An Inception Workshop on “Ecosystem based Adaptation in mountain ecosystem in Nepal (EbA)” has been jointly convened by the Government of Nepal, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Kathmandu today.
The main objective of today’s workshop was to achieve concurrence among all partners and concerned stakeholders on objectives, activities, output, outcomes, adopted approaches and methodologies of the EbA project.
EbA is a 3-year USD 3.3 million project funded by the Government of Germany. It is being piloted in the Panchase area of Nepal which spans across the Kaski, Parbat and Syangja districts in the western part of Nepal. The project will strengthen the capacity of the environment and communities to adapt to climate change. It will also reduce the vulnerabilities of communities in mountain ecosystems to the impacts of climate change.
The project is possibly the first project focused on Ecosystem Based Adaptation in mountain region. It therefore provides unique opportunities for other countries with similar landscapes to learn from the activities that are implemented in the course of the project. In addition to Nepal, similar initiatives are being implemented in Peru and Uganda.
Around 60 participants including high level representatives from different government agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations, academicians, consultants and different concerned stakeholders passionately participated in the workshop.
Mr. Braj Kishore Yadav, Director General, Department of Forest chaired the inauguration session of the workshop. Mr. Gauri Shankar Timila, National Project Director of the EbA project welcomed all the participants.
The workshop was inaugurated by Honourable Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation, Mr. Yadu Bansha Jha. “This project is highly relevant and timely for developing countries like Nepal which are facing different issues of climate change”, said Minister Jha in his inaugural remarks. “Climate change impacts are quite prominent in the mountains of Nepal and Ecosystem-based Adaptation project will play an important role in building the resilience of local community and their livelihoods”, he added.
Addressing the ceremony, UNDP Assistant Country Director Mr. Vijaya Singh said “EbA addresses one of the priority areas of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), and I hope that the project outcomes will be valuable for other climate adaptation initiatives of the country”.
Dr. Yam Malla, Country Representative of IUCN emphasized on partnership at the local level for the effective and efficient implementation of the programme. “I think the Department of Forest can play a crucial role in this”, he said.
Emphasizing on the role of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoEST) in coordinating for successful project implementation, Secretary at the ministry, Mr. Krishna Gyawali said, “We will either use our existing mechanisms or will create a separate designated unit for the coordination of the project.”
Highlighting the importance of the project, Mr. Mazaharul Alam, Regional Technical Advisor of UNEP Asia Pacific Office said, “The government’s role is crucial to implement the activities at the ground level. As part of the global project, the learning that we make here will go beyond the country boundary, and be useful globally.”
The inauguration programme was followed by technical presentation sessions on ‘EbA concept and EbA in Mountain Ecosystem at Global Level’, ‘Introduction to EbA in Mountain Ecosystem in Nepal’, ‘Panchase - Introduction to the site and its significance from EbA perspective’ and ‘Proposed activities of the project’.
The workshop concluded an initial consultation phase which provided inputs from all major partners and stakeholders to develop a common understanding about the goals, objectives and working modality of the EbA project for its smooth implementation.