In December 2016, one of the 'close-door' initiatives on climate change is said to have nearly completed with mixed results. In March 2009, Nepal submitted a template-based national priority needs on climate change to access funding from Climate Investment Fund for Pilot Program on Climate Resilience (PPCR). Finalisation of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) expedited a process to develop this multi-million project. Finally Nepal secured over US$ 80 million for climate resilience programmes to implement NAPA prioritised programmes. One of the components of the country-specific Strategic Programme on Climate Resilience (SPCR) was mainstreaming climate risk management in development where the funding was channelled through Asian Development Bank. Led by the Ministry of Population and Environment – UNFCCC focal point for Nepal, this component was designed to integrate climate change risks into development projects, develop and apply knowledge management tools, and monitor climate change programmes under implementation in Nepal through a single reporting framework for shared learning and harmonised reporting. In order to achieve these outputs several activities were conceptualised and included in the project document in late 2011 to address Nepal's priority needs on climate change (CC).
The Project implementation started in March 2012 and will be completed by January 2017. Some of the activities include: (i) implementation of Nepal's climate change policy; (ii) develop and document sector-specific knowledge and case analysis; (iii) incorporate CC risk management into sector guidelines, manuals and standards; (iv) train and share knowledge on CC risk management; (v) facilitate review sector policies; (vi) develop a data support infrastructure for the implementation of CC risk management; (vii) prepare detail concept notes for CC related projects; and (viii) establish an overall CC risk management system. Some activities were also related to organising district level training, updating curriculum, providing small grant for research, and documenting traditional/indigenous knowledge on adaptation, including development of communication strategy, and sharing of knowledge products. The Project organised a final dissemination workshop on 8 and 9 December 2016 in Kathmandu.
The workshop was attended by government officers of the departments, mostly engaged in the project activities, project consultants and NAP (National Adaptation Plan) team members. Very interesting presentations were made along with open discussion. Attempts were made to link the Project outcomes with the NAP process.
This was a very good learning for me as I was engaged in securing funding, conceptualising and prioritising activities and listening the 5-years projects' achievement, lessons learned and future opportunities on mainstreaming CC risks into development. One of the very important achievements is the integration of climate change into university curricula that will greatly contribute to develop and bridge the gap of human resources on climate change. Knowledge products were generated and displaced, and hopefully, they could be best utilised by making little efforts to avoid 'factual errors'.
The Project organised training in 61 districts (those not covered by Nepal Climate Change Support Programme, NCCSP) on climate change risk management in infrastructure sector such as road, drinking water, water-induced disasters, irrigation and urban development to build and/or enhance capacity of the participants. The Project has also identified risk management approaches for infrastructure sectors. It seems that the Project activities have raised awareness on climate change and risks in participating departments.
This component was designed primarily to, inter alia, integrate CC risk management into sector guidelines, manuals and standards; and develop concepts and projects to access funding for future programmes/projects. The Project team shared 20 project concepts with 6 detail concepts. The proposed estimated funding for 6 projects and focused in rehabilitating and strengthening irrigation system, constructing toe wall and drainage and bioengineering in road sector, replacing head regulators, developing guidelines and codes, and building capacity and climate resilient protection works in mainstreaming climate change adaptations. The USD 7.2 million Project developed 6 detail concepts for less than USD 3 million where as the initial concept was to access multi-million $.
The nature and scale of proposed concept projects seek to 'invite concept and project developers' at the initial stage of project implementation to understand the needs and spirit of the priority projects. It does not mean that s/he should be hired and engaged for Project implementation. It means it is urgently required to have dialogue with 'project developers' to understand clearly the final output, the process for it, and avoid mis-interpretation of the project activities and outputs. In a nutshell, the government-led Project has raised awareness, and prepared knowledge products, and exposed 'consultants' on climate change which could be considered a part of 'country capacity development'.
The Project expects its contribution to National Adaption Plan (NAP) formulation. The NAP process will take stock and build on what has been done and will avoid duplication of efforts. The NAP aims to reduce climate vulnerability by integrating climate change adaptation into existing and new policies, strategies and programmes. The MoPE has started NAP process with initial support from UK-Aid, ACT/OPM and Practical Action, and has recently secured funding from Green Climate Fund.