Jony Mainaly

Jony Mainaly is a lawyer, academic, and legal researcher with focus on environmental law, human rights, and climate change law and policy. She earned her LL.M. degree from Duke University School of Law under Fulbright Scholarship. Currently, she is a lecturer (environmental law) at National Law College, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Jony Mainaly has also worked as a consultant for the Government of Nepal and bilateral agencies, most recently as the thematic lead (climate change and social inclusion) for Nepal’s National Adaptation Plan process, and as an expert for the integration of climate change adaptation in sub-national plans in federal Nepal.

Designation: Tribhuvan University, National Law College
Institution: Tribhuvan University, National Law College
Paper: Powers and Functions of Local Governments in South Asia: A Case of Climate Change
Abstract: "Legal responses to climate change often fall short in identifying multi-scalar nature of the problem and in assigning required response to each scale of government—from national to local. Ever-increasing functional assignments to the local governments in responding to climate change is a testimony to their emerging role as key actors in addressing this global crisis. This paper explores how local governments in South Asia, particularly, Nepal, Bangladesh and India, are responding to climate change. The paper focuses on the modalities and approaches devised by the local governments in implementing climate actions and how they are interacting with national governments and other actors. Common to all countries studied, the local governments’ climate initiatives are constrained by capacity, fiscal and regulatory bottlenecks, making climate actions an ad-hoc process rather than a systematic one. Although a plethora of research has explored national governments’ role in climate response, few studies have investigated comparative legal and policy regimes -- in particular, in the context of local governments’ functions. The findings of this research would, therefore, have practical implication for policymakers and academia in South Asia in strengthening legal, policy and institutional arrangement in propagating and fostering knowledge on how local governments are interacting, both horizontally and vertically, to create effective, equitable and sustainable legal and policy outcomes."