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Safeguarding the environment and combating climate change are essential to delivering social justice and sustainable development in Nepal, say activists Gagan Thapa and Kashish Das Shresth.

Little over a year since Nepal was declared a democratic republic, the country's policymakers are not giving enough attention to the environment, say the authors. But issues underlying the more talked about goal of social justice include rights to food, good health, land and a home — all of which depend on the environment and are affected by climate change.

Food insecurity is a chronic problem in Nepal and climate change is set to make things worse, say the authors.

They argue that following the traditional path of prioritising development over all else, including the environment, is not sustainable. Policymakers must ensure all development activities cause the least environmental harm and support mitigating and adapting to climate change, which includes actively restoring lost forests.

But Nepal cannot do this alone, say the authors. The international community must support the country in delivering its development goals in a sustainable manner. Mexico's proposal for a 'green fund', designed to provide countries like Nepal with money and much-needed technical expertise to develop sustainably, would be a good start.

Link to full article in China Dialogue