Nepal is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, despite its negligible contribution to global greenhouse gas emission. The global climate changes have exacerbated climate hazards and amplified the risk of extreme climate-induced disasters in Nepal. The country is experiencing a 0.056 °C increase in temperature annually, while the precipitation patterns are changing, with a shift in onset and withdrawal of monsoon and reduction in winter monsoon.
Acknowledging that climate change can affect all developmental processes, including the economy, livelihoods, and human resources, the Government of Nepal started to prepare early on by devising the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) in 2010, with assistance from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). Likewise, to implement adaptation actions at the local level, the National Framework on Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPA) was developed. Understanding the urgency to address the nation’s most crucial medium and long-term adaptation needs, the government officially launched the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) formulation process in 2015, adhering to the Cancun Adaptation Framework.
At present, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is executing the NAP process through the project, “Building Capacity to Advance National Adaptation Plan Process in Nepal,” with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Building on the NAPA formulation and implementation experiences, this project supports the Climate Change Management Division (CCMD) of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, in the NAP formulation process, through a participatory, country-driven, gender-sensitive and multi-sectoral working group approach, emphasizing “leave no one behind” as the guiding principle.
The project has four main components which are:
- Technical and institutional capacity for the NAP process in Nepal
- Climate information system for prioritizing adaptation needs
- Funding strategy for the NAP process
- Monitoring, reviewing, and knowledge-sharing to learn from the NAP process.
To mainstream the interlinked climate change issues into the overall development process, the National Climate Change Policy that came into effect in 2019 identified eight thematic and four cross-cutting areas. Based on that, the NAP formulation process engages eight thematic working groups (TWGs) and four cross-cutting working groups (CWGs) to cover the climate-sensitive approach. These working groups ensure the harmonization of ongoing efforts and provide technical inputs on suitable adaptation options to integrate into new and existing policies and programs. In line with the National Climate Change Policy 2019, the project works through the seven Provincial Climate Change Coordination Committees (PC4), one in each province. The PC4 is a medium between the federal and provincial governments concerning climate change. This medium not only paves the way to expand the knowledge and experiences of climate change mitigation and adaptation, but also develops, implement, and monitor adaptation interventions in each province.
The NAP process promotes multi-stakeholder participation through extensive consultations bringing together civil society organizations, academics/research organizations, and private sector actors, among other representatives. Along with that, the NAP process highly prioritizes gender-sensitivity and inclusiveness in its approach by ensuring participation, particularly from marginalized and disadvantaged groups, climate-vulnerable communities, women, and youths. The gender-sensitive approach and engagement of multi-stakeholder consultation helps the project to ensure transparency, inclusiveness, wider acceptance, and ownership.
The NAP formulation process further identifies and uses multiple adaptation integration procedures to integrate climate change adaptation (CCA) options into new and existing national policies, strategies, and plans, and to institutionalize CCA as a ‘development strategy’ for Nepal. Identifying medium- and long-term adaptation needs, and developing and implementing strategies/ programmes to address those needs is crucial to adapt to the impact of climate change. Aware of this, the NAP project ensures the strengthened process of integrating adaptation into development plans, programmes, and budget, to design Nepal’s adaptation solutions for maximum impact.