The Government of Nepal, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly launched the “Ecosystem based Adaptation in mountain ecosystem in Nepal (EbA)” Project today. The project aims at implementing an emerging approach to help people to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
The project document was jointly signed by Mr. Harihar Sigdel, Joint Secretary and Chief of Planning and Human Resources Development Division, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) on behalf of the Government of Nepal and Ms. Shoko Noda, Country Director, UNDP Nepal on behalf of the EbA partners UNDP, UNEP and IUCN for 3 years starting from August 2012. The Secretary of MoFSC, Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel was also present in the signing ceremony.
Speaking at the occasion, Joint Secretary at MoFSC, Mr. Ram Prasad Lamsal expressed that the ministry is willing to join hands with UNDP, UNEP and IUCN for future endeavors as well.
The USD 3.3 million project, funded by the Government of Germany, will be piloted in the Panchase area of Nepal which spans across the Kaski, Parbat and Syanja districts in the western part of Nepal. The project will strengthen ecosystem resilience and reduce the vulnerabilities of mountain ecosystems and their communities to the impacts of climate change.
Speaking about the unique opportunity that this project will provide to Nepal, Country Representative of IUCN Nepal, Dr. Yam Malla said, “Lessons learned and outputs of the project should be shared widely, not only at the community and national level, but also internationally.”
Addressing the ceremony, UNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda said, “Environment and energy, and climate change is a very important area of UNDP’s work.” She expressed UNDP’s commitment for continued support for the effective and successful implementation of the project. “I am confident that the project outcomes will be valuable for future climate adaptation initiatives of the country, and will also contribute to national policies and strategies,” she added.
Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel, Secretary at MoFSC highlighted the significance of the project in the current context as the recent Rio+20 Conference has laid significant emphasis on adaptation. He also stressed that cooperation at local as well as regional and national levels is important for the successful implementation of the project. “From this project, we can achieve not just the anticipated results but even more if our partnership and collaboration is strong”, he said. He further emphasized to carry out baseline study of the project site so that the achievements made by the project interventions can be measured.
The project is possibly the first project focused on Ecosystem Based Adaptation in mountain region, therefore, it provides unique opportunities for experimental learning between regions and among countries with similar landscapes. In addition to Nepal, similar initiatives are being implemented in Peru and Uganda.