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Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs)

Nepal was among the last countries to develop the National Adaptation Plans of Action (NAPAs) for climate change but it has been able to pick lessons from NAPA processes in other countries. NAPA is an overarching document for addressing climate variability, its impact and adaptation practices. In response to these lessons, Nepal has mobilised funding to undertake an ‘Expanded NAPA’ process – a sustainable framework for national climate change action following up on the NAPA priorities identified. This article proposes Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs) which involve the integration of top-down and bottom-up approaches to mainstream adaptation into planning from the local to the national level which is being piloted in Nepal.

The paper states that the vision for LAPAs is to develop a system of adaptation planning that:

  • enables communities to understand the changing uncertain future climatic conditions and engage effectively in the process of developing adaptation priorities
  • implements climate resilient plans that are flexible enough to respond to changing climate and vulnerability conditions
  • informs and catalyses integrated approaches between sectors.

The principles of LAPAs include:

  • decentralised bottom-up planning
  • multi-actor involvement
  • focus on local vulnerability and adaptation
  • local level ownership
  • decentralised financial flow and implementation
  • ensuring low risk and high impact
  • mainstreaming adaptation into development
  • integrated planning and delivery.

The paper reveals that LAPAs add value in terms of:

  • strengthening climate change governance through decentralised mechanisms
  • testing convergence of mitigation and adaptation options in vulnerable districts of Nepal
  • offering a shared learning process with sectoral delivery partners to identify services to support adaptive management of agriculture, water and forestry resources
  • identifying well-targeted and timed social transfer and financial support programmes to enable adaptation in agricultural practices
  • developing mechanisms to protect assets from loss or damage due to climate effects
  • helping promote low carbon livelihoods diversification and private sector investment in clean development and green jobs
  • challenging civil society to increase its effectiveness through testing innovative funding mechanisms to incentivise successful adaptive strategies.

The article concludes that the outcomes of the LAPA pilot exercise will be very helpful to the NAPA process in Nepal.