Following the Cabinet approval, Rt. Honourable Prime Minister and Chairperson of Climate Change Council, Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal launched the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) document and the Nepal Climate Change and Development Portal, bringing to fruition an 18 months long effort involving six line ministries and more than 80 institutions across the country, including civil society, private sector and the media.
The NAPA is a process of assessing the country's climate vulnerability and identifying priority adaptation measures. The Nepal NAPA document contains 9 integrated priority climate change adaptation areas identified through a nationwide vulnerability assessment and extensive consultation process led by six multi-sectoral thematic working groups.
Addressing a gathering of more than 300 persons representing development partners and NAPA stakeholders, the Prime Minister said, "The National Adaptation Programme of Action is our top priority, to manage the vulnerabilities of climate change and to minimize the risks."
The new web-based Climate Change and Development Portal (www.climatenepal.org.np), launched together with the NAPA document, serves as a knowledge platform where researchers, policymakers, NGO professionals and the general public can find climate change-related information relevant to Nepal. The portal also serves as a tool for coordinating climate change initiatives in the country as well as people and organisations working on climate change. The portal contents are provided by the institutions that are members of the climate change knowledge partnership formed by the Ministry of Environment.
Neil Briscoe, acting head of UK Department for International Development (DFID), highlighted the implications of Nepal?s NAPA for the South Asian region. He said, "The NAPA in Nepal is not only a country?s response but it also contributes to the regional response because Nepal is the water tower of Asia."
During the launch, UNDP Country Director Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau stated, "A lot of energy and efforts has been mobilized across the Ministries and various sectors down to the grassroots. This has raised expectations and we need to respond to them. We need to keep involving all these partners and implement our programmes in a prioritized, structured and well-coordinated way without losing momentum."
This unique broad based consultation was made possible by the additional funding (approx. US$ 1 m) from the Embassy of Denmark and DFID beyond the standard Global Environment Facility (GEF) allocation of US$ 2,00,000. The final NAPA document has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCC).
Climate Change is lively to increase hunger and poverty in developing countries such as Nepal (MDG #1) by reducing food production, by causing more natural disasters (to which the poor tend to be most vulnerable) and by causing malaria (MDG #6) to spread. The NAPA project is helping identify and implement measures to mitigate these potential threats.