Nepal’s strategic engagement with the UNFCCC
Project reference: AAAS-0012
As a Least Developed Country (LDC), which is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, Nepal has a high stake in the outcome of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. CDKN is supporting the Government of Nepal to ensure its participation in the UNFCCC is strategic and delivers results for Nepal.
The Government of Nepal’s primary interest in the UNFCCC is to make sure that its vulnerability and varied and complex adaptation needs are recognised, both within the overall UNFCCC structure and within the funding streams being designed.
As a landlocked country situated in the central part of the Himalayas, it experiences a wide range of climates varying from the sub-tropical in the south to the alpine type in the north. The evidence of climate change is well documented with increases in temperature, fluctuation in precipitation patterns, and several climate related disasters including Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF).
As a LDC with a Human Development Index of 0.428 (UNDP, 2010) and per capita nominal GDP of USD 642 (CBS, 2011) fighting poverty is the major priority of the Government. However, as more than one third of the GDP is derived from the agriculture sector (CBS, 2011) and 83.3% of the population lives in rural areas, climatic changes will have a dramatic effect on its efforts to reduce poverty.
The Government of Nepal has recognised that it needs international financial and technical assistance to achieve climate compatible development. This requires the Government to engage more strategically and effectively at the international level to raise awareness of the needs and priorities of the Government and ensure UNFCCC policies and funding instruments will be of benefit to Nepal.
CDKN is supporting the Government to achieve this through three specific objectives:
- Increased coordination among relevant Ministries and stakeholders in the preparation and follow-up to the UNFCCC negotiations;
- Enhanced capacity of the delegation to participate in an informed and effective manner;
- Strengthened communication and coordination among delegations with a shared interest in the UNFCCC negotiations.
IDS-Nepal is providing technical assistance to the Government to deliver these objectives for the period covering COP17, COP18 and the 2012 intercessional meetings.
Learn more about the project and its recent activities and achievements on the project website
The Government of Nepal’s participation at COP17 was visibly better planned, more coordinated and more informed as a result of CDKN’s support.
Preparation meetings were held in Kathmandu prior to the COP with officials from across Government and local stakeholders, to identify the key priorities for the delegation.
The composition of the delegation was also strengthened by the inclusion of technical experts that could provide the Government with on the spot advice, and policy-makers from key ministries that will be involved in the implementation of the policies being discussed.
This support provided the Government with the confidence and skills to voice its needs and priorities, and even take a leadership role within the negotiations. The key achievements at COP17, included:
- Making a submission on what the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) should entail, and firmly standing for maintaining below 1.5 degree Celsius in the legally binding outcomes,
- Opting for the role of LDC Coordinator in the UNFCCC process for the year 2013 and 2014
- Organising a successful side-event on the Government’s “Mountain Initiative” to collect the voices and opinions of other Mountain Governments.
One clear outcome of the project is that the Government now feels able to push ahead with its ‘Mountain Agenda’, something it has been considering for some time. Following consultations with other Mountain Governments at COP17, it organised a two-day International Conference of Mountain Countries on Climate Change” in Kathmandu beginning on 5th April 2012.
As Krishna Gyawali, Secretary, Ministry of Environment has stated: “The Ministry of Environment, Government of Nepal wanted to make Nepal’s participation to COP 17 more inclusive and qualitative, to focus on agenda and issue-based deliberation during the meeting, and to bring back visible and realizable outcomes for the benefit of the country. The CDKN support to the Ministry greatly helped to achieve these objectives to considerable extent.”
Read the report of Nepal’s engagement with the UNFCCC at COP17 to learn more about the impact, and also read recommendations for the key considerations for a negotiation support project.
CDKN funding: £30,000
Project Manager: Elizabeth Colebourn