Project title Sector SCP practice
Bio-Energy Project Wood-based industry Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Green Homes Building materials industry Sustainable Supply Chain Management, Creating Demand for Better Products
Lead Elimination Project Chemical sector Cleaner Production
Lokta Handmade Paper Wood-based industry Product design for sustainability
METABUILD Fabricated metals industry, Building materials industry Sustainable Supply Chain Management
PPP for 4Gs Chemical sector Waste Management
SEID - Sustainable and Efficient Industrial Development Cross cutting issues Creating Demand for Better Products, Product design for sustainability
Sustainable Carpet and Pashmina Textile and leather industry Cleaner Production
VSBK – Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln Building materials industry Cleaner Production

Focal point

Mr. Raju Babu Pudasaini
Under Secretary and NPM PPCR Component 3 Output 2,
Ministry of Population and Environment, 
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal


Under SWITCH-Asia’s regional Policy Support Component, UNEP’s main partner in Nepal is the Ministry of Environment. The following areas have been identified as priority for capacity building and policy support on SCP. 

SCP in Nepal is still mostly an issue of improving the access to basic necessities for the majority of the population, securing livelihoods, and eradicating malnourishment and poverty. The country contributes insignificantly to global environmental problems at the moment and it is a fairly sustainable society from an environmental perspective. However, a number of basic human needs remain unmet and require urgent and collective action.

Better SCP policies are urgently needed, both to better meet the needs of the poor and to address negative impacts of consumption. Sustainable consumption and production is not a luxury that stands in conflict with poverty eradication; on the contrary – it is an approach that aims to make the best possible use of available resources for meeting human needs, both today and in the future. It is clear that Nepal needs capacity strengthening in many areas related with SCP policy development and implementation.

Specific areas that could be considered for future capacity strengthening include:

  • Expansion of the energy efficiency centre for industry to include broader sustainability aspects. This could later evolve into something similar to a national cleaner production centre. There seems to be interest in establishing a body of this kind, both in the Ministry of Industry and in the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, but further consultation with key stakeholders is needed.
  • Strengthening of the existing organizations working on alternative energy and energy efficiency. Existing activities have good structure, clear agendas, and strong networks. Additional resources, especially on the demand side (efficient use of cooking fuel in rural areas and energy efficient housing in cities), are likely to increase their contribution to sustainable development.
  • Establishment of a basic system for green public procurement, limited to a few strategically selected products and services. This could provide incentives for producers and increase the availability of more sustainable products on the market.
  • Intensified agricultural research on organic and low-input production practices suitable to the diverse geography of Nepal. Increased capacity for extension services would also need to be considered, as well as capacities for testing and certification.
  • Strengthening of the capacity of rural communities to make value-added goods from local materials and products, and improved capacity of these communities to access domestic and foreign markets.
  • Awareness campaigns on consumer rights, also including sustainable consumption.

Status of SCP policy framework

The government of Nepal consists of 26 line ministries and the National Planning Commission (NPC), which is the apex body for overarching planning and policy coordination. At the overarching policy level, the government has for a long time been developing and implementing plans with a five-year cycle, and more recently with a three-year cycle.

Three-Year Plan Approach Paper 

The most recent plan is the Three-Year Plan Approach (2013/2014 – 2016/2017). It focuses on an employment-oriented, inclusive and equitable broad based economic growth through contributing in poverty alleviation and establishment of sustainable peace. 

This national strategy focuses mostly on climate adaptation, Nepal has adopted the notion of green development and plans to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change by making human activities and development process environment-friendly as per the concept of green development. 

(Source: here / non official translation)

Climate resilient planning: a tool for long-term climate adaptation

This recently adopted national strategy focuses mostly on climate adaptation, but it also includes a section on mitigation. It points out that Nepal is currently making only an insignificant contribution to climate change but states that the country is determined to develop in a climate friendly manner. It stresses the need for low carbon infrastructure and transportation, expansion of renewable energy sources, and efforts to protect forests

The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy

The Strategy is the product of an effort led by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), Government of Nepal (GoN), with financial and substantive support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Government of Finland, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Objectives and Actions identified in the NTIS 2010 closely aligns with those identified in Nepals three-year Development Plan. The NTIS has included natural products as a priority sector for Nepal.

