Civil society organisations and media to work together on energy transitions

energy transitions
Senior Program Officer of IUCN Nepal, Anu Adhikari presenting a baseline report on the Ganges River Basin.

Kathmandu, December 20

Various civil society organisations (CSOs) and representatives of mainstream media took part in a workshop on sustainable energy transitions in Ganges River Basin on December 20.

Both parties vowed to develop a partnership to promote sustainable energy transitions and create awareness of the need to focus on alternative sources of energy in the region.

About 20 participants from CSOs and Media gathered at a workshop organised jointly by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to discuss the possibilities of developing a partnership to share necessary information and research to produce communication products for a wider audience.

On the occasion, Senior Program Officer of IUCN Nepal, Anu Adhikari, shed light on the baseline report and presented key messages for Nepal and the region stating that transition to new renewables is the way forward for Ganges basin countries.

Saying that supply shocks make the energy sector and countries vulnerable, like the recent hike in gas prices, she stressed the urgent need for policy changes for transition to new renewables in the basin.

The baseline study also focuses on how uncertainties over future water availability will make hydropower projects unreliable as it is seasonally dependent and how the impacts of climate change could make the hydropower projects vulnerable to natural disasters.

Shamsher Ali, Program Manager of Action Aid Bangladesh, presented a virtual presentation on the energy landscape of Bangladesh and stressed the need for regional cooperation to meet the growing energy demands of his country as Nepal has a high potential for alternative energy sources.

At the program, journalists Kosmos Biswokarma and Shristi Kaflepresented their key findings from field visits to Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk in which they focused on how the increasing number of hydropower projects in Trishuli and Bhotekoshi Rivers have impacted the local environment and river ecology.

At the workshop, the CSOs and media agreed that they need to build their capacities and strengthen their partnership to sensitise policymakers and other stakeholders in developing less hydropower scenarios.

They also agreed to enhance cooperation at the regional level to develop a common understanding and report on the need to promote alternative sources of energy in the countries that could benefit from the Ganges River Basin.

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