Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the global goal on adaptation in the Paris Agreement (PA) on 12 December 2015 in Paris. The Agreement focuses, inter alia, in enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Article 7 of the Agreement provides multiple avenues to promote adaptation planning and adaptation actions to protect the poor and climate vulnerable people by adapting and building resilience to climate change. The PA provides opportunities to promote adaptation-friendly livelihood options to cope with climate change impacts. The PA reiterates the specific needs and special situation of the least developed countries (LDCs) with regard to funding and transfer of technology.
The Paris Agreement urges each Party to engage in adaptation planning processes and implementation of adaptation actions, including the process to formulate and implement national adaptation plan (NAP). It calls for assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability to formulate nationally determined prioritised actions, taking into account vulnerable people, places and ecosystems. Article 7 also provisions for adaptation communication and global stock taking. This communication will provide Parties additional opportunities to share and communicate their adaptation priorities, state of implementation and supports needs. The global stock taking will focus on adaptation efforts, enhance the implementation of adaptation actions, review the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support provided and received, and also review overall progress to achieve the global goal on adaptation.
Nepal is a Party to the UNFCCC and a signatory to the Paris Agreement. The Minister of State for Forests and Soil Conservation signed the UNFCCC at Rio de Janeiro during Earth Summit on 12 June 1992 and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal signed the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016 at UN Headquarters, New York, during an event organised by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Nepal will hopefully ratify the PA at the earliest possible to join the international community in addressing the root cause of climate change. The UN Secretary-General organised a special event on 21 September 2016 and invited all Parties to the UNFCCC to deposit their instruments of ratification to the Paris Agreement for early 'entry into force'. Article 21 (of the PA) states that 'this Agreement shall enter into force on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession." In order for its entry into force, double triggers apply. As of July 2016, 179 Parties to the UNFCCC have signed the Paris Agreement and both triggers have not been met as only 21 Parties accounting in total for 0.85 percent of total GHG emissions have ratified this Agreement, indicating a 'long way' for its entry into force. However, September 21 will further encourage 'big GHGs emitters' to deposit their instrument of ratification so as to ensure its entry into force preferably by CoP22 in Marrakesh.
On adaptation front, Nepal has progressed steadily by preparing and implementing NAPA prioritised adaptation options through LAPA framework. Nepal has submitted the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in February 2016 which prioritises the formulation of the NAP as per the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the Paris Agreement (as provisioned). Nepal has already initiated the NAP formulation process by launching it on 18 September 2015. This government-led NAP formulation process is supported by UK Aid, ACT, Oxford Policy Management and Practical Action.
Taking into account the on-going and accelerated climate-induced disasters and emerging risks and vulnerabilities, climate change adaptation (CCA) does not now remain to LDCs only as previously understood. It has become a 'part and parcel' of all countries, people and ecosystems and urges to adapt to and build resilience to climate change impacts. Hence, several countries are in the process of NAP formulation. As of mid-July 2016, two LDCs (Burkino Faso and Sudan) and 3 developing countries (Brazil, Cameroon and Sri Lanka) have prepared the NAP document.
LDCs have updated information and knowledge on how to adapt and build resilience to climate change impacts as they are engaged in identifying, prioritising, designing/planning and implementing adaptation actions through their NAPAs and LAPAs or local adaptation plans (LAPs). Nepal has moved further to localise adaptation actions and capacitate vulnerable people in integrating adaptation options from local to national planning processes through LAPA framework. This has been well recognised at the regional and international levels.
As also an important element of the Paris Agreement, Nepal has planned to prepare a NAP document using knowledge, experiences and lessons learned during NAPA and LAPA preparation and implementation of most prioritised CCA and resilience actions. The NAP process will follow clear and far-reaching approaches to ensure, inter alia, better use of experiences and existing processes, including multi-stakeholder engagement and an approach of 'leaving no one behind'. Each organisation and individual is expected to contribute to the NAP process so as to address medium and long-term adaptation needs of the country by reducing vulnerability to climate change.