One more opportune moment for enabling governance for sustainability is currently available in Nepal. All 753 local governments are ready with fresh policies and programmes and budgets approved for fiscal 2022-23 by recently elected five-year-tenure- people’s representatives. The governments at federal and 7 provinces also possess the same.They areclose to cap their term which began after 2017- general elections.
As they take decisions and initiate actions for using resources and implementing schemes, they should focus on any or some of the 17 sectors under Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2015-UN call for, among others, ending poverty, protecting planet Earth, guaranteeing equality, quality education, decent work, equity, peace and prosperity for all by 2030. Good Governance tools should also be used in an appropriate way.
All stakeholders should emphasize the point. The media, civil society and other democratic institutions should also come forward for encouraging decision makers and implementers to integrate governance – tools and sustainability-practice into all activities of people’s daily lives, development-works, public services and environmental concerns.
If all those who are in governmentcare to develop political will for promoting culture of sustainability, Nepal will witness sea-change in delivery of public service delivery, undertaking of development works and preservation of nature on land, under water and in air. The political will should, of course, be accompanied by a sense of commitment to end governance-deficit that affects performance of all sectors in the country.
History shows the governments at all levels – local, provincial and federal – could not, for varied reasons, pay much attention, in the past five years, to approaching development, daily lives and nature-issues from the viewpoint of SDGs and governance. This, backed by the chaotic situation created by the pandemic COVID 19, natural disasters, corruption and abuse of authority, resulted in a sort of sidelining of the SDGs. What could not be done in the past five years should now be completed with more dynamism and intensity.
With 2030 just eight years away, it would be difficult for Nepal to fulfill all the 17 goals in time. But an atmosphere of culture of sustainability and a trend of working with respect for all eight factors of good governance could be created with comfort. The same would be instrumental in aiding the country accomplish the SDGs- target in a later date. The effort for all these should be initiated now – July 17, the beginning of the fiscal 2022-23.
(Mr. Khanal, Manager of Kalpa Academy Centre for Governance and Sustainable Development; is also the Secretary of Nepal German Academic Association (NEGAAS)