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Status Report of Nepal



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The Association for Development of Environment and People in Transition - Nepal presents a status paper prepared for the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2010.
The report notes Nepal's vulnerable situation and lack of responsibility for the climate problem. It calls for action on adaptation, technology transfer and finance.

In spite of Nepal's negligible contribution to anthropogenic climate change, the impacts are more visible here than anywhere in the world. Glacier retreat, the most dramatic and direct indicator, and a higher incidence and intensity of natural disasters are already evident. Nepal being a mountainous, tectonically-active, land-locked and developing country with a high rate of population growth and a highly concentrated precipitation character, is extremely vulnerable to the climate threat.

Against this background, Nepal has to play a very proactive role to combat the ill effects of climate change risks, through effective adaptation measures, strong negotiations, and other mechanisms. Nepal has to cleverly tackle these challenges and transform the climate risks into opportunities by tapping numerous sources available in different international initiatives. Nepal is already bearing the brunt of climate change for which she has no role and has least capacity to cope with.

Nepal's contribution to greenhouse gases is very low (1.98 tonnes/capita against global average of 3.9 tonnes). Nepal's global carbon dioxide contribution is only 0.025 per cent of the world total. However, the average maximum temperature in Nepal is increasing by 0.06 degrees Celsius annually. The rate of temperature increase is particularly alarming in the High Himalayas, with an annual increase of 0.12 degrees Celsius during the winter period.

The impacts of climate change are already becoming evident, imposing greater threats to the lives and livelihoods of the Nepalese people. Water resources, agriculture, biodiversity, ecosystems and human health are likely to be adversely affected due to climate change. Over 20 glacial lakes have been identified as very vulnerable. Extreme events, such as floods and droughts, have become more frequent that have affected various sectors of the economy as well as the livelihood of the poor, marginalized indigenous people and women and children.

Nepal has signed and ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol, and regularly participates in annual Conference of the Parties meetings. But it is realized that Nepal cannot effectively raise national issues on climate change in the international arena. The reasons behind this are: lower priority on climate change issues initially, low levels of awareness and inadequate capacity for involvement in the climate negotiations. This justifies the need for a strong, effective representation and build-up of negotiating capacity for the Copenhagen climate summit and future meetings.

Status Paper

Shared Vision

  • Reaffirm that all peoples, nations and cultures have the right to survive, develop sustainably and alleviate poverty
  • Expound parties' commitment to protect vulnerable ecosystems, particularly the vulnerable mountain ecosystem
  • Stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at well below 350 ppm
  • Global average surface temperature increase should be limited to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2015
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by Annex I Parties, whether or not party to the Kyoto Protocol, by more than 45 per cent of their 1990 levels by 2020
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by Annex I Parties, whether or not party to the Kyoto Protocol, by more than 85 per cent of their 1990 levels by 2050
  • greenhouse gas emissions reduction by developing countries, except Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as under NAMA (non-agricultural market access), by at least 20-30 per cent of their greenhouse gas emissions from business as usual in the context of enabling mechanisms (technology, finance, and capacity development) provided by developed country parties
  • Support the country-driven capacity building plan of developing countries, particularly LDCs
  • All commitments made by developed and developing countries should be monitored strictly within a certain time frame

Adaptation

  • Developing countries shall be supported by the developed countries in developing and implementing activities, plans and strategies
  • Nairobi Work Program must be extended beyond its mandated time to better understand vulnerability
  • National adaptation programs should be categorized into immediate, short- and medium-term and long-term
  • Full support for preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)
  • Developed countries must support country-driven projects and programmes aimed at assessing , managing, reducing and sharing the risks associated with climate change and its issues, while implementing the
  • The adaptation framework must cover the life cycle of adaptation from vulnerability assessment to planning to implementation at all levels and on all timescales
  • The adaptation framework should clearly incorporate the aspects of climate insurance and compensation mechanism
  • Establish a Technical Panel under the Adaptation Fund Board
  • An appropriate monitoring and evaluation system should be built
  • A fair, effective, efficient and transparent institutional arrangement is required under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to address climate adaptation, supported by the Adaptation Technical Panel

Bhutan
Glacier retreat in Nepal

Technology Development and Transfer

  • Address all stages of the technology development cycle including R&D deployment, diffusion and transfer of affordable environmentally-sound technologies to technologies to enhance action on mitigation and adaptation
  • Undertake an inventory of existing adaptation technologies in developing countries and promote wide dissemination within similar regions
  • Facilitate monitoring, forecasting and modeling of climate change for improving resilience of agriculture, watershed management and so on to the impacts of climate change
  • Fostering both North-South (mitigation) and South-South (adaptation) cooperation for technology development and transfer
  • Facilitate mitigation technologies, including publicly-funded technologies, promote wide diffusion of existing mitigation technologies, including energy efficiency and renewable technologies
  • Facilitate and support access to existing clean technologies to support development needs of developing countries, including capacity building as an integral part of technology transfer
  • Specific measures should be established to remove barriers to development and transfer of technologies

Finance

  • Funding should be additional, adequate, country-driven, direct, new, predictable, sustainable, unconditional and with simplified access
  • Establishment of a Multilateral Climate Change Fund to be contributed by developed and developing country Parties reflecting the level of emissions, with the exclusion of the LDCs
  • Financial resources should be provided in the form of grants on full-cost basis for LDCs, in addition to overseas development assistance, and should have an automatic fund-flow mechanism
  • Support vulnerable countries for full costs of preparation of NAPAs, implementation of adaptation measures, technology development and transfer and mitigation
  • 75 per cent of the Adaptation Fund should be earmarked to LDCs
  • Developed-country Parties should contribute 1.5 per cent of their GDP
  • The financial mechanism should operate under the authority, governance of the COP

The Clean Development Mechanism and Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation

  • The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) needs to be fundamentally restructured to serve the sustainable development needs of the host country
  • Additionality condition set for CDM should be waived for LDCs
  • Simplify procedures for designing projects and MRV (measurable, reportable and verifiable) processes for LDCs
  • Nuclear and carbon capture and storage activities must not qualify for CDM projects
  • Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is now being proposed as an instrument for forest carbon financing
  • REDD must be recognized and governed by a separate board under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • The REDD+ mechanism, which includes carbon enhancement, favours greater country benefits compared with RED (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation) or REDD
  • The permanence issue must be dealt in a rational way to insure against natural calamities
  • Recognize the rights of local people on ethical and practical grounds

Negotiating climate change is not an issue of science now. It is a moral issue for the developed countries regarding what they decide to do about the damages they have been responsible for over the history on the earth. It is an issue of justice for the poor and affected communities by the adverse impacts of climate change.It is a moral issue for the developed nations regarding how they provide justice to the victims of their actions.

Acknowledgement

This status paper was compiled by Nitesh Shrestha, research associate with the Association for Development of Environment and People in Transition - Nepal.

Further information

Association for Development of Environment and People in Transition - Nepal, 4/570 Dhobighat,Lalitpur, Nepal. Email: shresthanitesh26pr@hotmail.com. Web: adaptnepal.org.

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Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Updated: April 12th 2013