Nepal is ranked the 14th most vulnerable country to climate change worldwide. Climate change is responsible for erratic and decreased availability of water and higher temperatures in Nepal, resulting in lower crop production and increased problems with disease and pests. To mitigate climate change impacts, it is critical that the government and communities develop local mechanisms to assess and adopt technologies such as micro irrigation, integrated pest management, essential oil distillation, and other best practices. Funded by USAID, the Initiative for Climate Change Adaptation (ICCA) project was developed by a Nepal-based international NGO called International Development Enterprises (iDE) and its local partners Rupantaran and Resource Identification and Management Society Nepal (RIMS-Nepal).
The $2 million, five-year ICCA project supports targeted communities to adapt to adverse climate change impacts. It complements the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, which aims to sustainably improve the food security of smallholder farmers. ICCA is aligned with Government of Nepal climate change programs that support local adaptation planning. ICCA helps develop sustainable livelihood opportunities for over 20,000 smallholder families through sustainable use and management of non-timber forest products, high-value vegetable crops, coffee, and essential oils, thereby benefiting over 100,000 people. The project seeks to:
- Strengthen government capacity to mobilize resources for and develop and implement policies on climate change adaptation;
- Support development planning that links forestry and agricultural improvements;
- Enhance communities' capacity to respond to the adverse impacts and harness the opportunities of climate change;
- Diversify and improve the livelihoods and resilience of poor and vulnerable communities through sustainable income generation and enterprise development; and
- Identify and facilitate suitable adaptation interventions, innovations, and technologies.
Capacity Building for Better Management and Adaptation:
- Build the capacity of existing local institutions, such as Village Development Committees and community and farmer groups, to operate transparently, encourage wide participation, promote accountability, make sound decisions, and equitably share the benefits of forests and other natural resources;
- Help communities develop and implement local adaptation plans of action (LAPA) for adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change;
- Support existing institutions to mobilize locally available resources for implementing LAPA; and
- Promote systems that allow stakeholders to participate in monitoring and evaluating climate change adaptation.
- Raise communities’ awareness of climate change;
- Train community members in alternative livelihood options that will allow them to adapt to climate change;
- Establish Community Climate Resource Centers (CCRC) with weather stations to measure temperature and rainfall in order to track weather conditions locally and quantify climate changes. Equipped with audiovisual equipment, the CCRC will also establish small community libraries with publications related to climate change; and
- Help government ministries and communities mainstream climate change adaptation into planning processes and promote climate change adaptation innovation and best practices.
- Create market linkages between farmers and traders, thereby increasing farmer incomes and resilience to environmental and economic shocks;
- Support sustainable management and harvesting of non-timber forest products, primarily essential oils and high-value vegetables, further increasing incomes and livelihood sustainability; and
- Engage poor communities in economic activities and public land management.
Mitigating Impacts from Climate Change:
- Manage critical watersheds to store water, recharge ground water, and prevent soil erosion;
- Promote improved agricultural practices such as use of integrated pest management and nursery bed raising;
- Promote low-energy water application technologies such as solar-powered multiple water use systems; and
- Develop social protection and safety net schemes, such as crop insurance.
Over the course of the project, at least three Government organizations and eight NGOs will integrate climate change adaptation techniques at the local level and at least 10 non-project VDCs in other climate change projects will adopt the approaches promoted by the project, thereby spreading the messages and impacts of ICCA well beyond the eight district. ICCA will also ensure identification and execution of at least 20 locally appropriate adaptation practices and technologies by the stakeholders, resulting in increased security against climate induced risks. In addition, ICCA will –
- Increase annual income of 10,000 households by $100 from climate change resilient opportunities, such as essential oils and growing coffee;
- Increase resilience and economic wellbeing of an additional10,000 households from participation in improved governance and activities for climate change adaption.
Some key ICCA results to date include:
- Reached nearly 2,240 households with training and material support, such as seeds and processing machines, for new climate resilient opportunities, such as high-value vegetables, essential oil crops, and coffee growing ;
- Established two small-scale essential oil distillation units and began production of high-value essential oil at the community level;
- Within the first year, helped farmers produce 827 kilograms of essential oil and 459 tons of vegetables;
- Helped form 25 Village Climate Change Coordination Committees and reformed 14 Village Forest Coordination Committees to better coordinate climate change adaption activities;
- Supported 10 VDCs to prepare their Local Adaptation Plan of Action;
- Installed nearly 600 micro-irrigation technologies (treadle pump -170, drip system - 336, and sprinkler system - 76), which will increase year-round access to water thereby reducing climate change vulnerability
- Installed 227 improved cook stoves which use less fuel and improve user health through a reduction in smoke inhalation and more efficient food cooking;
- Seven local FM radios in Syangja district regularly broadcast radio jingles on climate change adaptation across all project districts, providing informative messages on fire, drought and floods.
Last updated: December 13, 2013