Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Status Report of Nepal
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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.
Technology Development and Transfer
The Clean Development Mechanism and Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Degradation
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.
This status paper was compiled by Nitesh Shrestha, research associate with the Association for Development of Environment and People in Transition - Nepal.
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Tiempo Climate Newswatch