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Impacts assessment and climate change adaptation strategies in Makawanpur District, Nepal

This research report assesses the impacts of climate change on agriculture, fresh water, biodiversity, and livelihood of the communities in the Makawanpur district of Nepal. The objectives of this study is to: enhance the understanding of the impacts of climate change in the area, identify adaptation activities to build resilience of the community and ecosystem, and to enable and support effective adaptation decisions that would reduce vulnerability to climate change. The approach of the study is based on the focus group discussions, key informants survey, PRA/RRA tools, workshop on climate change and trend analysis using primary and secondary data collection.

The main findings of this study are:

  • local people belonging to this district are facing an increasing risk from disasters such as floods, drought and rise in infectious diseases, which has a host of increasing environmental, health, and economic impacts.
  • agriculture has seen the highest climate change impacts followed by forestry, biodiversity, water and hydrology, ecology, and health in the study area
  • adaptation activities initiated by the local people to the impacts of climate change were grouped as sectoral (introduction of improved agricultural varieties), multi-sectoral (e.g., use of improved watershed) and cross-sectoral (e.g., promotion of public awareness, climate research, and data collection).

The major recommendations for future course of action against climate change are:

  • enhance capacity building of communities and their support institutions, to reduce the probable disaster risks
  • prioritise small-scale mitigation at the community level to minimise the effects of climate variability
  • enforce and implement effective community adaptation initiatives and action plans including: early warning systems, design of structures to accommodate safe platforms during flooding, land use planning for water and exposure control, and watershed reforestation.
  • consider and implement policy issues on afforestation and reforestation, biodiversity –friendly and climate-friendly energy, capacity building and community engagement and biofuels and agro-energy expansion.
  • create community awareness on climate change among the communities by expanding research and extension works.

In conclusion, this report emphasises the need for enhanced capacity and knowledge to better manage present risks, adapt to changing future risks and integrate climate risk management into development.