Micro-hydro power plant in Baglung district
Micro-hydro power plant in Baglung district

Environmental degradation, the loss of biodiversity, climate change and natural disasters seriously threaten the livelihoods of Nepal’s rural poor and the country’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. UNDP’s support is helping mitigate and reduce the impact of these threats and provide the rural poor with clean renewable energy and environment friendly livelihoods. A key part of UNDP’s support across these areas is promoting pro-poor environmental management, risk reduction, and climate change adaptation at the national and local levels.

UNDP is assisting the Ministry of Environment to develop its National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), supported by an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism. At the same time UNDP is supporting initiatives for forest conservation, environmentally-friendly livelihoods and clean energy alternatives, all of which are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

UNDP’s support in the energy sector since 1996 through the former Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP) programme served more than 60,000 households living in the remote settlements of Nepal.  Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (RERL) is a successor programme of REDP and is now  implemented in 26 remote districts of Nepal from 2010.  The programme in these selected 26 districts will be to connect 28,500 additional households with energy services with the generation of 1.65 megawatt power output and establishment of 250 (100 macro and 150 micro) energy based enterprises in 20 districts.

UNDP supported projects are promoting coordinated management of forests and grasslands of the Western Terai and Nepal’s wetlands by bringing management agencies together and promoting enabling policies through the Western Terai Landscape Complex Project (WTLCP). The project also supports local communities to run anti-poaching units, conserve and rehabilitate local forests and develop environmentally friendly livelihoods.UNDP support has been instrumental in formulation of a long term Nepal Biodiversity Strategy (NBS), which is a landmark policy that underpins the government’s continued commitment for conserving all forms of biodiversity at landscape scale and ensures the role of local communities for sustainable use of its components.

UNDP-Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Programme (UNDP-GEF/SGP) supports the local NGOs and the CBOs to implement community owned environmental projects; by which the local communities make efficient use of natural resources and energy services to support their livelihood. These projects, while supporting biodiversity conservation livelihood enhancement at the local level, also contribute to mitigate impacts of global climate change.

Nepal is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. A major focus of UNDP’s support is therefore on reducing the risks from disasters, both at the policy and local community levels.

The National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management, supported by UNDP introduces risk reduction as a cross-cutting approach to development planning and programming. UNDP through its Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal (DRRN) project supported the Ministry of Home Affairs to establish a National Emergency Operations Centre to effectively direct and coordinate the response to man-made and natural disasters. The advocacy and policy work has led to 14 agencies of ministries, departments, municipalities and the security agencies establishing disaster risk reduction focal desks at their own initiative.

The Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme was launched in February 2011 to continue the work of DRRN and Earthquake Risk Recovery Programme (ERRP). It focuses on policy and institutional strengthening in line with the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management. The new project has supported the establishment of 11 District Emergency Operations Centres to better coordinate and help integrate disaster risk reduction into planning mechanisms.