Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘UNDP’

Analysis: Finding the roots of Nepal’s rural mountain poverty

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2014

By Kyle Knight

CHESKAM, 11 February 2014 (IRIN) – Despite six decades of development interventions and nearly a billion dollars in annual foreign assistance, Nepal is still struggling to combat rural poverty. Some experts and local leaders say improving the lives of the rural poor requires patient community-driven initiatives and proper management of the resources communities already have, rather than large-scale strategies. 

According to 2010 data from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, there are approximately 8.5 million rural poor in Nepal. In the Human Development Index of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Nepal is ranked at 157. Two-thirds of citizens rely on agriculture for their economic well-being, and the World Bank notes that the sector contributes 40 percent of the country’s GDP.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Kenzo Tange Master Plan for Lumbini

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2013


When U Thant visited Nepal in April 1967 as Secretary-General of the United Nations, he proposed the development of Lumbini into a major centre of pilgrimage. This was followed by a UNDP consultant mission in December 1969, which led to a report that established the basis for further planning around Lumbini.

In 1970, the International Committee for the Development of Lumbini (ICDL) was set up comprising initially of 13 members and later expanded to 16 member states. The initial member states were Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Later, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Republic of Korea also joined. At the national level, the Lumbini Development Committee was formed. ICDL initiated the preparation of the Master Plan for Lumbini, which was conceptualized by Kenzo Tange starting from 1972. The Kenzo Tange Master Plan was finalized and approved in 1978. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Interview with Dr. Minendra Rijal by Mikel Durham

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2012

Dr. Rijal is a member of Nepal’s recently created Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee, chaired by ex-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. Dr. Rijal, a member of the Nepali Congress political party, is also a current member of the Constituent Assembly, ex-Minister of Culture and Chairman of Apex College. Mikel Durham interviewed Dr. Rijal focussing on Lumbini issue.

DUNHAM: You’ve recently been appointed as a Member of the Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee. Now that the committee has been created, what progress can be reported?

RIJAL: So far, we have not been able to spend as much time as is needed to move the Lumbini project forward. Prachanda is terribly busy with the politics of the country. In some respects, I am also quite busy — nothing compared to his busy schedule but –

DUNHAM: How many members are on the committee?

RIJAL: Right now we are a six-member committee. And then there is a provision to add another eleven members later on.

DUNHAM: Prachanda is Chair.


DUNHAM: What has the committee actually done so far?

RIJAL: We went to New York and saw the Secretary General (SG) of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, in November. And the reason we went was that we wanted the involvement of the UN in the development of Lumbini.

It all started, however, when, earlier, I was the Minister of Culture. At that time, I established contact with Ban Ki-moon’s office and he extended an invitation. I went there. I presented my argument on Lumbini and he was very keen. He has long been interested in helping Lumbini and in realizing its potential. I knew that his mother was a devoted Buddhist and felt that her son, as Secretary General, should do something for Lumbini.

For his part, Ban Ki-moon also feels that it is his obligation on behalf of the larger Asian Buddhist community– he is the second Asian Secretary General – to do something for Lumbini.

That was one reason, last November, that we thought he could be of great help. And the visibility of his office was going to be very important to help Lumbini realize its potential.

We had a very nice conversation. He was the one who told us that Madam Bokova [Director-General of UNESCO] is also very keen to see that Lumbini is developed to it’s potential. She’s very interested in the preservation site.  Read the rest of this entry »

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UN Gen Secy agrees to support greater Lumbini development

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011


KATHMANDU: Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka, Prachanda met United

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal shakes hand with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.

Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.

Dahal is in New York as the Chairman of the High Level National Steering Committee for the development of Greater Lumbini, seeking international assistance for the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Rupandehi district, about 300 km southwest of Kathmandu.

During the meeting, Dahal briefed the UN Secretary General about the commitment of the Government of Nepal to develop Lumbini as a world peace city as a pilgrimage and a heritage city with inclusive livelihood programs for the people living around there.

Prachanda explained to Ban Ki-moon that the recently formed High Level National Steering Committee reflects strong and long-term commitment of the Government of Nepal to the preservation and development of all aspects of Greater Lumbini with a
multi-stakeholder approach through national and international support.

