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Nepal budget focuses on climate funding
  • Nepal budget focuses on climate funding

Copyright: World Bank / Flickr

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  • Nepal enhances climate change outlay

  • Budget deploys climate coding on UNDP lines

  • Agriculture outlay doubled

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[KATHMANDU] Nepal, a Himalayan country regarded as highly vulnerable to climate change, has allocated a massive 10.34 per cent of its budget for the 2013—2014 fiscal year to climate funding.
 
Priority in the 517.24 billion Nepal rupee (around US$ 5.3 billion) budget proposals announced last month (14 July) has been given to climate programmes in the ministries of urban development, agriculture, science, technology and environment, forest and soil conservation and federal affairs and local development. 
 
The budget, unlike previous ones, incorporates climate codes, making official an analytical framework to calculate government funds channelled for programmes related to climate change, the outlay for which has increased substantially this year.  
 
"Although the figures for last year were not published, internal calculations told us that funds for climate change comprised 6.7 per cent of the Nepal rupees 404.82 billion (US$ 4.16 billion) budget  compared to 10.34 per cent for a larger budget this year," said Madhukar Upadhya, advisor for the Poverty and Environment Initiative — a UNDP-UNEP programme with Nepal’s National Planning Commission (NPC).  
 
Cross-sectoral climate change financing — systemised through climate budget coding following a study conducted by the NPC in the previous fiscal year — makes it easier to trace gaps in expenditure at all levels of public administration.
 
It (the budget code) was an additional burden to everyone in the ministries, so it was not wise to start an elaborate code all at once,” explains Upadhya, who helped devise the climate budget framing with support from the UNDP.
 
"We are now initiating a revision process to ensure that the figures have been arrived at through comprehensive planning," Upadhya told SciDev.Net.
 
Allocations for agricultural research have "more than doubled" to Nepal rupees 1.75 billion (US$ 18 million) this year, says Hari Krishna Shrestha, senior scientist and agro-economist at the National Agricultural Research Centre. "Funds will be channelled to crop research, horticultural research, fish and livestock research as well as investment in storage equipment for an agro-biodiversity gene  bank," Shrestha told SciDev.Net 
 
Of the Nepal rupees 30 billion (US$ 308 million) allocated to the fuel and energy sector Nepal rupees 0.9 billion (US$ 9.2 million) was earmarked for climate-change related programmes.
 
Notable allocations include Nepal rupees 500,000 (US$ 5,147) for a feasibility study on establishing Nepal’s own satellite showing the government’s interest in making use of the orbital slot provided by the International Telecommunication Union.
 
Areas that received lower priority include biotechnology, nanotechnology, nuclear and space technologies reflecting Nepal’s public policy.
 
Link to Nepal’s Climate Change Budget Code


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