Government commits to address adverse impact of climate change

16 Aug 2012

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KATHMANDU, August 16 : The Government of Nepal, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly launched the “Ecosystem based Adaptation in mountain ecosystem in Nepal (EbA)” Project today. The project aims at implementing an emerging approach to help people to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The project document was jointly signed by Mr. Harihar Sigdel, Joint Secretary and Chief of Planning and Human Resources Development Division, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) on behalf of the Government of Nepal and Ms. Shoko Noda, Country Director, UNDP Nepal on behalf of the EbA partners UNDP, UNEP and IUCN for 3 years starting from August 2012. The Secretary of MoFSC, Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel was also present in the signing ceremony.

Speaking at the occasion, Joint Secretary at MoFSC, Mr. Ram Prasad Lamsal expressed that the ministry is willing to join hands with UNDP, UNEP and IUCN for future endeavors as well.

The USD 3.3 million project, funded by the Government of Germany, will be piloted in the Panchase area of Nepal which spans across the Kaski, Parbat and Syanja districts in the western part of Nepal. The project will strengthen ecosystem resilience and reduce the vulnerabilities of mountain ecosystems and their communities to the impacts of climate change.

Speaking about the unique opportunity that this project will provide to Nepal, Country Representative of IUCN Nepal, Dr. Yam Malla said, “Lessons learned and outputs of the project should be shared widely, not only at the community and national level, but also internationally.”

Addressing the ceremony, UNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda said, “Environment and energy, and climate change is a very important area of UNDP’s work.” She expressed UNDP’s commitment for continued support for the effective and successful implementation of the project. “I am confident that the project outcomes will be valuable for future climate adaptation initiatives of the country, and will also contribute to national policies and strategies,” she added.

Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary at MoFSC highlighted the significance of the project in the current context as the recent Rio+20 Conference has laid significant emphasis on adaptation. He also stressed that cooperation at local as well as regional and national levels is important for the successful implementation of the project. “From this project, we can achieve not just the anticipated results but even more if our partnership and collaboration is strong”, he said. He further emphasized to carry out baseline study of the project site so that the achievements made by the project interventions can be measured.

The project is possibly the first project focused on Ecosystem Based Adaptation in mountain region, therefore, it provides unique opportunities for experimental learning between regions and among countries with similar landscapes. In addition to Nepal, similar initiatives are being implemented in Peru and Uganda.

 

Notes to Editors:

As per Cancun Adaptation Framework, “Ecosystem Based Adaptation in Mountain Ecosystems” is initiated in three countries namely Nepal, Peru and Uganda, to enhance resilience of socio-economic and ecological systems through sustainable management of natural resources. The project is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and is jointly implemented by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The project’s underlying approach is to support countries and communities to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through improved biodiversity and ecosystem services, while taking into account risk management and resilience enhancement, as part of overall local and national level adaptation strategies.

The pilot site for this project is the Panchase area belonging to Kaski, Parbat and Syangja districts. This area was chosen due to its vulnerability to climate change impacts, with negative impacts on water resources, agriculture and biodiversity.

The project is designed on the premise that the social/human adaptation is best achieved by ensuring the continued provision of ecosystem services and enhancing human capacities to address current challenges and future uncertainties.  This is especially true in the context of the mountain regions of Nepal where communities continue to be significantly dependent on ecosystem services for their livelihoods.

The project has four major components: (i) the development of methodologies and tools for EBA decision-making in mountain ecosystems; (ii) the application of EBA tools and methodologies at the ecosystem level; (iii) the implementation of EBA pilots at the ecosystem level; and (iv)the formulation of national policies and building an economic case for EBA at the national level.

In Nepal, the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) is the implementing agency at the national level in partnership with UNDP, IUCN and UNEP while Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) plays an overall coordination role.

The project document has been signed with MoFSC for a period of 3 years starting from August 2012. The total budget of the project for Nepal component is USD 3,372,637 out of which UNDP, through MoFSC, will undertake activities for USD 1,731,733. Parallel funding from UNEP is USD 713,296 and from IUCN is 927,608.

Contact Information

Mr. Amit Poudyal, Communications and Outreach Officer, IUCN Nepal Country Office, Tel : 00-977-1-5528761 / 5528781 Ext. 115, Mobile: 9851031213, amit.poudyal@iucn.org

 

Ms. Tapa Dipti Sitaula, Communications Analyst, UNDP, Tel: 00-977-1-5523200 Ext. 1020, tapa.sitaula@undp.org