December 2022 Analysis: National Security & Climate Change

Posted by : Simran Kharel


Date : 2022-12-30

National Security and Climate Change

Ms. Uma Regmi, Minister of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens, was assigned to represent Nepal at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from November 6 through November 18. Nepal had the perfect opportunity to voice its concerns pertaining impacts of climate change in Nepal. However, Minister. Uma Regmi cut her stay short and left for vacation with her family. Also, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development stated that modernization and superior varieties had led to enhanced productivity in its initial paddy output forecast this year. The month of December also saw an increase in Covid-19 infections. On 28 December 2022, Nepal reported 8 infections. Then, the Health Ministry of Nepal urged the citizens to take booster shots and to follow all the necessary requirements to protect oneself from the virus.

Timeline of Major Events

Date Events
10 December Nepal blew a chance to voice its climate concerns
10 December Almost mid- December but Terai still feels warm
29 December Nepal should be worried about China’s COVID-19 surge

Conference of Parties (COP27) Summit on Climate Change: Nepal’s Representation at Stake

At the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ms. Uma Regmi, Minister of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens was assigned to represent Nepal this year from 6 November- 18 November. Nepal intended to emphasise the significance of its delicate geographic location and a desire to concentrate on how the Himalayan areas' ecosystems are affected. The impacts of the climate are severe despite the region's preparation of local adaptation plans and useful actions.
This, indeed, was a great opportunity for Nepal to voice out all of its concerns, however it was reported that the minister cut her stay short and left for family vacation to Cairo, leaving the conference in the hands of member of the Forest and Environment sector within the National Planning Commission Saloni Pradhan Singh.
Although other representatives voiced out concerns on Nepal’s behalf, Ms. Regmi’s presence could nonetheless have added valid points in the negotiations that took place at the conference. Her absence was duly noted at the conference, reports say. Not only that, besides one South Asian ministers’ event where she delivered a prepared speech, Ms. Regmi did not make any other speaking engagements during COP27. Upon arrival to Nepal, she clarified that the media reports blew the matters out of proportion regarding her absence.

Another wave of COVID-19 in China, Nepal at high risk

On 28 December 2022, Nepal reported 8 covid infected patients. Numerous countries now require compulsory COVID-19 tests from passengers travelling from Nepal and other countries on high alert. Once again, the Health Ministry of Nepal urged the citizens to take booster shots. Not only that, The Drug Advisor Committee has granted emergency use approval for the Pfizer-BioNtech bivalent vaccine. Nepal will now be receiving 1.5 million doses from the COVAX global initiatives by January 2023. While the world was moving towards normalcy, this new rise in COVID-19 cases across the neighbouring countries like India and China is highly alarming.
What is even more concerning is the fact that the Health Posts in the Tribhuvan International Airport do not conduct COVID-19 tests nor do they check for vaccine certificates anymore, while China is set to resume flights to Nepal from 8 January 2023.  This week, even the Rasuwa border reopened to resume the transports of cargo at Kerung while it had been closed since early 2020. Citizens must take required precautions now against COVID-19. 

Increasing Cold Wave in Terai: Are we Prepared?

In December, two people passed away due to cold in Musahar community in Pidari, Haripur Municipality-9 in Sarlahi. However, it is surprising to see that in certain Terai regions like Dhanusha, the district does not have a numbing cold during December as it used to. In fact, it was witnessed that people were walking around wearing summer clothes. Last year, the news stated that the Kathmandu Valley experienced a minimum temperature of 2.6 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature of 19.0 degrees Celsius, according to the most recent information from the Weather Forecast Division. Jumla experienced a minimum temperature of -5.3 degrees Celsius, while Bhairahawa experienced a maximum temperature of 28.1 degrees Celsius.

Recent Agricultural Production in Nepal

This year, due to sharp increase in India's demand for organic vegetables, the eastern hill districts of Nepal have begun exporting tonnes of cabbage. The three primary regions that produce cabbage are Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, and Dhankuta. According to the Department of Customs, only the first five months of the current fiscal year, had Nepal export 11,673 tonnes of white cabbage to India for a total of Rs 136.17 million. Also, Karnali produces 20,868 tonnes of millet annually on 19,076 hectares, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperatives. Additionally, farmers cultivate 575 tonnes of foxtail millet on 948 hectares and 13,075 tonnes of Proso millet on 18,072 hectares.
Despite a severe lack of chemical fertilizer during the crucial monsoon implantation season, Nepali farmers are expecting to harvest 5.48 million tonnes of paddy this fiscal year, which is 7% more than previous year. In its initial paddy output forecast, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development stated that mechanization and better varieties had contributed to increased productivity.