Climate change is real and it’s happening now. The impacts of climate change are amplified day by day, the scenario is even worse for Nepal. According to a study conducted by Madhav Karki and his colleagues, the rapidly retreating glaciers (average retreat of more than 30 m/year), rapid rise in temperature (>0.06°C), erratic rainfalls and increase in frequency of extreme events such as floods and drought like situation are some of the effects Nepal is facing during the last few years.

Nepal’s major rivers are glacial fed and most of the hydropower plants are dependent on these rivers. Considering these facts, Nepal has to prepare itself to try and mitigate these effects if possible and if not adapt to them to minimize their impacts on livelihoods.

The poorest people and communities are on the frontline of a changing climate where they have everything to lose and have little to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. Impacts of climate change are inevitable and the most vulnerable countries like Nepal are more affected due to low adaptation capacities of the rural communities.

Institutions often referred as the “rule of the games” are vital in shaping the climate change adaptation. They are the formal and informal organizations through which society structures shared decision-making and takes collective action.

Nepal has been successful on formulating three policy documents on climate change adaptation as National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), 2010, Climate Change Policy, 2011 and National Framework on Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPA), 2011.

“The Government of Nepal has entered in to the National Adaptation Plan formulation process which will add new milestone to our effort in shaping climate change adaptation in Nepal” said Mrs. Laxmi Kumari Basnet, Under Secretary, Ministry of Population and Environment, Nepal during Fifth Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

As a focal point, Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE) team of delegations led by Mrs. Basnet is attending the APAN conference 2016. The major aim of this delegation is sharing the local and national level initiatives from Nepal to adapt with the climate change. Also, learning from the other south Asian countries about their best practices and try to replicate them in Nepal has been a major objective of this delegation program.

Governments are key actors shaping the climate change adaptation in any country. Governments have greater roles in creating enabling environment to bring all the stakeholders together for effective decision making.

There are other intergovernmental organizations like International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), NGOs and community based organizations working at different scale in shaping climate change adaptation in Nepal. We have not only seen many local level initiatives in climate change, but also policy level interventions at national to global level. But, there is a need to integrate both bottom-up as well as top-to-bottom approaches to better shape climate change adaptation in right direction. In addition to their regular programs, these institutions needs to raise the collective voice together at this type of international forum to make our voice louder and get global commitment to collaborate better to improve adaptation in Nepal.

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Originally published at Hi-aware.org

Binod Parajuli

About Binod Parajuli