Peo­ple's cure to cli­mate woes

Eco­log­i­cally vul­ner­a­ble Nepal has framed its cli­mate change adap­ta­tion plan with the help of com­mu­ni­ties

Down to Earth - - CLIMATE CHANGE - VI­NEET KU­MAR |

Tdis­tricts in one of the most HE POOR­EST poor coun­tries of the world have sug­gested ways to mit­i­gate the prob­lems they face due to cli­mate change. Nepal, which is go­ing through a po­lit­i­cal tran­si­tion and draft­ing a Con­sti­tu­tion, has made the most vul­ner­a­ble sec­tions of its pop­u­la­tion a part of cli­mate change adap­ta­tion plan­ning.

High poverty rates and frag­ile ecol­ogy make Nepal ex­tremely sus­cep­ti­ble to cli­mate change im­pacts.As per as­sess­ments done by the gov­ern­ment, the mid-west­ern and far­west­ern re­gions, where small-scale agri­cul­ture is the main oc­cu­pa­tion,are highly prone to drought, land­slides and chang­ing rain pat­terns (see ‘Pre­car­i­ously bal­anced’). Com­pared to the rest of the coun­try, the adap­ta­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of th­ese re­gions is also quite low. But de­spite the tur­moil it is go­ing through, Nepal be­came the first coun­try in the world to de­velop a bot­tom-to-top plan­ning ap­proach when it an­nounced the Na­tional Frame­work on Lo­cal Adap­tion Plans for Ac­tion in Novem­ber 2011. The im­ple­men­ta­tion started in 2013 and is to be com­pleted by the end of 2015.

Lo­cal Adap­ta­tion Plans of Ac­tion, or lapa, iden­tify lo­cal needs, op­tions and pri­or­i­ties, and in­cor­po­rate them in na­tional pol­icy. The pro­gramme was con­cep­tu­alised to en­sure bet­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion of Nepal’s Na­tional Adap­ta­tion Pro­gramme of Ac­tion (napa), which was launched in Septem­ber 2010.

Lo­cal plans are pre­pared with in­puts from the vil­lage/mu­nic­i­pal­ity level, us­ing com­mu­nity wis­dom.“They are the wish doc­u­ments of com­mu­ni­ties,” says Som Lal Subedi,sec­re­tary,Min­istry of Fed­eral Af­fairs and Lo­cal Devel­op­ment (mofald), Nepal. For in­stance, drought-prone vil­lage Vishala in Dailekh dis­trict wanted the au­thor­i­ties to pro­vide drought-tol­er­ant seed va­ri­eties and con­struct a pond. Th­ese sug­ges­tions were ac­cepted. A to­tal of 70 lo­cal plans were pre­pared for 69 vil­lages devel­op­ment com­mit­tees (vdcs) and one mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 14 of Nepal’s poor­est and vul­ner­a­ble dis­tricts for im­ple­men­ta­tion in 2013-14. The plan

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