Nepal has been launching several programs on climate change adaptation, and one of these programs, Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP), has received a global recognition in a short period of time.
The Climate Finance Advisory Service (CFAS) fact sheet looks at the experience of Nepal in mobilizing climate finance at the sub-national level for the implementation of local adaptation actions. Focusing on the experience of the Government of Nepal in channeling international climate finance through the Public Finance Management System, it highlights the importance of engaging existing national systems and institutions to remove constraints and barriers related to institutional and technical capacities.
The fact sheet further highlights the way international climate finance mechanisms can use the experience to design their funding modality in bringing effectiveness of climate finance investments from sources to recipients and to the end-user level.
CFAS has prepared the fact sheet on the experience with LAPAs in Nepal. The LAPA experience from Nepal provides a number of lessons. “LAPAs are a means for the government to channel climate finance through its existing national and local institutions, at the same time by creating supporting structures and coordination mechanisms. Implementation of climate change adaptation activities through the Public Finance Management System of the country helps strengthen internal capacity in the process,” the report says.
The LAPA experience has shown that experienced and technically sound multilateral agencies can work as technical assistance providers, rather than working as the financial intermediaries, thus strengthening national institutional capacity.The LAPAs are emerging as the bridge for integrating climate change adaptation and development planning.
The LAPA experience also leads to increased readiness for future adaptation programming because of strong government ownership and institutionalization.
LAPAs have demonstrated the potential for mobilization of diverse stakeholders at the local level, such as the service providers, government line agencies and community user groups.
With the Paris Agreement coming into force, the LAPA experience becomes even more relevant, as it is one of the tested instruments to channel funding for adaptation to the sub-national level.
The Climate Change Policy and the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) of Nepal provides a clear guideline for the disbursement of at least 80 percent of available climate change funds for implementation at the local level. In 2011, the government endorsed and adopted a national framework for a Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) to implement NAPA prioritized adaptation actions and also as a means to achieve the policy provision that requires disbursement of at least 80 percent funds to the local level.
The LAPA framework provides guidance on the preparation and implementation of local adaptation plans and also the integration of adaptation options into sectoral and development plans. The framework intends to make adaptation planning and its integration into local and national development planning a bottom-up, inclusive, responsive, and flexible process. The framework also provides step-by-step guidance on the formulation and implementation of LAPAs. The ultimate objective is to ensure integration and implementation of climate adaptation and resilience actions into sectoral plans, programmes and projects, and ensure people, community and their resources are adaptive to climate change.
After the piloting of LAPAs in 2010 and its subsequent endorsement by the Government of Nepal in 2011, about a hundred LAPAs have been prepared and are under implementation in the mid and far western development region of Nepal. In addition to the government-led LAPA process, development partners, and non-governmental organizations, following the national framework, are preparing and implementing several local adaptation plans and community adaptation plans across the country.
The significance of LAPAs is taking adaptation planning and implementation to the local level and ensuring participation of vulnerable communities in the process.
The design of the national framework, preparation and implementation of LAPAs has been possible because of the external funding from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and European Union (EU) through the Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP). This is the project designed to implement the LAPA Framework.
NCCSP is a government-led program in which the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) provides technical assistance. The Ministry of Population and Environment (MOPE) leads the implementation at the national and local level through the District Development Committees (DDC) and Village Development Committees (VDC), the local government bodies under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MOFALD).
The coordination mechanism for the implementation of LAPAs has been designed in such a way that existing institutions are supported and mobilized rather than creating entirely new institutions at the local level. However, existing institutions tasked with LAPA implementation are supported by coordinating and oversight bodies with representatives of local line agencies and community groups. Furthermore, the emphasis has also been given to strengthen the local institutions by upgrading the in-house sections or departments, one example being the upgrading the Energy and Environment Units (EEUs) in DDCs to Climate Change, Energy and Environment Sections (CCEES).
The NCCSP has been designed to deliver climate finance to the local level through the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) of the Government of Nepal. It commits to ensure that at least 80 percent of financial resources reach the local level. The DDCs implementing the programme receive conditional block grants annually on the basis of the plans sent to MOPE within the ceiling provided.
“This fact sheet is not a comparison of NCCSP with other climate change adaptation projects in Nepal, nor is it an evaluation of the NCCSP. The review of the funding modalities and project implementation structures reveal that NCCSP is trying to work within the government system, and strengthen it, while other projects use government systems as anchors and implement the activities through international organizations as the intermediaries. Furthermore, there might be limitations and challenges within the NCCSP model that may not have been captured, which are beyond the scope of this fact sheet. Nonetheless, there are some positive aspects in the NCCSP model, which can be considered in designing funding modalities from international sources to local level end-users.
“The NCCSP model uses the public finance management system of the Government of Nepal, which has resulted in enhanced government ownership.It relies on existing government structures and strives to strengthen them from the national to the local level,” said report.
The study points out that building into the government system ensures monitoring and operational aspects of the activities beyond the project cycle.
According to the report, the program commits to disburse at least 80 percent of the available fund to the local level, as mandated by the national climate change policy, a target the government is committed to meet.
It has facilitated the mainstreaming and integration of climate change adaptation into development planning, as climate change issues are internalized in local level government institutions. It takes support from specialized organizations (i.e. UNDP) to provide technical assistance, which is helpful in ensuring and strengthening good governance
NCCSP Recognized For Good Practice: Sharma
NARESH SHARMA is the National Program Manager, Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP), at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. He spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on various issues. Excerpts:
How do you view the recent report by CFAS on Nepal Climate Change Support Program?
It is a pride for Nepal to see NCCSP stand out as One of The Best Programs. 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 had highlighted the reliability elements of the program and how other LDCs can benefit 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) aims to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepal adapt 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).