PROTECTION OF LUMBINI WORLD HERITAGE SITE FROM ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AND INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION
A recent air quality study conducted at the Lumbini World Heritage Site and in its vicinity by World Health Organization (WHO, 2013) through scientists from Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India found the air quality in terms of PM2.5 (fine particles) to be 270 μg/m3 and in terms of PM10 (bigger particles) to be 350 μg/m3 well above the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS 2012) of Nepal and World Health Organization's guidelines. Noise pollution and emission from heavy-duty generators are also on the rise.
Center for Public Health Environmental Development (CEPHED) raised this issue of increased environmental pollution in and around Lumbini with the government by integrating science and related laws.
Responding to the issues raised by CEPHED, a high level committee meeting was held at Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), Government of Nepal to address pollution issues at the Lumbini Heritage Site and surrounding area.
The meeting took most suitable and timely decisions and directed all relevant ministries to act immediately. The decisions are considered to be most welcome steps but are still awaiting full and effective implementation.