“Nepal Is Serious About Climate Change” Naresh Sharma

At a time when Nepal is eyeing for international funding for financing resilient and low carbon development in Nepal, Naresh Sharma, Coordinator, National Adaptation Plan, Senior Agri-Economist, Chief of Climate Finance Management Section and Nationa

March 3, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 09.No 16, March 4,(Falgun 21, 2072)

How do you see the current Climate Finance Status and Future Opportunity for Nepal?

There is an immense opportunity for Nepal. We are in the process of learning by doing. However, Nepal’s program was appreciated by the global community for its success. The current climate finance status is quite good as the government allocated 19.45 billion rupees in fiscal year 2015/016. Out of this, 13.79 billion is direct and 5.66 billion rupees is indirect. This shows Nepal is serious about addressing the climate change program and there is enough opportunity for investment in the future. We are now working to prepare NAP and the government will hold stocktaking seminar within three months.

Why does Nepal need to mainstream Climate Change efforts?

There has been increase in average temperature by 1.8°C within 32 years between 1975 and 2006 in Nepal. The studies observed warming trend is not uniform across the country – warming more in high altitude compared to Terai. Although Nepal is responsible for only 0.027 percent of total GHG emissions in the world, the Climate Change Risk Atlas 2010 ranked Nepal as the 4th most vulnerable country worldwide. Climate induced extreme weather events flooding, landslide, droughts, and erratic rainfall are increasing.

How are the institutional arrangements?

Nepal government has given a high priority to climate change. There are various institutions, including Climate Change Council, set up in 2009 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister. Climate Change Management Division was set up in 2010 to expedite climate change related activities. Moreover, Climate Finance Management Section was set up to coordinate and deal with the climate finance related activities, Multi Stakeholder Climate Change Initiatives Coordination Committee (MCCICC) was formed in 2010 which is chaired by the MoPE Minister to coordinate climate change activities and implement collaborative programs. With MoPE as a focal point for climate change, District, Municipal and Village level environment, energy and climate change coordination committees established through NCCSP. These institutional mechanisms help to implement the programs.

How do you see the Climate Change Budget Code?

The budget code started from fiscal year 2013/14. This helps to track how much the government is spending on climate change and where.  According to the budget code, Nepal government allocated its budget in fiscal year 2015/16 – 19.45% of this budget is related to climate change (5.66% directly related and 13.79 % indirectly related). This showed that Nepal is serious about addressing climate change.

How about other programs and initiatives on national level for Adaptation?

We have National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), Climate Change Policy, 2011 – Accessing Finance, LAPA Framework – NCCSP as best case for other countries, NAP is now being prioritized and in the process of formulation, mountain agenda is high to demonstrate that Nepal is vulnerable to climate change.

How many projects are ongoing related to National Adaptation Projects?

Under the support from DFID, EU and UNDP, we are implementing Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP). With support from LDCF - A community based GLOF and flood risk reduction project is under way. Similarly, UNEP is supporting LDCF – Reducing Vulnerability and Increasing Adaptive Capacity to Respond to Impacts of Climate Change.  FAO is supporting LDCF – Agriculture and food security and ADB, the World Bank and IFC PPCR are supporting Climate Resilience. GIZ is supporting ecosystem based adaptation in mountains through UNEP and IUCN. USAID is supporting Hariyo Ban project through WWF, CARE-Nepal, NTNC and FECOFUN.

What will be the focus for the national adaptation projects for future? 

The focus for future will be catalyzing ecosystem restoration for resilient natural capital and rural livelihoods in degraded forests of Nepal and reducing vulnerability and increasing adaptive capacity to respond to impacts of climate change and variability for sustainable livelihoods in agriculture sector in Nepal and Developing climate resilient livelihoods in the vulnerable watersheds in Nepal. Similarly, Ecosystem-based adaptation for climate-resilient development in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal and adapting to climate induced threats to food production and food security in the Karnali region of Nepal are other areas.

What initiative is MOPE taking on Low Carbon?

Currently, under the leadership of MoPE, Low Carbon Economic Development Strategy is being prepared. AEPC is heading the alternative energy work that can be considered Low Carbon. Similarly, CDM and REDD plus are for low carbon work. Nepal’s INDC submitted to the UNFCCC also states much of the targets are moving towards this direction. This is a new area for Nepal and we need to further this idea through discussion and discourse that attracts funding and investment

What are the future opportunities?

There are immense opportunities for future as we are accessing funding from international funds such as LDCF, Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund and other sources.

We are building or strengthening national institutions to address climate change – readiness support and accrediting NIE to the GCF and the AF. We are also prioritizing adaptation and Low Carbon to achieve green development and liaise with international donors in Nepal and prepare for adaptation and low carbon projects – second phase of NCCSP, etc.  These will increase access and more funding for Nepal in collaboration with likeminded stakeholders.

What would be the way forward?

Climate change is a global problem that impacts Nepal so it needs to face it with stronger determination and adaptation and Low Carbon should be a focus to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience for sustainable development. Similarly, resource harmonization and institutional coordination among actors in the country, capacity building of national human resources and institutions, research and development for future CC intervention focusing on mountain issue and National Action Plan to implement the Paris Agreement – provide opportunity for adaptation and mitigation will guide Nepal. 

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