While urging Moon to form a broader Lumbini development international committee under his chairmanship, Dahal said, spiritual dimension of Lumbini for world peace fits in very well with the noble ideals of peace and justice of the United Nations.

“Lumbini would be developed as an enduring source of international peace, harmony and understanding.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Human Development Index 2011: Warnings For The Future

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 4, 2011

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual Human Development Index on Wednesday, painting a grim picture of the prospects for millions of people in some of the world’s poorest nations.

The Human Development Index ranks countries based on development issues, progress and policies,the UNDP report explains. This year’s study focuses on the connection between development, equity and environmental sustainability. The UNDP argues that global development will be unable to continue unless the world takes bold measures to battle inequality and environmental threats. Deforestation, soil erosion and rising food prices have disproportionally hit poor populations across the world, widening the gap between developed and underdeveloped countries.

From the UNDP:

Many disadvantaged people carry a double burden of deprivation. They are more vulnerable to the wider effects of environmental degradation, because of more severe stresses and fewer coping tools. They must also deal with threats to their immediate environment from indoor air pollution, dirty water and unimproved sanitation. Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave environmental risks and deepening social inequalities threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world’s poor majority—and even to reverse the global convergence in human development.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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लुम्बिनी भ्रमण बर्ष २०१२ मनाउन गरिएको निर्णयको सम्बन्धमा प्रेस बिज्ञप्ति

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 19, 2011

बुद्धद्धारा प्रतिपादित सुख र शान्ति प्राप्तीका लागि अबलम्बन गरिनु पर्ने सिद्धान्त र बिधिहरु बुद्धिज्मको रुपमा बिस्व प्रसिद्ध भएका कारण बुद्ध जन्मनु भएको स्थानको बिस्वब्यापी महत्व छ  । त्यसैले ब्यक्तिगत खुशी र सुखीदेखि बिस्व शान्तिसम्मका लागि उत्प्रेरक, प्रेरणादायी र आस्थाका पुन्ज उहाँ करीब २६०० बर्ष अघि जन्मेर पनि यो बैज्ञानिक युगमा समेत आजको अशान्तमय बिस्व परिबेशका कारण संपूर्ण जाती, धर्म, सम्प्रदायका बीच झन झन महत्व बढदै जाने सदाबहार सर्ब स्वीकार्य महामानबका रुपमा स्थापित हुनुहुन्छ । त्यसैले युनेस्कोले बुद्ध जन्मस्थल लुम्बिनीलाई बिस्व संपदा सूचिमा  समाबेश गरेको हो १९९७ मा । बिस्वमा करीब ५० करोड बुद्धिस्ट छन भने बिस्वभरि बुद्धिज्मलाई धर्मभन्दा बिज्ञानको रुपमा लिने पनि लाखौं छन । र उक्त संख्याको ०.१ प्रतिशत मात्र पर्यटक बर्षेनी भित्र्याउने बातावरण तयार गर्न सकियो भने पनि बर्षमा ५ लाखभन्दा बढी पर्यटक भित्रिने देखिन्छ र यसबाट मात्रै अरबौं रुपयाँ देश भित्र्याउन सकिने देखिन्छ । Read the rest of this entry »

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Lumbini World Peace City: A vision and perspective

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 3, 2011

By Karna Sakya
Second World Buddhist Summit. 2004
Lumbini Nov.30-Dec.2.2004

Abstract –

Lumbini is a peerless landmark of the Buddhist world. This is the only active religious place that has been listed in the World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Lumbini symbolized ultimate peace and harmony. The eyes of Buddha are the emblem of love and worship and kindness and compassion are the synonym of Buddhism. While the world is getting restless and tensed because of various conflicts, the desire for peace in Nepal also has become almost like an obsession. At this critical juncture, declaration of Lumbini as a World Peace City is very appropriate and perhaps this is the only suitable place in this region for it. Establishment of a World Peace City in Lumbini is a important and timely task to be performed; not that we would, but we should, and we could.

