Advocating for the reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions in the atmosphere is expected to lower the impacts of climate change. Climate change negotiators from developing countries, including LDCs and island countries, have also urged developed countries to reduce GHGs emission to keep the temperature at 1.50C.As atmospheric concentration of GHGs has reached over the 400 ppm threshold, a heightened sense of urgency is required to reduce GHGs emission and close the mitigation ambition gap.
Forty-nine LDCs emit about 4 percent of the total GHGs emission. Nepal's share on GHGs emission at the global level is less than 0.025 percent. Hence, our primary concern and effort are towards climate change adaptation.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls upon the developed countries to mitigate GHGs emission at a level that allows ecosystem to function well. The Convention also calls upon the developed countries to support the LDCs on technologies and finance. Accordingly, LDCs prepared the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) as per the decisions of the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the UNFCCC in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2001. NAPA is a national document that contains broad-based climate adaptation programmes. During the last 12 years, 47 LDCs (out of 49 LDCs, Parties to the UNFCCC) have prepared NAPA, and about 45 countries have secured funding for the implementation of the most urgent and immediate adaptation options as included in their NAPA.
Nepal started NAPA preparation functionally in May 2009 with its inception workshop with the support from the LDC Fund. UNDP provided its services (with defined charge) to the Government of Nepal (GoN) as the GEF Implementing Agency. The NAPA was endorsed by the GoN in September 2010.
The LAPA (Local Adaptation Plan for Action) was conceived during the NAPA Inception Workshop in May 2009. The GoN, through its UNFCCC focal point, now Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, with support of DFID and HTSPE drafted, piloted, finalised and endorsed in November 2011 as a National Framework on LAPA.
The LAPA contributes to sensitise people and stakeholders, conduct vulnerability and adaptation assessment; identify, select and prioritise adaptation options, and formulate adaptation plan. It equally contributes to integrate adaptation options into planning process, implement the adaptation plan, and know what adaptation option worked and what did not in Nepalese soil. Hence, either a stand-alone LAPA could be formulated and implemented; or adaptation options could be integrated into the planning process, and implemented.
Nepal has yet to implement climate adaptation options in the field. The GoN has made agreement with DFID and EU in late 2011 to implement most urgent and immediate adaptation options in 14 districts under the Nepal Climate Change Support Programme. Over 80 percent of the total fund available is expected to go to field level activities in order to comply with the Climate Change Policy, 2011. For this programme implementation, UNDP will provide services with 'defined service charge'. Unlike NAPA preparation (LDC Fund and funding support from DFID was channelled through UNDP), GoN will provide funding to UNDP based on its performance in Nepalese currency. This is a significant shift in working modality and taking the services from different organisations on climate change activities.
Separate LAPAs for 69 VDCs and 1 LAPA for a municipality (5 VDCs or municipality per district) were prepared in the fall of 2012 and are waiting for implementation. Considering the UNDP bureaucracy, it will be too early to expect for LAPA implementation. Similarly, GEF has approved the project design document in January 2013 to support through the LDC Fund Nepal's community-based adaptation project to address GLOF and flood impacts. For this Project as well, UNDP will function as the GEF Implementing Agency and funding will be channelled through UNDP. In this context, implementation of 3 programmes of NAPA is in the 'court' of UNDP and how climate vulnerable communities will receive services, will greatly depend upon UNDP.
Nepal is the only LDC which has prepared a framework on LAPA to implement climate adaptation activities in the ground. If Nepal shows convincing level of performance, LAPA might be a window for additional climate finance during its tenure as the Chair of the LDC Coordination Group to the UNFCCC for the period of 2013 and 2014. Resource generation and utilisation will also greatly depend upon how Nepal makes progress in implementing climate adaptation options.
In an ecological perspective, diversity leads to stability. This demands that Nepal may wish to explore and diversify management modalities in a way that climate vulnerable people, communities, geographical areas and ecosystems receive 'services' timely and in a professional manner to address the adverse impacts of climate change. There are ample opportunities to scale-up and provide leadership in LAPAs through effective and government-driven/owned implementation of adaptation options.