On February 4, 2022, liberty discussion session on the article titled “समृद्धिको साँघुरो संकथन” authored by Dr. Uttam Babu Shrestha was conducted virtually through the medium of Google Meet.
The participants discussed the definition of prosperity and development as being put forth by the author. The participants also agreed with the opinion placed by the author that future sustainable development should address patterns of natural resource use in a manner that prioritized intergenerational and intragenerational natural resource equity. As such, the participants discussed how various measures such as redefining the intrinsic value of the natural resources, especially extractive earth resources, were essential to coup full economic rent generated by the exploitation of such natural resources. Such is necessary in order to ensure that maximum royalty obtained from the exploitation of natural resources is being invested in productive capital or saved in the form of Sovereign Wealth Fund to ensure that the future generation is benefited from the present use of the natural resources.
Also, participants discussed the need to establish communal rights of shared or common-pool natural resources such as water, forests, and rangelands for indigenous communities interdependent on such shared natural resources to support their livelihood. Participants agreed that the absence of communal rights on such shared natural resources makes indigenous communities vulnerable to modern development projects encroaching on such natural resources or precluding communities to use such resources. Hence, participants agreed that establishing a scientific system of rights on natural resources to ensure the ability of indigenous ethnic minorities to perpetually use such shared resources is essential to ensure intragenerational equity in natural resource use. Overall, participants agreed that environment conservation and building inclusive resilience and adaptation capability from the impact of climate change should be an integral part of sustainable development in the future. However, participants lamented that the current national and political scene has effectively sidelined the sustainability aspect amid economic growth.