NARESH SHARMA is National Program Manager,Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP), at Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. He spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on various issues. Excerpts:
Why was your program, Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP), chosen as one of the top five programs in COP 21?
It is a pride for Nepal to see NCCSP stand out as One of The Best Programs in COP 21. As a program manager, I feel proud to say that the program chosen by the poor and vulnerable communities for themselves had a high chance to succeed. NCCSP is an example.
NCCSP received the recognition as a good practice to linking climate change adaptation to the local and national level planning process. I am proud to have presented NCCSP case on the side event organized by NWP on 30 November 2015. I had highlighted the reliability elements of the program and how other LDCs can be benefited from its experiences, as well as the challenges faced in implementing the program in climate vulnerable communities which are in the remotest parts of the country.
How many districts does the program cover?
The program covers 14 districts of Nepal - 3 in far-west (Achham, Bajura and Kailali) and 11 in the mid-west (Bardiya, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Mugu, Dailekh, Jajarkot,Kalikot, Dang, Rolpa and Rukum).
What is the aim of the program?
Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP) aimsto ensure the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepaladapt to the effects of climate change. This teaches them how they can adapt with the effects of climate change. This is the first significant intervention on climate change adaptation in Nepal in line with the recommendation of the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA).
Why is NCCSP is so important?
As a follow-up action program for NAPA, we introduced the framework of Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA). One of the aims of LAPA is to identify the most vulnerable and directly affected communities. Since NCCSP is based upon the bottom-up approach, the program was designed from village level with support from District Development Committees.
What makes the programbottom-up?
The program was designed and implemented on the basis of needs of villages and districts. Ministry of Environment and Population had allocated the budget to implement the program under the choice of DDC with ranking and vulnerabilities analysis. Then, we went to the venues and sensitized the local communities and sought to learn of their priorities. This program gives the benefit to the local communities -- the people have taken the ownership. This program provides direct benefits to the beneficiaries.
How do you feel that the program got the international award?
I am proud that the program received the international recognition. It has made me feel honored when many African countries are now seeking to replicate the program. I want to reemphasize that this is a successful program because it was designed and implemented with the support from local people.
What shows the level of popularity of the program in the country?
This is a very popular program in the country as there is a growing demand of this program. After COP 21, our successful model is now internationalized. This is good news for Nepal. I can claim that this is the first program that was recognized for such a success. At a time when there is a growing discontent that Nepal has done nothing, this program has shown that Nepal has also made certain progress. We are in the process.
What are the highlights of the program?
We have six thematic areas -- agriculture and food security, bio-diversity and forest, water induced disaster, renewal energy, livelihood and infrastructure. Basically, these targets are set looking at the poor and vulnerable communities. At a time when there is a growing criticism that the money allocated to climate change has been spent in the capital and urban peripheries, the ministry has decided to implement the program in rural areas. Our National Climate Change Policy has said that the eighty percent of the budget allocated to climate change program will be spent at the rural areas. We have been able to show this to the international community.
How do you look at the challenges?
As Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP) was recognized as one of the five best cases out of 170 submissions from various countries under Nairobi Work Program (NWP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the challenges before us are to sustain and maintain the current level of achievement.
How has it been designed?
The program has been designed in close collaboration with stakeholders and has been closely aligned with the NAPA (2010) and the Three Year Plan (2010/11-2013/14). NCCSP will also be guided by the Climate Change Policy (2011) and National Framework on LAPA (2011). The NAPA has brought forward priority adaptation options, in particular the most urgent and immediate adaptation programs in key vulnerable sectors under nine combined profiles.