Nepal outreach event for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report
On the 25th of February, the Nepal Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) organised a policy dialogue at Malla Hotel Kathmandu to communicate the findings of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report to decision-makers in Nepal. The two-hour event was attended by about 20 people, including representatives of various ministries, academics from NAST, professors from universities and other experts. Prof N H Ravindranath, Lead Author, WG II and Dr Krishna AchutaRao, Lead Author, WG I, presented their views, and were followed by a discussion on issues relating to the relevancy of the IPCC’s findings for Nepal. The session was chaired by the secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
A workshop was held on the 26th of February, and was attended by more than 150 participants from different organisations, including government, non-government, universities, development partners and research institutions. Three of the IPCC’s authors, Prof N H Ravindranath, Dr Krishna AchutaRao and Dr Edvin Aldrian, Lead Author, WG I, gave a presentation on the IPCC’s findings specific to Nepal.
After this session, there was a hard-talk session, facilitated by Mr Deepak Gyawali, former Minister of Water Resources. Speakers included three IPCC lead authors and two Nepali climate scientists. Participants asked questions on the relevancy of the IPCC’s findings to Nepal and there was also a question and answer session for students.
There were five key messages to take home from the event:
- The cost of inaction is huge and immediate responses are needed.
- We can’t wait for others to act but must start ourselves. This includes work on mitigation, which is possible without compromising quality of life.
- The current IPCC report is dominated by research carried out in the west and we need to contribute and invest in research from this part of the world.
- There is a high risk that politics will dominate climate science. Unless there is a strong political will, the climate and development agenda will not get the required attention. The political economy of climate change needs to be elaborated and explained.
- It is not easy to translate the IPCC’s findings to a national level and integrating the known and potential risks from climate change into development planning is a real challenge. The required attention must be given to development management before it is too late.