Victory in Nepal Protecting Lumbini from Polluting Industries

Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha.

Good news from Nepal!

The Lumbini UNESCO World Heritage site will now be protected from polluting cement plants and brick kilns that have encroached on a Buddhist pilgrimage site with archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Lord Buddha.
Nepal’s Supreme Court banned new factories and heavy vehicles in the area and established a five-member panel to recommend measures for reducing pollution from existing factories. Nepal’s Industrial Promotion Board had prohibited factories within the “development area” in 2010 but the ban was not implemented.

ELAW partner Prakash Mani Sharma and his team at Pro Public have worked for years to protect this historic site from industrial pollutants that threaten the health of residents and pilgrims, and culturally important structures.

“I would like to thank the ELAW team for its prompt support,” writes Prakash. “It is our initial victory and we have to go a long way to go to relocate all the polluting industries from this area which has outstanding universal value as a designated World Heritage site.”

ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik provided expert reports submitted to the Supreme Court to show how pollution from the encroaching industries is affecting human health and the structural integrity of the Ashoka Pillar and other monuments within the Sacred Garden Area of Lumbini.

Congratulations Prakash and everyone at Pro Public!

Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide