SALEEMUL HUQ, a senior fellow of Climate Change Group of International Institute for Environment and Development, visited Nepal recently. As a renowned expert, Huq has been actively involved in the process of climate change since last many years. Huq spoke to New Spotlight about climate change and preparation of National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA). Excerpts:
How do you look at the climate change issue?
Climate change is a long term problem and it is a long term process. A country like Nepal needs to build up a team. There are so many issues involved in it like mitigation and adaptation.
How do you view Nepal’s NAPA process?
Of course, it was delayed a little bit because of many confusions regarding the involvement of the agencies. Had the process started earlier Nepal would have completed the NAPA a long time back.
Despite a long delay and confusion in the early days, Nepal has now the NAPA draft. Is not it an achievement?
I agree that Nepal has done it in record time. Nepal may be the last country to prepare NAPA but it produced the best document. After going through the document, I can say that this is going to be one of the best documents.
What more do you say about the NAPA draft?
There are knowledge, information as well as projects for implementation. However, Nepal has to go a long way from here. During the process of NAPA, more people got involved in it. After Nepal’s finalization of the document, it can apply for various funds needed to implement the projects.
Why is NAPA important?
NAPA is a prerequisite to seek resources from various donors for Nepal’s priority projects. The document also highlights Nepal’s priorities and vulnerable areas.
How can Nepal implement it successfully?
The Ministry of Environment should form a group representing all government’s line ministries, departments as well as scientists, academia, NGOs, civil society and media.
How important do you think will the coming COP 16 be? Will it be like the COP15?
All the COPs will not have similar hype as it was for COP 15. The nature of COP is dependent upon the nature of delegation. During the COP 15, more than 100 heads of states and governments took part in the meeting. The COP meeting has records of going up and down. I can say the COP of 2015 will be more important because Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC is going to present its report.
What are the challenges for a country like Nepal?
You have to build knowledge and you have to encourage the young people so that they will carry this process.