Long-term Approach on Climate Adaptation

<br>Batu Krishna Uprety

Oct. 19, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 06 No.-09 Oct. 19 -2012 (Kartik 03, 2069)<br>

No doubt, climate change has greatly affected Least Developed Countries (LDCs), although they emit negligible amount greenhouse gases – the contributor for climate change. LDCs are forced to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. It is not a choice but as a 'survival agenda' to countries like Nepal. The developed countries have also realized this reality and are supporting climate adaptation activities in LDCs, as a part of their global commitment under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).



The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC, at its 7th session in 2001, adopted a package of decisions to support LDCs and developed countries are now supporting climate adaptation to address most urgent and immediate adaptation options. Although it is not an attempt to address the root cause of climate change, i.e., GHGs emission reduction, but it helps to adapt to climate change impacts. Climate change is a perennial challenge and needs continued support to let the people of LDCs to survive.



The COP at its 16th session in Cancun, Mexico adopted a decision to encourage the developing countries for the preparation and implementation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) – a plan that addresses medium-term and long-term adaptation needs. The COP at its 17th session in Durban adopted the initial guidelines for the formulation of NAPs in LDC Parties and requested LDC Expert Group (LEG) to prepare technical guidelines based on the initial guidelines to assist LDCs to initiate the NAP process. It is basically a process to enable LDC Parties to formulate and implement NAPs, building upon their experience in preparing and implementing National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA). The technical guidelines will be issued during COP18, and may be launched in early to mid-2013. This will help LDCs to start the NAP preparation process in 2013. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is expected to provide funding from LDC Fund for NAP process.



The technical guidelines will provide a basis to LDCs in initiating the NAP process, characterizing data and information on capacities, climate risk and climate-resilient development, building capacities on climate change adaptation, assessing climate vulnerabilities at different sectors, identifying, appraising and prioritizing adaptation options, developing adaptation strategy, enhancing long-term capacity for, and regularly reviewing the NAP process and promoting reporting as well. The NAPA followed the 'project approach' and the NAP will focus on 'process' to provide LDCs additional opportunities to integrate and internalize climate adaptation as a means for addressing the adverse impacts of climate change regularly. Hence, the NAP calls to developing a process as a medium and long-term approach to adapt to climate change impacts.



The LEG at its 22nd meeting in Funafuti, Tuvalu from 26 to 29 September 2012 refined the draft technical guidelines for the NAP process.



Opening the LEG meeting and LEG Training Workshop for the Pacific, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Mr. Willy Telavi highlighted the impacts of climate change faced by Tuvaluan people and funding gaps for investment on adaptation. The 34th Independence Day of Tuvalu was also observed on 29 September 2012, and we LEG members and other participants were invited to observe it. One-day field trip was organized in Funafala island, an island inhabited by 3 families, and enjoying climate adaptation activities.


Tuvalu, one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world and located north of Fiji in the central Pacific with about 11,000 people, enjoys with two flights a week from Suva, Fiji, one hotel and 5 guest houses in Funafuti (capital of Tuvalu), and lots of motorbikes for transportation. Australian $ (=Tuvaluan $) is commonly used. As there are no lakes or rivers, the country relies on rainwater stored in tanks for its water supply. It seems that Tuvaluan people are happy, culturally rich and have memorable traditions. 

The government building is located at about 2 minutes walking distance from the International Airport constructed in 1994. The airport can be used for all purposes outside the flight times. Running in the runway (morning walk) is equally enjoyable in Funafuti. Pigs faming on one side and settlement on the other side of the airport compels Tuvaluan to maximize the use of airport ground and clearly indicates the scarcity of the land, as it is sea-locked.

The Tuvalu LEG meeting discussed, inter alia, on publication of case studies on NAPs, best practices and lesson learned, support needs to LDCs to initiate the NAP process, and LEG regional training workshops. Nepal's case on NAPA and LAPA process will be included in LEG publication. This LEG meeting is a turning point to finalise the technical guidelines to assist LDCs to be engaged in the NAP process. Nepal should speed up NAPA implementation, and start the NAP process realizing her delay in NAPA preparation. Nepal, being the Chair of the LDC Group for 2013 and 2014, will have additional opportunities to share learning and experiences from the NAP process, if it is timely initiated. In a nutshell, it is clear that climate change will continue to happen, and LDCs need to adapt to it. The NAP will promote medium- and long-term adaptation in LDCs and Nepal should realize it timely.

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