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Recent Irrigation Policies and Environmental Sustainability in Nepal

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pradhan, Ujjwal; Thapa, Ganesh
Conference: Common Property in Ecosystems Under Stress, the Fourth Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Manila, Philippines
Conf. Date: June 16-19, 1993
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1397
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): irrigation
common pool resources
Abstract: "This paper explores the recent changes in irrigation related policies and legal provisions of Nepal in view of the fragile Himalayan ecology. The urgency of meeting food availability for an ever rising population, the choice of technology in a labour surplus economy, and the institutional and policy framework are considered as factors that shape the management of environments. "This paper therefore focuses on the state of Nepal's policies and addresses the environmental concerns faced during irrigation expansion and development. One specific case study is cited where the recent government efforts of increasing food production through irrigation development began with total oblivion of the environmental impacts. Increasing advocacy for environmental concerns, preservation of biodiversity, and support of local community managed irrigation systems forced both the lender and the government of Nepal to reformulate the original objectives of this irrigation project and support community collective actions and accept environment-friendly development project. "This paper attempts to show that the currently presented objective of economic growth through increasing food production by irrigation need not be contradictory to the objective of environmental sustainabi1ity.In fact, they can be pursued to be complementary and mutually supportive with proper policy and implementation frameworks. This paper emphasizes the need for the integration of both the decentralized, community based approaches to environmental management as well as the formal, governmental legal and administrative processes."

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