Nepal launches new project to minimise climate change impacts on agriculture

Oct 18, 2016

Kathmandu, October 3

The Government of Nepal, UNDP and the Food and Agriculture Organization on Monday launched a new project to integrate climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector.

According to a 2015 study ‡, the impact of climate change on Nepal’s agriculture is likely to reduce GDP by about 0.8 per cent per year in 2050. Amongst other things, this will come from more intense and frequent droughts that can damage crops and reduce yields. The cumulative impact of the losses in the agriculture sector would be a GDP lower by 13% than it would otherwise have been.

The project funded by Germany under its International Climate Initiative aims to address climate change impacts through adaptation initiatives in the agriculture sector, and build Nepal’s capacity to mobilise funds for longer-term climate initiatives that are linked to Nepal’s Agriculture Development Strategy.

As part of capacity building component, the project will support line ministries, including the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) to effectively integrate climate change response measures in planning, budgeting, design and implementation of agriculture projects.

The project complements related ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission, and feeds into the unified National Adaptation Plan led by the Ministry of Population and Environment.

“The project will help us understand and address climate change impacts and integrate climate change risk management in planning and budgeting at all levels of the agriculture sector,” said Lekh Nath Acharya, Joint Secretary, Food Security, Agribusiness Promotion and Environment Division, MOAD.  “The programme will also help connect Nepali experts to global and regional technical expertise and mutual learning through exchange of knowledge and lessons learned.”

“Livelihood strategies resilient to climate change are useful to address food security and agricultural livelihood related challenges that people of Nepal have been facing. The fact that these challenges have been further exacerbated by the earthquakes in 2015 underscores the urgency for applying these strategies into agriculture,” said FAO Representative Somsak Pipoppinyo.

“Agriculture is a sector where over 70% of the population find their source of livelihoods,” said Renaud Meyer, Country Director, UNDP. “It is therefore critical to ensure that efforts are made and funding is allocated to ensure that agriculture practices, some of them ancestral, are adapted to climate change to minimise its negative impacts on the productivity and ultimately the income of Nepali farmers.”  

“This project will be crucial in helping Nepal access long-term financing for its climate actions, which is critical to meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.

Nepal is one of the eleven other countries± where this project is being implemented with financial support form Federal Ministry of Germany for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The project will be guided by a steering committee chaired by the Secretary in MoAD, and will include representatives from the National Planning Commission, MoPE, relevant line ministries and the UN agencies.

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