President Bidya Devi Bhandari unveils the Climate Park monument during the inauguration ceremony of the first National Climate Conference in Gufadanda, Sindupalchowk. Photo credit: Abhushan Gautam

The first National Climate Change Conference held at the scenic Gufadanda in Melamchi Municipality-9 in Sindhupalchowk district successfully concluded on 1 January by issuing the 10-point Sindupalchowk declaration paper.

The 10-point Sindupalchowk declaration aims to institutionalize climate change-friendly plans and policies and promote climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at the national, provincial and local level.

The three-day conference was organized by the Association of District Co-ordination Committees and supported by all municipalities of Sindupalchowk district. UNDP was also one of the co-organizers of the event.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari, who inaugurated the conference on Monday, emphasized on the need to keep nature at the forefront in development plans.  

“Development initiatives should not destroy nature but preserve it. Just a while ago, we inaugurated the Climate Park monument which gives a symbolic message that each of us should take up the responsibility of preserving our nature,” Bhandari said.

President Bhandari had attended the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) earlier in December.

Chairpersons and vice chairpersons of the District Coordination Committees from all 77 districts, local body leaders, related stakeholders, ministers, experts and organizations participated in the conference.

Presentations on thematic areas such as climate change and its impact, climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate resilience among others were given by the invited experts in the field.

Chief of Sindhupalchowk District Coordination Committee and coordinator of the programme management committee Krishna Gopal Tamang said that the conference concluded with a joint declaration from the participants to formulate climate change adaptation plans at the national, provincial and local levels and mainstream them in the development planning process.

"We should make sure that the 10-point declaration should be implemented with proper action plan and clear responsibilities of the governments at all levels with collaboration of various stakeholders,” said Deepak K.C., Senior Programme Officer at CCA and DRR/CDRMP, UNDP and one of the climate experts who attended the conference.

The 10-point Sindupalchowk declaration paper includes the following commitments:

· Raise public awareness and promote scientific research on climate change and its effects.

·  Initiate efforts to setup climate centers in all municipalities and rural municipalities to collect scientific data on climate change and its impacts.

·  District Coordination Committee to play a coordinating role for the development of a mechanism to disseminate regional and topical information regarding the effects of climate change.

·   Promote coordination between national, provincial and local governments, private sector and NGOs towards formulation of programs and policies and their implementation by prioritizing community-based climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

·   Develop and promote the use of innovative climate change and environmental adaptation technology and build capacities of the required human resources by formulating a workplan through coordination between District Coordination Committee and all levels of government.

·   Prepare and implement local adaptation strategies for the mitigation of climate induced risks and natural disasters and develop the required legal framework to formulate plans and policies at the local level.

·  Local communities are at the center of international climate agreements and their solutions to climate change related problems would be highlighted while campaigning in national and international forums on environmental and climate change issues.

·  Establish a Climate Fund by giving special focus to climate change while developing policies at the national, provincial and local level and bring transparency to its implementation.

·   Promote climate-friendly development initiatives by internalizing the mantra of beautifying nature, not degrading it.

·   Organize National Climate Conference periodically as a precursor event to Nepal’s preparation for the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference.

 

Participants of the conference gather near the Climate Park monument in Gufadanda. Dorje Lakpa and Jugal mountain (far right) in the background. Photo credit: Abhushan Gautam

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