Chitwan district government officials participate in disaster risk reduction and climate change programme

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Participants of the certification programme in the field

Module two of a certificate programme on climate change, which is part of Chitwan district’s 2073-2074 (2016-2017) annual programme, took place in Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal from 15-16 March 2016. The programme was organized by the Chitwan District Coordination Committee (DCC) with technical support from Practical Action and ICIMOD. The 20 government officials who participated in module one of the certificate programme took part in the event. 

The purpose of the certificate programme is to strengthen the capacity of district level officials to better understand the changing context and challenges of climate change. It aims to enhance the abilities of district officials to understand the tools and methodologies necessary for conducting climate change and disaster risk assessments, and to apply these to local planning and implementation processes.

The second module on natural hazards and disaster risk reduction familiarized participants with the concepts of hazard, risk and vulnerabilities, and the various disaster risk reduction (DRR) frameworks at the global, national and local levels. On a field visit to Kavreghat, an area in Chitwan’s Bharatpur municipality, the programme participants had the opportunity to interact with the local community and apply tools and methodologies for hazard mapping as part of a community-based disaster risk reduction effort. The participants also observed the various structural and non-structural measures related to flood risk reduction being implemented in Kavreghat, a high flood risk area which lies on the banks of the Narayani river.

Community representatives of Kavreghat prepare hazard map.

The participants appreciated the introduction to geographic information system (GIS) methods and remote sensing analysis with applications to climate change adaptation planning, and the hands-on exercise. Seeing the applicability and usefulness of GIS, the participants have requested for a longer duration training on the system.

The certificate programme is part of the Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) regional programme at ICIMOD. The initiative aims to increase climate resilience and the adaptive capacities of poor and vulnerable women, men, and children living in the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river basins. It seeks to influence policy and practice by using findings from research and pilot interventions to improve the livelihoods of people.

HI-AWARE plans to extend this certificate programme to other areas in the Gandaki basin after the conclusion of the Chitwan programme. The third module of the certificate programme will include a course on gendered vulnerability and climate change. Three more modules will be administered to the participants as a part of the certificate programme.