Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bureaucracy holds up climate finance in Nepal

The Gulf Times: A tortuous planning process in Nepal is preventing climate adaptation funding - earmarked under the country’s National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) - from reaching local communities, experts say. “We are so engrossed in national processes,” said Raju Pandit Chhetri, co-author of a 2011 Oxfam report on climate adaptation finance. “Let us start going to the communities.”

Of 170 countries, Nepal has been ranked by Maplecroft, in its most recent Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2011, as the fourth-most vulnerable to the impact of climate change over the next 30 years. The country received $1.3mn in donor aid in 2008 to prepare a NAPA, which was endorsed by the government and submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010. Of NAPA’s proposed $350mn budget for urgent climate adaptation support, Nepal has secured around $10mn through the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund, managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and less than $25mn from bilateral aid agencies.

The NAPA document stipulates that 80% of all “available financial resources reach the local level to fund on-the-ground adaptation activities.” However, little funding has come in for projects and these projects are not ready for implementation.

“Unfortunately, we are in a stage of preparedness and readiness. We are trying to jump but we have not jumped yet,” said Bharat Pokharel, deputy country programme director for the Swiss development agency, Helvetas. Funding proposals for NAPA preparation and implementation have to be sent to the GEF through a designated Implementing Agency (IA) - in Nepal’s case the UN Development Programme (UNDP)….

Lukla airport in Nepal, shot by Kogo, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version

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