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Nepal leads South Asian nations in environment protection

world Updated: Jan 29, 2010 15:29 IST
Utpal Parashar

It may be lagging far behind its neighbours like India and China in development, but Nepal has managed to score a lead over other South Asian nations in environment protection according to a latest worldwide survey.

The 2010 Environmental Performance Index released on Thursday at Davos has ranked Nepal 38th among 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across 10 policy categories covering both environmental public health and eco-system vitality.

Only Japan (20) and Singapore (28) are the other Asian countries that have performed better than the Himalayan nation. Nepal’s bigger neighbours India and China have been ranked 123 and 121 respectively in the survey.

Other South Asian countries like Bhutan (40), Maldives (49), Sri Lanka (58) Pakistan (125) and Bangladesh (139) have been ranked lower than Nepal in the index that gauge how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.

Iceland followed by Switzerland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Norway are the top five countries listed in the index while Togo, Angola, Mauritania, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone occupy the bottom five positions.

The biannual index prepared by a team of environmental experts from Yale University and Columbia University ranks countries on the basis of progress made by them in addressing pollution control and natural resources management challenges.