Climate Change and Development Context
Nepal is a developing country, with 31 percent of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, employing over 60 percent of the population. However, out of the total area, only 20 percent is cultivable and the other 29 percent of the country remains forested. Nepal’s food production system is highly vulnerable to increasing climate change and variability. High rates of snow and glacial melting, heat waves, frequent floods and droughts, incidence of pests and diseases are causing loss to the agriculture sector. Warming in the Himalayas is impacting Nepal’s fragile mountain ecosystems that also are home to many remote communities. Several glacial lake outbursts have occurred, and more than two dozen potentially dangerous glacial lakes threaten human life and property. Adaptation is Nepal’s paramount climate change concern. Nepal, however, recognizes that pro-poor development and expansion of basic energy services can be aided by strategies that promote low carbon growth.
Key National Institutions, policies and Initiatives
Nepal has established an institutional structure within the government that draws on the considerable capacity of the country’s strong civil society sector to respond to climate change. The Multi-stakeholder Climate Change Initiatives Coordination Committee (MCCICC) and Climate Change Council (CCC) are two leading institutional arrangements within the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology (formerly known as Ministry of Environment). Both these committees are composed of high-level government officials, national experts representing civil society, and the representatives from bilateral and multilateral organizations.
At the policy level, a 25-member CCC, chaired by the Prime Minister, provides guidance on climate change policies and programs. Its members include the Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and Ministers of the most relevant line ministries such as energy, industry, and local development. At the functional level, the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology (MoEST) is the designated line ministry. The divisions under the jurisdiction of the MoEST are associated with hydrology, metrology, and alternative energy, and do not necessarily serve as the implementation arms of the ministry.
A Climate Change Management Division was established under the MOE in 2010 to oversee projects such as the development of Nepal’s NAPA; serve as the DNA for the CDM; and act as the Secretariat and Chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Climate Change Initiatives Coordination Committee (MCCICC), a key national platform for regular dialogue and consultation on climate change related policies, plans, finance, programs, projects, and activities. A framework for Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) was endorsed by the government to support the implementation of adaptation priorities identified in NAPA in 2011. More recently, a 10 years (2011 – 2020) Priority Framework for Action (PFA) was built in line with the NAPA and the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM) to respond to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters, while systematically targeting all the hazard prone districts of Nepal.
The Ministry of Forestry and Soil Conservation (MOFSC) houses the REDD Cell that oversees activities in the AFOLU sector. The REDD Cell in the MOFSC comprises an inter-ministerial Apex Body, chaired by the MOFSC along with 11 ministries, and the National Planning Commission, with international NGOs and donor partners as participants. Of the 49 individual members, 24 are representatives of civil society. A REDD Working Group and various other working groups also are active.
Government of Nepal (GOV), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation (MOAC). (April 2011). Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Agriculture: Priority Framework for Action 2011-2020, p. 4-11. Government Printing Office. Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/015/an713e/an713e00.pdf
World Bank: http://data.worldbank.org/country/nepal
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