Decision Support Tool for Climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning for forest ecosystems in Nepal

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Participants discussing on way forward and possible areas for collaboration
Photos: Jitendra Bajracharya, ICIMOD

Different stakeholders working in forest and biodiversity in Nepal met at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on 28 June 2016, to discuss needs for vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning for forest ecosystems in Nepal. 

An adaptation tool for ‘Climate change vulnerability and adaptation planning for forest ecosystems’ in the Gandaki and Koshi river basins in Nepal is being developed by ICIMOD in collaboration with the Department of Forests, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal. These river basins cover more than 70% of Nepal’s geographical area combined. ICIMOD’s Geospatial Solutions team is leading the development of the tool under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) and SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIRHKH). Adaptation for Smallholders in Hilly Artea Project (ASHA), too is working on vulnerability assessment across six districts in Western Nepal. Likewise, the government of Nepal is developing an adaptation plan for forest ecosystems in Nepal under its National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process. 

Representatives from Department of Forests (DOF), ASHA, and forests and biodiversity theme, National Adaptation Plan, and ICIMOD shared methodologies for a vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning being used by various agencies. In a discussion facilitated by MSR Murthy and Giovanna Gioli from ICIMOD, the challenges, needs, and potential scope for partnership within SERVIRHKH and other stakeholder organisations were discussed. Participants agreed that a lack of data at the local level impedes the implementation of activities on the ground, and regular input from different stakeholders helps address such challenges. 

The meeting serves as the first step toward bringing all stakeholders, working in vulnerability and adaptation for forest ecosystems in Nepal, on board. ICIMOD is prepared to upscale the framework from a river basin scale to a national scale. Under SERVIRHKH, the adaptation tool under development is to be scaled up to incorporate forest ecosystems across Nepal. This decision support tool, to be extended as a web-based service, sees potential users in the Forests and Biodiversity thematic areas under NAP and Department of Forest, Government of Nepal among others. 

Others attending the meeting were representatives from Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE), Government of Nepal; ASHA, Nepal, an undertaking of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), and partner with the AdaptHimal programme at ICIMOD; and ICIMOD experts.