The purpose of the Lumbini World Peace City is not to create a mega-city of the world or does it have any intention to deface the existing villages into a shanty town. Its aim is to set-up a quintessential self-contained town of the Buddha’s era in a 21 century format. Think globally and act locally is the strategy of Lumbini World Peace City. The vision is to build a small, traditional and low cost but conventional, comprehensive and innovative city system that carry a nostalgic ambiance of Kapilbastu revisited. Declaring Lumbini as a World Peace City contributes significantly in strengthening national peace process in the country. 

Lumbini may be an intellectual playground for few, a religious site for some and a birthplace for many. But a place like Lumbini cannot be a prerogative to any casts, creeds and intellectuals. Peace doesn’t prevail in the island of the sea of poor. While developing infrastructure and undertaking poverty alleviation program in Lumbini, the World Peace City should initiates peace education simultaneously. Peace education prepares local communities to voice their realities, experiences, understandings biases, commitments, hopes, despair, and at the same time to fulfill the rights and duties.. The synergism of religion, wisdom and action is the formula to make the peace equation work. Lumbini World Peace City will be a ‘gift to the Earth’ from Nepal and from the Nepalese people. Read the rest of this entry »

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बुद्ध, लुम्बिनी र नक्कली लुम्बिनीले उब्जाएका केही जटील प्रश्नहरु

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 2, 2011

बुद्ध बिस्वकै साझा संपत्ति भएको कारण आस्थाका आधारमा कसैले पनि मेरो अथवा हाम्रो भन्छन भने त्यस्मा कसैले प्रश्न उठाइराख्नु पर्ने देखिन्न, तर उनको महानता र प्रसिद्धीका कारण क्षेत्रका आधारमा नाजायज तवरले गलत ढंगले आफ्नो भनी प्रमाणित गर्ने दुस्प्रयास गर्दै नाजायज फायदा लिनका लागि बिस्व जनमतलाई दिग्भ्रमित तुल्याउन गरिने कार्यमा भने मौन बस्नुले अरु थप नाजायज दुस्प्रयासलाई प्रोत्साहित गर्दछ । यो अभियानको यो नै अत्यन्तै महत्वपूर्ण पक्ष हो र बुद्ध सबैको साझा भएको कारण यो बिबाद निरर्थक भनेर भन्नेहरु यहींनेर चुकेको देखिन्छ । प्रश्न यहाँ बुद्धको नभएर बुद्ध जन्मिनु भएको ठाउँको हो, सवाल यहाँ काम नपाउनेको नभएर बुद्धप्रति नतमस्तक भएर उन्को जन्मस्थलको दर्शनार्थ जान चाहनेहरुलाई सीमित स्वार्थका कारण झुक्याइएर गलत ठाउँमा पुर्याइएर उनीहरुको आस्थामा कुठाराघात गरिंदै मानब अधिकारबाट बन्चित गरिएकाहरुको अधिकार सुनिस्चित गर्ने कि नगर्ने भन्नेको हो, मुद्धा यहाँ बुद्धको नभएर विस्वब्यापी महत्व भएका कारण उनको जन्मस्थलमा आँखा लगाउने निकृस्ट प्रबित्तिलाई परास्त गर्ने कि स्वीकार्ने भन्नेको हो ।

