The Himalayan Times: The government has failed to meet the specific objectives set in its climate change policy despite allocating billions of rupees annually to address an issue that has global ramifications.
The climate change policy adopted by the government in 2011 has stated that 80 per cent of the climate change budget will be diverted to local components. But National Planning Commission reports that only 11 per cent of climate budget was being shared with local components.
The government has allocated 10.3 per cent of the total budget for fiscal year 2013/14 under the climate change budget code involving 11 ministries for 124 programmes. But the local community has not effectively accessed funds, nor has the government used effectively the money it received from donors.
Other goals set in 2011 but not met, include establishment of a Climate Change Centre by 2012, preparation of a national strategy for carbon trade by 2012 and assessment of losses and benefits from climate change in several geographical areas and development sectors by 2013.
The government has also failed to develop a reliable impact forecasting system to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change in vulnerable areas as stated in the policy.
Prakash Mathema, Chief of the Climate Change Management Division at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, admitted that the country had failed to meet all the objectives set in the policy. Mathema, who also chairs the LDC Group, thinks lack of local government representatives for long could be one of the major obstacles in diverting budget to the local components. “Existing mechanisms, institutional arrangement and capacity of the service providers are also to blame.”
“Though country is not responsible for global warming, the government has been focusing on adaptation activities,” Mathema said, adding $350 million worth National Adaptation Programme of Action and Local Adaptation Plan of Action are under way after Nepal signed UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and became party to it in 1994.
• Instead of 80 per cent, only 11 per cent of the climate budget being shared with local components
• Climate Change Centre yet to be established
• National strategy for carbon trade not yet prepared
• Losses and benefits from climate change in several geographical areas and development sectors not assessed
This should turn the heat up on Nepal to act
• Government statistics show climate-induced disasters killed more than 4,000 people in the last decade while country suffered economic losses of up to $5.34 billion in the period
• Climate Change Risk Atlas ranked Nepal as the fourth most vulnerable country to climate change; global climate risk index put the country at 28th place
• A recent research by University of Milan claimed that glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 per cent in the last five decades and researchers blame it on global warming
• Germanwatch’s global climate risk index 2014 ranked Nepal at 14th place with average annual death toll of 293.85 and losses worth $ 97.54 million
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>