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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Climate change problem and its ground reality in Nepal

Climate change has been a topic of discussion since past few years, its relevancy and awareness has spread with the confusion among the different stake holders regarding its work methodology and its practices. With high priority and concern, large amount of international funds has been poured-in in regards to the climate change activities and campaigns where the awareness spread in the field has not only created a trend of awareness but to a level has created a confusion among the different entities to work together for the cause. The basic entities in the field of climate change in Nepal have been working individually in regards to their sectors and work practices. In Nepal the work entities have been basically divided in these categories
1. Donor
2. Line agencies
3. The government4. Local organization
5. Consumer

The different categories of organization work at different levels of action and awareness strategy where the government and line agencies work in policy and strategy level. The government role is immense in respect to the services that it provides through its different organizations but due to lack of infrastructure and mobility in the rural areas the human resources are limited within the urban area where the rural people lack the services which they are in dire need of. The Donor organization works in providing funds and receiving the feedbacks only. Local organization works in collaboration of the line agencies and government in following the strategies in action. At consumer level they work toward the adaptation and adaptability of the problem where lack of coordination and planning has been hindering the prospect of investment and research.

Especially in a country like Nepal where the education rate is very low, People know that changes are happening and they are adapting to it but they lack the technical knowhow of what, where and how?
Looking at the scenario and economic condition of Nepal and its pollution rates, Nepal stand nowhere to talk about its contribution in Green house gases emission rates but consequently it faces a huge price of global warming and climate change in retrospect to its adaptability and consequences.

The world Wild Life Nepal in its website says, “Communities in the target area are facing the natural hazards such as landslides, earthquakes and forest fires. Serious drought, temperature increases, and flash flooding are causing serious detrimental impacts on community livelihoods – causing food insecurity; lack of access to freshwater for irrigation and household needs; soil erosion; damage to infrastructure (including irrigation systems, land, property and roads); increase in pests and diseases, and changes to ecosystems (including NTFPs). These hazards are in part as a result of non-climate drivers (such as land use changes, unsustainable use of natural resources, governance, tourism) but are exacerbated by climatic variability. Communities in the target area do not have adequate access to information on climate data and local planning structures (including Village Development Committee Plans, and Buffer Zone Management Plans) have not taken into account risks as a result of climate change. WWF will play a crucial role in working with communities to ensure risks to ecosystem integrity (and therefore ecosystem services) are minimized; thereby building on existing or developing new relationships with other NGOs, private sector organizations, government agencies or research institutions to ensure all vulnerabilities facing people and the natural environment are addressed.”

Climate change has been an effective sector of funding where different Non government organizations are mushrooming in. According to a report from the Centre District Office there are thousands of organizations registered or that have the work capability to work in the field of climate change. Though different NGOs are operational but most of them are limited within bring funds and lack real operational skills where the government lack of monitoring mechanism has boosted their confidence.

Like such Saurav Dhakal, British Council International Climate Champion 2010/11 recently shared his experience of the ground reality of the climate change and its adaptation problems that he encountered during his visit to far rural villages of Dailekh and Terahthum. He shared some key points in his study report of “Adaptation learning highways” which are given below.

Community perception on climate change:

  • Delay and reduced snowfall
  • Delay in erratic rainfall
  • Prolonged dry spells
  • Water stress
  • Increased pest incident
  • Early maturing of crops and new crop opportunities

Dhakal further highlighted the issues and gaps of climate change in following key points.

  • Lack of mechanism or existing mechanism is not actively functioning to discuss on farmers problem and technical backstopping on problem
  • Lack of technical backstopping for farmers to solve the problem in field level from line agencies. Most of the technical service providers agencies are centered in district headquarters
  • Less information on adaptation of farming techniques and seed methodology
  • Less knowledge on responsibilities of line agencies toward farmers
  • Lack of effective information flow system
  • Lack of introduction of new technology in adaptation of farming techniques
  • Lack of effective human resource in the field

He said, “People in rural parts of Nepal they majorly lack knowledge sharing and most importantly they are unaware of the resources that are available to reduces the effective of climate change. It’s a worrying situation especially in rural villages where prominent changes are happening and people have no idea of what’s happening. The awareness program of line agencies has reached places but they are inconclusive way limited to center and cities where people in rural areas are confused. The government needs to collaborate in a proper mechanism in dealing with such scenario where the gaps in between the line agencies, and the people should be overcome. The ultimate goal is to provide relief to the public where a reality check needs to be done from all sides and proper efforts have to be done in dealing with the situation.”

Ministry of Environment (MoE) in its portal states, “The Government of Nepal, Ministry of Environment (MoE) has received support from the Embassy of Denmark in Nepal to implement climate change activities. The MoE prepared, through this support, the status report while participating the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC and 5th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the KP. In addition, this funding was also used to prepare and publish the Status of Climate Change in Nepal. The MoE has felt an urgent need for preparing Strategy for Climate Change Strategy and Framework for Climate Change Fund from this support within the broader framework of the Climate Change Policy, 2011. This strategy is expected to streamline all climate change activities in Nepal and include negotiation approaches and will contribute to future climate change negotiations as well. Similarly, the framework for climate change fund will provide a basis to channelize funding on climate change activities received from different sources in the country. The Ministry of Environment intends to prepare the Climate Change Strategy and Framework for Climate Change Fund by procuring consulting services. The key output of this study will be the final reports on: (i) Climate Change Strategy; and (ii) Framework for Climate Change Fund.”

With stakeholders of climate change being more focused in managing the funds and other operational issues climate change industry in Nepal has been a booming industry. The reality of the rural villages and lack of effective human resource in addressing the issue has evolved as a serious problem. Lack of monitoring from the government side and effective mechanism to upgrade the human resource and to outreach the people seems to be the problem at large. Climate change in Nepal has been an issue of concern to all where lack of coordination among the stakeholder hiders the process of awareness and adaptation.

Further climate change strategy and adaptation perspective can be gained from the following link


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