitigation while their contribution on carbon emission is negligible. This can be a good area to get attention at the international level for broader discussions.â€
Sahaj Man Shrestha, President at NEFEJ shared that the concept is really good and can be useful for making smart city as well. â€œThe mainstream news should share also inform public on what is the eco-village and why is it of utmost importance in todayâ€™s world and how can we work on that and what has been done so far on this,â€ he remarked. â€œThe broader section of society has to know efforts, toil and sweat shed by people at the grassroots for eco-village.â€
The seminar ended with a high note recognizing as well as realizing the importance of eco-village as an integral solution for uplifting the rural livelihood. The general conclusion was to join hands together for promoting EVD solution sharing data, knowledge, information and experiences among all the stakeholders involved, government as well as non-government institutions.