A new initiative on climate change to benefit nearly 100,000 vulnerable people in Nepal
Kathmandu—United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Nepal (GoN) have joined hands to minimize threats from climate change to nearly hundred thousand people through a multi-million dollar initiative that would run until 2017.
An agreement to implement the project was signed by Director General of Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), Dr. Rishi Ram Sharma and UNDP’s Deputy Country Director (Programme) Mr. Jorn Sorensen on Monday.
Community Based Flood and Glacial Lake Outburst Risk Reduction Project (CBFGLOF), a joint initiative of GoN and UNDP, will directly benefit an estimated 96, 562 members of climate change vulnerable communities. The project contributes to Nepal’s National Adaptation Plan of Action’s (NAPA) Profile 3 and 4 ‘Community-Based Disaster Management for Facilitating Climate Adaptation’ and ‘GLOF Monitoring and Disaster Risk Reduction’ respectively.
It will be implemented by Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) under Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE). The major source of funding to this project comes from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) managed by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP which totals to USD 7.2 million for a duration of four years from 2013 to 2017. This is the first project which is being implemented with the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund after the completion of NAPA.
Climate Change is projected to increase the severity and unpredictability of GLOFs in the High Mountains as glaciers retreat and glacial lakes expand affecting communities, tourists and the nature downstream. Likewise the threat from flooding to the communities living in Tarai region is increasing with more intense precipitation ever year.
The project aims to reduce human and material losses from Glacier Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) events in Solukhumbu District and catastrophic flooding events in the Tarai and Churia Range of Nepal.
The first component of this project plans to reduce GLOF risk from Imja Lake that threatens livelihood of downstream communities of the Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park including its buffer zone. An innovative artificially controlled drainage system will be placed to reduce the lake level by minimum 3 meters.
The complementary second component plans to reduce human and properties losses in four districts in the Tarai and Churia Range, specifically Mahottari, Saptari, Siraha and Udaypur that experience recurrent flooding events. A community-based early warning system (CBEWS) to build community’s resilience from flood and GLOF risk will also be installed.
The project was developed by UNDP with the technical assistance from ICIMOD following wider consultations at different levels. This intends to help the GON to overcome some of the key barriers to manage the growing risks of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) in the High Mountains and flooding in the Tarai and Churia Range of Southern Nepal through a strong emphasis on community engagement, empowerment and social inclusion.