Recent News » Climate Integration Workshop helps development organizations in Nepal address climate change in their work
Sajal Sthapit, from EcoAgriculture Partners and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), gave the context setting presentation and participated at the Climate Integration Workshop in Begnas, Kaski district, Nepal.
|Mr. Kul Chandra Adhikari, a local farmer, shares his group's work at the Climate Integration Workshop. Photo: Mahesh Shrestha, LI-BIRD|
The workshop participants, representing diverse actors in development from government ministries to local and international organizations and farming communities, collaborated in understanding and sharing perspectives on climate change vulnerability and adaptation and its linkages to poverty reduction in the Nepali context.
LI-BIRD, with funding from The Development Fund of Norway, organized the workshop on 24-28 June 2010 at the Begnas Resort in Pokhara to help integrate climate change into development projects.
The first objective of the workshop was to create a common understanding among the various actors on the vulnerability of local communities in Nepal to climate change. The second objective was to understand ways of addressing climate change adaptation in development projects in order to avoid maladaptation and increase people’s resilience to climate change in the long term.
Climate change is increasingly accepted as a major issue facing Nepali communities. The Initial National Communication to UNFCCC and a range of other studies have shown that Nepal is highly vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change. The scenarios of climate change in Nepal predict significant warming particularly at higher elevations. Climate change will lead to reduction in snow and ice cover, increase the frequency of climate induced disasters including floods and droughts, and cause uneven precipitation over the regional scale.
Climate induced risks and hazards can have wide ranging, often unanticipated, effects on the environment and on socio-economic and development related sectors, including agriculture and food security, water resources, energy, human health and urban settlement. Poor and vulnerable communities of Nepal, therefore, face possible dramatic impacts on their livelihood and well-being. Impacts have been increasingly evident and damaging in Nepal in the past decade. Loss of arable lands to floods and erratic changes in monsoon, water shortages and droughts are constraining food production. Communities in high elevations face growing threats from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). Invasion of exotic species, outbreak of diseases, sharp and sustained decline in food security and threats to biodiversity are all palpable risks for the people of Nepal.
For most marginalized people, climate change is one more stress factor, coming on top of any number of other challenges they are facing, poverty being a major one. Development practitioners now recognize that promotion of development paths that make households and communities more resilient to climatic stresses can also help to reduce poverty in more robust and sustainable ways. There is, at the same time, a growing realization that a failure to take climate change into account can undermine poverty reduction efforts and their intended social, economic and environmental benefits.
There is a need for greater understanding on how to design poverty reduction projects and programs in ways that increase the capacity of individuals, households and communities to respond to climate variability and change.
Posted By Sajal Sthapit at 8:19am on 26 July 2010