Unprecedented changes in the climate system have continuously cornered the countries like Nepal, its people, resource and economy. Climate-induced disasters are on the increase and this monsoon might also claim life and property. Adverse impacts of climate change are pronounced in economic sectors such as infrastructure, forests, agriculture, and water resources.
Realising a greenhouse gas 'non-emitting country', state of poor and climate vulnerables, understanding the climate change impacts and coping capacity, and strong desires and needs for economic uplift, Nepal has limited choice to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change. It is, therefore, natural to put adaptation in high priority of climate change agenda. In our case, adaptation functions as 'survival strategy' for poor and climate vulnerable communities. This realisation marked the launching of the national adaption plan (NAP) formulation process in September 2015 to help people prepare for medium- and long-term adaptation needs. This responds to the implementation of the decisions taken by the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at Cancun, Mexico. In Cancun, Parties established a 'process to enable LDC Parties to formulate and implement national adaptation plans, building upon their experience in preparing and implementing NAPAs, as a means of identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programmes to address those needs'. Furthermore, Parties have made several decisions from Durban in 2011 to Paris in 2015. The Parties at Lima in 2014 decided to enhance reporting of NAP document and outcomes of the NAP process to the NAP Central. This clearly demonstrates that NAP is both a 'process' and a 'product' (document).
The Paris Agreement (2015) prioritises, inter alia, adaptation planning, institutional strengthening and recognises adaptation efforts and communication. It has provisions for improving effectiveness and durability of adaptation, and building resilience of socio-economic sectors, through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources. Parties have agreed to undertake global stocktake to, inter alia, recognise and review adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation efforts and support provided and enhance adaptation actions. It demands for integrated and holistic approach.
The NAP aims to reduce vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and facilitate integration of adaptation into relevant new and existing policies and programmes. The NAP promotes to build adaptive capacity and strengthen resilience to climate change. Focus on socio-economic sectors, infrastructure and sustainable management of natural resources demonstrates the needs for integration and adoption of holistic approach as prerequisites for addressing climate change impacts through adaptation stream.
Nepal builds NAP using knowledge, experiences and lessons learned during the preparation and implementation of national adaptation programme of action (NAPA) in 2010, climate change policy and local adaptation plan for action (LAPA) in 2011. LAPAs and ecosystem- and community-based approaches to adaptation provide useful lessons and guidance to prepare practical, easy to implement and user-friendly NAP document.
In May 2016, the Government of Nepal has mobilised resources for NAP formulation process. Seven thematic areas (agriculture and food security, climate-induced disasters, forests and biodiversity, health (water and sanitation), tourism and natural and cultural heritage, urban settlement and infrastructure, and water resources and energy) and two cross-cutting areas (gender and social inclusion, and livelihood and governance) are identified. For each theme and cross-cutting area, working group will likely be formed under the coordination of a senior officer of the concerned ministry. This will enhance awareness and understanding, build capacity and promote commitment to integrate climate change adaptation into sectors to make the sectors climate adaptive and resilient.
Nepal will prepare a single NAP document with adaptation needs and options of all themes, cross-cutting areas and sectors. Each thematic area will, inter alia, document development priorities and climate sensitivity, assess risks and vulnerabilities, identify and prioritise adaptation options, ensure visioning for climate-resilient development, and provide key elements for inclusion in the NAP document. It means themes or sectors will not have a separate and stand-alone NAP document. For example, adaptation actions of agriculture sector or forest biodiversity or water or health will be included in a NAP document by ensuring integration and adopting holistic approach. At present, a team leader with 9 thematic leads and two technical officers, including support staff are engaged in government-led NAP formulation process with support from UK Aid, ACT, Oxford Policy Management and Practical Action.
In general understanding, gender, livelihood and governance are integrated into themes or sectors. In Nepal's NAP process, stand-alone cross-cutting working groups are formed for GESI, and livelihood and governance. It is likely that they will meet twin objectives of integrating into themes or sectors, and providing stand-alone outcomes for the NAP document. In this process, about 90 knowledge products are expected to be shared with stakeholders and interested public and about 12,000 people are likely to be engaged in consultations and review at national, regional and local levels and at different stages of the NAP process. In addition to several approaches, Nepal's NAP adopts 'development first' with integration of adaptation actions of 'all sectors' affected by climate change into a single NAP document in order to reduce climate vulnerability and poverty, and build adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change impacts.