GFEI supports knowledge exchange in Nepal

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Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala of Sri Lanka presenting at 7th KSUMF.
Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala of Sri Lanka presenting at 7th KSUMF.

Nepal’s mountainous geography, rising rates of motorisation, and limited public transport systems have resulted in increasing vehicle emissions in the Kathmandu Valley that are harming health and contributing to climate change. The Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Mobility Forum (KSUMF) is an important annual event that brings together stakeholders to respond to these urban mobility, air quality and energy challenges.

The Global Fuel Economy Iniative (GFEI) is providing capacity-building support to Nepal to develop fuel economy policies for cleaner more efficient vehicles. As part of this, GFEI supported a Sri Lankan fuel economy expert to speak at the 7th Forum (KSUMF VII), which was held on August 10th 2018.

KSUMF is organised by Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) and Clean Air Network Nepal (CANN) in collaboration with UN Environment and the Institute for Advanced Sustainable Studies (IASS), and supported by the European Union. This year, the focus of discussions were around the theme: ‘Policy needs to shift towards Efficient Vehicles and Clean Transport System’. Around 45 participants from governmental agencies, non-governmental agencies, academia, transport entrepreneurs, urban/transport planners, research institutions and media attended the event.

The technical session of the forum comprised of 5 presentations on challenges and opportunities for Nepal’s transport issues and the pressing needs for a shift towards efficient and clean vehicles and mobility. GFEI promoted south-south co-operation by facilitating Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka to participate in KSUMF VII and present his experiences in promoting cleaner and efficient fuels and vehicles.

Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala provided an overview of the transportation system in Sri Lanka and how they are shifting towards cleaner energy and transport system by adopting comprehensive taxation schemes including vehicle excise tax that promotes electric vehicles. Dr. Sugathapala is one of the main implementers in the UN Environment’s GFEI project in Sri Lanka, and was a former Director General of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. GFEI is continuing to support Sri Lanka through UN Environment to develop their fuel economy labeling system.

GFEI partners are currently finalising a fuel economy baseline analysis for Nepal to understand vehicle emissions trends and inform future policy responses.