Mobilizing People to Adapt to a Changing ClimateOct 26, 2016
“It (is) because of this partnership (with UNDP) that the Government is able to achieve significant results with respect to reducing climate vulnerability.”
—naresh sharma, under secretary, ministry of population and environment, government of nepal
In 2013, the Government of Nepal began implementing a National Climate Change Support Programme in 14 remote districts, under the guidance of the Ministry of Population and Environment, and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development. Facing longstanding challenges with programme delivery, the Government sought external technical support, opting for UNDP as a partner, given its expertise and long history of engagement in the country. For the first time in Nepal, the programme used a co-financing approach, drawing on financing provided to the Government by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union. The move signals Nepal’s urgent need to adapt to climate change as it strives to graduate from a least developed to a middle-income country by 2022.
The Added Value of UNDP
Since 1963, UNDP has supported the Government of Nepal and its people in their fight against poverty and pursuit of sustainable development. A major element has entailed helping government agencies, civil society and community groups to develop capacities to better plan and implement effective development programmes. The Government has long invested its energies and resources in strengthening its delivery capacity to make the most efficient use of limited resources, and has looked to UNDP as a major partner with well-established relationships at the central and local levels.
Having UNDP on board for the climate programme assured donors and the Government that technical assistance would be high in quality, given UNDP’s extensive expertise on climate change. A proven commitment to national ownership and the strong role of government institutions ensured that institutional strengthening would occur, achieving a lasting impact. UNDP’s engagement has been particularly important given challenges the Government still faces in the timely delivery of services, including in helping local communities to adapt and build resilience to climate change. The programme has been featured as a global best practice and recognized at the 2015 Paris climate change meeting.
Key Activities and Achievements
The National Climate Change Support Programme helps communities adapt to the effects of climate change and aims to enhance national government capacities to implement climate change policies. Its objectives are consistent with the 2030 Agenda, particularly with Goal 1 on reducing poverty, Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 13 on climate action.
The programme marks the first significant government-led initiative under the National Adaptation Programme of Action, which seeks, among other ends, to promote community-based adaptation through integrated management of agriculture, water, forests and biodiversity. The programme also helps mainstream climate change into Nepal’s national development agenda, and contributes to poverty reduction, livelihood diversification and community resilience. This will ensure that the most urgent and immediate adaptation actions prioritize the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
Establishing the National Climate Change Support Programme at the local level was relatively straightforward, given UNDP’s long experience and networks in localities. It built on previous systems for local energy planning established under the Rural Energy Development Programme, implemented over 15 years with the Government, local bodies and communities. At the national level, UNDP is well-recognized for its vital support in the drafting of the National Adaptation Programme of Action for Climate Change, and has lasting relationships with the Ministry of Population and Environment and Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development—the two line ministries charged with taking forward the climate change programme.
Services to Improve Coordination and Planning
UNDP has provided a variety of services under the climate change programme. These comprise coordination among national stakeholders, including line ministries and development partners. Today, Nepal has in place a Government-led Multistakeholder Climate Change Initiative Coordination Committee that drives national action on climate adaptation and mitigation, including through a nationally determined contribution to emissions reduction submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Other support has assisted with the management of data, strengthened monitoring and evaluation of programme activities, and mobilized awareness of the critical importance of climate adaptation at the national and district levels.
UNDP has helped develop capacities among district government officials on public finance management and procurement related to meeting objectives for greater resilience and adaptation. Technical guidance and new tools have improved the design, implementation and monitoring of local development plans, including through the integration of climate adaptation measures. Plans now encompass adaptation activities with direct contributions to better livelihoods, such as climate-resilient farming, conservation of water sources and irrigation facilities. Nearly 2,000 activities have been implemented, benefiting almost 300,000 people in local communities.