Time to set benchmarks for adaptation in Nepal

By Basanta Paudel

As science becomes increasingly clear about the abrupt impacts of climate change, the governments and practitioners across the world are implementing climate change interventions. Such interventions are aimed at building capacity and enhancing the livelihood of communities.

However, adequate and appropriate importance has not been given to the assessment of the effectiveness of such interventions. There is also a need to bring clarity on what constitutes climate change adaptation right from the planning level to the implementation. Realizing this, civil society organizations (CSOs) have come together to formulate a set of principles for adaptation planning and implementation. The Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) formulated by CSOs working in Asia, Africa and Latin America aim to facilitate equitable and effective adaptation planning and implementation. The seven principles and twenty four criteria under JPA will help find a common understanding on adaptation and better shape the existing adaptation process.

Piloting Joint Principles for Adaptation in Nepal

#Nepal one of the least developed and highly vulnerable countries in the world started responding to the adverse impacts of climate change by preparing its National Adaptation Program of Action (#NAPA). Similarly, the government adopted Nepal’s climate change policy in 2011 with a clear provision for spending 80 percent of the climate change financing at the local level. Also, a national framework for Local adaptation Plan of Action (#LAPA) formulated in 2012 aims to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into the development planning process from the grass root level.

A number of adaptation programs and projects are at different stages of implementation in Nepal. However, there is no clear definition, and there exists a lack of common understanding and a national benchmark on what constitutes climate change adaptation and which activities can be termed as adaptation related activities. There is also no mechanism in place to measure the effectiveness of the adaptation interventions.

In such a context, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LIBIRD) and Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) are piloting to contextualize the Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) in Nepal as a part of Southern Voices on Adaptation, a program facilitated by Climate Action Network South Asia for the Asian region.

Recently, CEN and LIBIRD organized a half day Inception workshop in Kathmandu with the objective of introducing JPA and its relevance to Nepal and to create a common understanding among the stakeholders on JPA. The stakeholders representing government and civil society organizations discussed on the need for setting a benchmark for adaptation planning and implementation in Nepal.

Way Forward

As agreed by stakeholders at the inception meeting, the JPA could lay the foundation for effective and equitable adaptation planning and implementation in Nepal. The focus should be equally on coordination, harmonization and standardization with existing plans and polices that are in place at local and national level.

Testing of JPA in Nepal will involve case studies, advocacy and capacity building of the policy makers. Though, JPA was formulated through a rigorous process of discussion among civil society organizations from different parts of the world, the actual testing at the national and local level will help contextualize it according to Nepal’s needs and provide inputs to the development of the second version of the JPA.

JPA as of now do not include the indicators for measuring the effectiveness of the principles though focus is on the promotion of effective and equitable adaptation to climate change. Also, the principles are not in order in terms of governance, social, economic and environmental dimensions or for the planning phase, the implementation phase and the monitoring and evaluation phase. The project will try to address this gap.

Eight Districts have been identified based on different ecological zones, vulnerability ranking of NAPA and concentration of the adaptation intervention in those districts. The project will assess the current approaches followed by different adaptation programs and projects. A multi-stakeholder advisory group will provide guidance and feedback on the progress of the project. The findings of the project will be disseminated to different stakeholders through national and subnational consultations, sharing meetings and publications.

Basanta Paudel works as a Program Officer on Energy and Climate Change for Clean Energy Nepal in Kathmandu. Mr. Paudel is currently engaged in testing the JPA in Nepal under the southern voices on adaptation project implemented by Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LIBIRD) in partnership with Clean Energy Nepal.

#LAPA  #NAPA  #Nepal