(Source: here)

Preparation of 13th Three-Year Renewable Energy Sector Plan (2013/14-2015/16) 

Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) is a national executing agency of renewable energy programme and projects in Nepal under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE). With the mandate of policy and plan formulation, technology innovation, resource mobilization and coordination and quality assurance, the mission of AEPC is to make renewable energy a mainstream resource through increased access thereby, contributing to the improvement of living conditions of people in Nepal. AEPC is implementing a National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP), a single programme modality for the promotion and dissemination of renewable energy technologies under various sub/components and units from mid-July 2012 to mid-July 2017.

The Consumer Protection Act - 1998

Section 6 of Act assures and recognizes six rights of the consumer out of eight rights recognized globally. The Act has not included the right to basic needs and the right to a healthy environment.

The Supreme Court of Nepal in Surya Prasad Sharma Dhungel v. Godawari Marble Industries (1995) has ruled that right to healthy environment is a fundamental right to life.            

Resource consumption and production

Main Resource Consumption and Resource Efficiency Indicators (2010)

Population (millions) 26.846
GDP (billion USD) 10.298
GDP is in USD exchange rate based on year 2005 and deflated.
Source: UNSD database.
Subject Area Total Per person Per USD$ of GDP
Domestic Material Consumption, DMC
(tonnes, tonnes per capita, kgr per 1USD$)
84,653,649 3.15 8.22
GHG emissions
(kilotonnes,tonnes per capita, kgr per 1USD$)
32,738 1.22 3.18
Total Primary Energy Supply, TPES
(Petajoules, Gigajoules per capita, Megajoules per 1USD$)
427.50 15.92 41.51
Water Use
(Trillion litres, Kilolitres per capita, Litres per 1USD$)
9.50 353.76 922.17
Subject Area Indicator
Population density 2015
(UNESA 2012 revision), population per
GDP per capita (USD), 2013 WB 694.1
HDI Rank (2013) UNDP 0.54
Arable land (hectares per person) WB 2012 0.08
Forest cover in % (2010), UNSTATS 25
Material intensity (2010)UNEP 8.22
Per-capita energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) 2011, WB 383
Energy intensity (total primary energy consumption per USD of GDP) 2011, EIA 8,497.49
GHG intensity (2010) UNEP 3.18
CO2 emissions (metric tone per capita), 2010, WB 0.1
Number of Middle Class consumers % (2010), ADB 23
Number of people with income < 2USD/day (PPP, USD, %), 2010, ADB 77

Trends in Resource Consumption and Resource Efficiency Indicators (1970-2010)

DE: Domestic Extraction;
MI: Material Intensity of the economy;
MF: Material Footprint.
All other abbreviations explained in the table above

In panel a) Nepal’s GDP grew considerable faster than any of the other indicators, followed by DMC and TPES, thence population, with GHG emissions growing at the slowest rate. Panels b) and c) indicate that the strong growth in GDP was not accompanied by much growth in either DE per capita, or MF per capita. The latter actually contracted markedly from 1990 to 2000, before recovering to 1990 levels by 2010. The mix of materials indicated in panel c) was much more strongly oriented towards mineral resources rather than biomass, indicating a significant structural shift towards a more industrialized status. Panels d), e) and f) show decreases in intensities on all material, energy, and GHG based indicators with the exception of adjusted EI. Material and energy consumption per capita increased on both conventional and footprint based measures, while both measures of GHG emissions per capita decreases. Footprint based measures of material consumption are significantly lower than DMC based ones, and footprint based measures of energy consumption are a small fraction (generally less than 25%) of TPES based measures.

(Source: UNEP CSIRO Indicators for a Resource Efficient and Green Asia and the Pacific, 2015)

Key references relevant to SCP

  • Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), 2011. Rastria Janaganana 2068 Ko Praramvhik Natija (Preliminary Report of National Census 2011), Government of Nepal, National Planning Commission, Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu, Nepal

UNEP's relevant activities

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