By रामकुमार श्रेष्ठ, कपिलबस्तु दिवस अभियान बिस्व संयोजक

समाज जहाँ छ त्यसैमा चित्त बुझाई रहने, समाजले जे मान्ने र स्वीकार्ने गरेको छ त्यही नै संधै मान्न र स्वीकार्न खोज्ने, समाजले जुन कुराहरुलाई जसरी बुझिरहेको छ त्यस्लाई त्यसरी नै मात्र बुझ्न खोज्ने जस्ता प्रबृत्तिले न त मानिस महान बन्न सक्छ न त समाज अगाडि बढन नै । यसरी समाजमा विद्यमान अप्रगतिशील मान्यताहरुलाई तात्कालिन अवस्थामा सामना गर्नु पर्ने अनेकन जटीलता, कठीनता र ब्यबधानका बाबजुद पनि अस्वीकृत गर्दै अगाडि बढ्ने क्रममा प्राप्त प्रतिफलहरुलाई के कस्तो तबरले के कति हदसम्म स्वीकार्य बनाउँदै अगाडि बढन र बढाउन सक्षम भइन्छ तदनुरुप नै महानताको स्वरुप पनि निर्धारित हुन सक्छ ।  । युवराज सिद्धार्थ मूलत: धार्मिक तथा दार्शनिक चिन्तनका दृष्टिले बौद्धिक जगतमा आमूल परिवर्तनकारी सिद्धान्तका प्रतिपादक, शान्तिका अग्रदूत एवं सर्वमान्य महामानव गौतम बुद्धका रुपमा रुपान्तरण हुनुको कसी र आधार यही नै हो । र जीवनको अर्थ बुझ्ने क्रममा उहाँद्धारा गरिएका त्याग र ततपस्चात प्राप्त संपूर्ण सफलताका कारण सिंहासनभन्दा जनताको दिलको आशन महत्वपूर्ण भन्ने भनाइलाई चरितार्थ बनाउने सबभन्दा राम्रो उदाहरण संपूर्ण मानब इतिहासमा बुद्ध नै हुनुहुन्छ भन्ने कुरामा बिबाद गरिराख्नु पर्ने देखिन्न । त्यसैले बुद्धको बिस्वब्यापी महत्व हुनु स्वाभाबिक देखिन्छ र छ पनि । बुद्ध ब्यक्तिगत खुशी र सुखीदेखि बिस्व शान्तिसम्मका लागि उत्प्रेरक, प्रेरणादायी र आस्थाका पुन्ज हुनुहुन्छ र त  करीब २६०० बर्ष अघि जन्मेर पनि यो बैज्ञानिक युगमा पनि झन झन महत्व बढदै जाने सदाबहार सर्ब स्वीकार्य महामानबका रुपमा स्थापित  उहाँप्रति संपूर्ण जाती, धर्म, सम्प्रदाय नमस्तक भएका छन । यो नै हो मैले बुझेको र परिभाषित गरिने श्रद्धेय बुद्ध ।
ब्यक्तिको महानतासंगसंगै निजसंग सम्बन्धित हरेक कुराको महत्व पनि बढन थाल्छ । बुद्धद्धारा प्रतिपादित सुख र शान्ति प्राप्तीका लागि अबलम्बन गरिनु पर्ने सिद्धान्त र बिधिहरु बुद्धिज्मको रुपमा बिस्व प्रसिद्ध भएका कारण बुद्ध जन्मनु भएको स्थानको बिस्वब्यापी महत्व छ आध्यात्मिक, ऐतिहासिक र पुरातात्विक महत्वको दृष्‍टिकोणले । त्यसैले युनेस्कोले यस्लाई बिस्व संपदा सूचिमा  समाबेश गरेको हो १९९७ मा ।

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Global warming swells glacial lakes, endangering thousands

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 16, 2010

BANGKOK, 16 September 2010 (IRIN) – As global warming shrinks glaciers along the world’s highest peaks, glacial

The natural dam of the Dig Tsho glacier lake was struck by an ice avalanche in 1985

lakes in Nepal are increasingly at risk of bursting the natural dams containing them – endangering the lives of tens of thousands in communities below, experts say.

Nepalese authorities have identified about 20 “priority” lakes at risk of leading to glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), and are using various methods to reduce the volume of water in some of them.

“With climate change causing the rapid melting of glaciers, the glacial lakes are growing so quickly that the risk of a disaster occurring throughout the Himalayas is increasing,” said Pradeep Mool, of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a Kathmandu-based organization funded by eight countries that researches climate change and mountain ecosystems.

“GLOFs come very fast, carry great big boulders; they can push down rock walls and destroy river banks. The destructive impact is very, very high,” Mool told IRIN by phone from Kathmandu.

GLOFs occur when the natural dams of ice or rock containing glacial lakes collapse because the lake has rapidly increased in size or its walls are shattered by earthquakes or avalanches. The resulting floods can cause rivers downstream to rise up to 35 metres, destroying everything in their path for up to 100km in only eight hours, he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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