Asta-Ja Framework: A Peaceful Approach to Food, Water, Climate, and Environmental Security Coupled with Sustainable Economic Development and Social Inclusion in Nepal
Sustainable conservation, development, and utilization of natural and human resources is necessary for accelerated economic growth and fast-paced socio-economic transformation of Nepal. Asta-Ja Framework, which is a theoretically grounded grassroots based peaceful and self-reliant planning and development approach, offers practical strategies for sustainable conservation and development of natural and human resources enhancing food, water, climate, and environmental security, accelerated economic growth, and socio-economic transformation of Nepal. Asta-Ja includes interconnected eight resources in Nepali letter, Ja, – Jal (water), Jamin (land), Jungle (forest), Jadibuti (medicinal and aromatic plants), Janashakti (manpower), Janawar (animal), Jarajuri (crop plants) and Jalabayu (climate). Asta-Ja Framework is a unifying framework for planning and resources development and has a strong footing on science, business, and eastern philosophy. While providing practical guidelines for achieving food, water, climate and environmental security, this article presents Nepal Vision 2040, which is developed considering challenges that Nepal is currently facing and its available Asta-Ja resources, envisioning that Nepal’s economic development reaching at the par of developed nations by 2040. Key strategic sectors identified in Nepal Vision 2040 include smallholder mixed-farming system, agro-jadibuti industrialization, protection of drinking water sources, climate change adaptation, environmental pollution control, conservation of natural resources, infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, alleviation of inequalities, and good governance. This article demonstrates strategies for addressing social discrimination and inequalities through the process of Asta-Ja community capacity-building and self-reliant development. Ecological balance of Asta-Ja resources is necessary for sustainable natural resources, economic development, and community resiliency. The Government of Nepal is suggested to adopt Asta-Ja Framework as its national planning and development framework for sustainable economic growth and fast-paced socio-economic transformation of the country.
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