Title: Community Based Climate Change Adaptation: Efforts and Lessons from Nepal
Abstract: Climate change is among the major environmental threats that Nepal is facing in this century. Forest and water resources, biodiversity and agriculture are the major sectors where climate change has a higher degree of impact. The adverse effects of climatic factors on these sectors directly affects the livelihood of rural and forest-dependent communities. Government institutions in collaboration with non-governmental actors and civil society are working together to identify and devise the appropriate policies, programs and actions to address the negative results of climate change focusing on local and community-based adaptation approaches and activities. Community-based climate change adaptation (CBA) is an approach to empower the local communities to cope with the negative responses of climate change by formulating and implementing the adaptation plan in a participatory approach. Some community-level adaptation interventions and initiatives in the form of local adaptation plans are being implemented by rural and smallholder farmers with the support of external agencies. Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPA) is a community-based climate change adaptation plan prepared in multi-stakeholder, participatory, and bottom-up approaches at the Rural Municipality/Municipality level aimed at reducing the vulnerabilities of climate change. This study was focused on gathering efforts and lessons from different initiatives of community-based climate change adaptation interventions in Nepal. The methodologies used in preparing this paper were field level review and reflections, consultations and author experiences during project implementation at the local level. These lessons and experiences documented were also validated through multi-stakeholder consultation at district and regional levels. The observation, documentation, and analysis of LAPA preparation and implementation processes revealed that the participatory bottom-up approach is adopted for LAPA preparation and implementation. The adaptation activities planned and implemented are more realistic in terms of the approaches adopted and the possible benefits to the communities to minimize the negative effects of climate change. There has been the meaningful participation of government line agencies, local stakeholders, ethnic and indigenous groups and the community members in the whole process of LAPA preparation and implementation which has also been instrumental in its sustainability. Moreover, illustrating many lessons learned, this paper reflects that community-based climate change adaptation (CBA) approach interventions are the effective and sustainable means to tackle adverse impacts and risks of climate change at the local level.
Key Words : Adaptation, Climate Change, Community, LAPA, Vulnerability