On The Crossroads of Economy and Environment: Nepal and BRI
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has imploded the international regime with much speculation and expectation. Primarily an economic move, BRI has its roots in infrastructure building around the less developed parts of the world in an attempt to increase connectivity and collaboration for trade among and between these states with all of them connected to Beijing. While BRI promises massive economic returns through connectivity, the question of environmental sustainability hangs in a balance. The situation is graver still for a country like Nepal that has been struggling for politico-economic as well as social stability. The dilemma discussed here is not only unique to Nepal, but reverberates through many developing and economically challenged nations around the world. The complexity of the situation becomes apparent not only because of environmental threats that loom large over the country, owing to mega infrastructure projects, but the lack of political as well as economic measures that need to be in place in order to assuage and counter the eminent threats through proper steps. All this requires further elaboration on how the Nepalese infrastructure sector and the BRI development model promise to address environmental sustainability. Nepal’s already constrained economy hangs in the dilemma following its decision to join the initiative.
© MIRD, TU