It is indeed a great pleasure for me to welcome you all, the delegates and resource persons representing over 70 countries, to Nepal, which is the land of Mount Everest and the birthplace of Lord Buddha. At the outset, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, I would like to express my appreciation to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, particularly the Stakeholder Collaboration Team, for giving us the opportunity to host this Stakeholder Consultation on Standardised Baselines under the Clean Development Mechanism. I believe that in addition to this global consultation programme, the CDM workshop and DNA Forum of the Clean Development Mechanism for Asia and the Pacific will provide additional benefits to the participants to share knowledge and experiences on best practices, identify the barriers to replicate them, and alsodevelop a common understanding to make the most out of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol.
In our understanding, CDM is an additional opportunity to promote sustainable development in developing countries. However, low level of knowledge on CDM benefits, and inadequate technical capacity and complex process affecting CDM registration, validation, verification and issuance of certified emission reductions (CERs) are the major barriers to promote CDM in countries like Nepal. We initiated country level efforts by developing some bundled CDM projects in 2005. The Nepal DNA has so far approved 12 CDM projects with potential CERs of about 0.44 million tons CO2 equivalent. We are pleased to share with you that one of our biogas projects has recently received CERs from the CDM Executive Board. This also indicates how complex the process is and also how countries lacking capacity on CDM are disappointingly left behind to get benefits from the CDM.
You are well aware of the fact that climate change has greatly impacted the Himalayas and its resources. The level of efforts made at the international, regional and national level to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions do not quite match with the scale and the magnitude of the problem. So, we are concerned that this adverse impact of climate change on the mountains, its resources and people will be much more pronounced in the days to come. The global leaders have reaffirmed their commitments to address the impacts of climate change, individually or jointly, but measures such as climate financing, capacity building and technology transfer are too insufficient to tackle the increasing threats of climate change. It is to be acknowledged that countries like Nepal may have no or very little contribution for climate change, but still the impacts are gravely felt. So, unless the developed countries address the root cause of global warming, our efforts will be like a drop in the ocean. This is the ground reality we all need to heed.
Now, let me take this opportunity to share some of our initiatives and preparedness to ‘live with the increasing threats’ of climate change. The Government and people of Nepal have realized the urgency ofaddressing the challenges the climate change has posed to us. Our efforts are inadequate, but I think we are on the right track.
Broadly speaking, the Government of Nepal is engaged in strengthening institutional capacity and coordination mechanism, developing programs and projects, and enhancing the understanding about climate change and its impact at different levels. Climate adaptation has been a prime development agenda for Nepal. Climate change has received greater attention at the political level as the Right Honourable Prime minister chairs the climate change council for overall coordination and guidance. The Multi- stakeholder Climate Change Initiatives Coordination Committee has been an effective platform at the functional level to discuss climate issues, share information and experiences, avoid duplication, and develop activities on climate change. The Government of Nepal has placed the Climate Change Management Division and CDM section within the Ministry of Environment, which is also the UNFCCC focal point for Nepal.
The year 2009, mainly because of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, was largely successful for generating and widening awareness on climate change at different levels and sectors. The 2010 and the first half of the 2011 have been the ‘building block’ to enhance climate change activities in Nepal as the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) was prepared and approved in September 2010; a framework for LAPA (Local Adaption Plan of Action) has been developed to guide the implementation of adaptation options at the local and community levels; the Climate Change Policy, 2011 has been issued promoting, among others, the CDM; and efforts in securing seed funds from LDC Fund for NAPA implementation, and concessional resources from other sources to make our development programs and projects climate-resilient have been materialised. We have also accessed funding for scaling up renewable energies. Implementation of these national initiatives will provide us information to know what worked and what did not, and guide us to change the gear or the direction on climate change activities in the future.
Climate change is apparently an inevitable phenomenon due to various factors, and we take this phenomenon as an opportunity to protect the mountains, its resources, peoples and their livelihoods. We have initiated a process to raise the issues and priorities of the mountains. We are planning to host the International Conference of Mountain Countries on Climate Change in early 2012. We need to preserve and promote the collective voices. The proverb, “United we stand, divided we fall” urges us to work together, to make our voice prominent, and to inform the developed countries to realize their obligations on climate change. It is with that vision that the public, private, academe and civil society have actively been engaged in climate change activities in the recent years. Our collective efforts might help us to make climate change an opportunity for economic development by ensuring the environmental integrity, and also for reducing poverty.
I believe the outputs of this consultation including the Regional DNA Forum and CDM workshop for Asia and the Pacific would prove as the ‘stepping stones’ for our long journey to protect our life support systems from the adverse impacts of climate change, and also to benefit from the CDM.
Ghimire is chief secretary of Government of Nepal. Excerpts of the statement delivered at Workshop on Standardized Baseline, and CDM and Regional DNA Forum)