NAPA Fresh Promise

With the approval of National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) by the government, funding avenues are now open to implement adaptation projects<br>KESHAB POUDEL

Oct. 11, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-09 Oct. -08-2010(Ashwin 22, 2067)

Manifestations of climate change from melting Himalayan glaciers to variations in rainfall patterns threaten livelihood in Nepal. Studies indicate that the key impacts are likely to include significant warming, particularly at higher elevations, leading to reductions in snow and ice coverage, increased frequency of extreme events, including floods and droughts and overall increase in precipitation during the wet season.

“Despite having to confront with various effects due to climate change, Nepal had nothing it could do without money. Following the approval of the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) by the cabinet, however, Nepal has now access to funds to launch adaptation programs and projects to minimize the effects of climate change,” said chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire. “After attending the cabinet meeting at Kalapathar last year, I realize that Nepal is very vulnerable to climate change.”

The seventh session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP7), held at Marrakech in 2001, established new funds relevant for adaptation, including the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), to help affected people adapt to climate change. LDCF has been used initially to support the preparation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs). The NAPA provides a process for LDCs to identify, communicate and respond to their most urgent and immediate adaptation needs and prioritize them. The fund provided approximately USD 200,000 to each LDC to develop their NAPAs. NAPA preparation is a pre-requisite for accessing funding from the convention’s financial mechanism.

The purpose of NAPA is to serve as a simplified and direct channel of communication for informing on the urgent and immediate adaptation needs of the Least Developed Countries. Activities proposed through NAPA would be those whose further delay could increase vulnerability, or lead to increased costs at a later stage. The approach of preparing NAPA is to be country driven, and complementary with existing plans and programs related to development and climate change.

After passing through various stages, National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) was finally endorsed by the government of Nepal last week. Although Nepal is the 45th out of 48 least developed countries to prepare NAPA, its NAPA document is said to be the best among them.

An LDC party to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocal has to prepare NAPA to access funding for adaptation programs. The Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology and UNDP country office Nepal entered into an agreement in Mid-November 2008 for the preparation of NAPA, for which additional support came from DFID and Danish Embassy later.

Nepal has been taking part in all international conferences related to environment. Nepal participated in the meeting of the UNFCCC and signed the convention on 12 June 1992 during the Rio de Janerio Earth Summit. Nepal ratified the convention on 2 May 1994 and it entered into force in Nepal on 31 July 1994. Nepal accessed the Kyoto Protocol on 16 September 2005 and it has entered into force on 14 December 2005.

Dr. Ganesh Raj Joshi, secretary, Ministry of Environment, said, “Realizing the impacts of climate change in the mountains and its eco-systems, people and their livelihoods, the government of Nepal has given a top priority to make the economic development environment and climate friendly. During the last few years, we have finalized the preparation of National Adaptation Program of Actions (NAPA), initiated a pilot program for climate resilience to address the needs of the climate vulnerable communities and geographical areas; and strengthen the capacity for the management of climate change and the environment.”

The NAPA carried out and integrated ranking of priority activities and clustered these into nine combined projects profiles as: Increasing community based adaptation through integrated management of agriculture, water, forests and biodiversity, building adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities through climate resilient agricultural development, community based disaster Management for Facilitating climate adaptation, GLOF monitoring and disaster risk reduction, Forest and Eco-system management for supporting climate led adaptation innovations, adapting to climate challenges in public health, ecosystem management for climate adaptation, empowering vulnerable communities through sustainable management of water resource and clean energy and promoting climate smart urban settlement.

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