Climate Change Adaptation - Nepal

Feb 25, 2024
Preeti Pandey

Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here; it's happening now.” - Barack Obama.


Climate change adaptation refers to actions adjusting to current or expected impacts while taking advantage of potential new opportunities. It involves activities that directly reduce the vulnerability of people, ecosystems, and infrastructures to impacts of climate change. This includes things like building a defense to protect coastal areas from rising seas, switching to drought and flood-resistant crop varieties, and improving early warning systems to warn of heat waves, disease outbreaks, and climate-related disasters such as hurricanes, GOLF,  avalanche, etc.

A review of adaptation research confirms their view, identifying Nepal as particularly likely to experience fluctuations in climate (ISET,2008). Nepal ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and its second Nationally Determined Communication (NDC) in 2020. Nepal’s second National Communication to UNFCCC(2014) (NC2) identifies the country’s energy, agriculture, water resources, forestry and biodiversity, and health sectors as the most at risk of climate change.

In 2010, the Government of Nepal approved the National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPA). NAPA developed as a requirement under the UNFCCC to access funding for the most urgent and immediate adaptation needs from the least developed countries fund (LDCF). In the NAPA of Nepal, the following projects have been identified as urgent and immediate national development adaptation priorities. They are:

  • Promoting community-based adaptation through integrated management of agriculture, water, forest and biodiversity sector.
  • Building and enhancing the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities through improved systems and access to services related to agriculture and development.
  • Community-based disaster management for facilitating climate adaptation.
  • Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) monitoring and disaster risk reduction and forest ecosystem for supporting climate-led adaptation innovations.
  • Adapting to climate change challenges in public health and ecosystem management for climate adaptation. 
  • Empowering vulnerable communities through sustainable management of water resources and clean energy support and promoting climate-smart urban settlement.


            NAPA’s implementation framework suggests that the operating cost will be kept to a minimum and at least 80% of the available financial resources will reach the local level to fund activities on the ground. Stakeholders in Nepal have also started National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), which is a medium and long-term adaptation plans for the country as decided by UNFCCC. Also, the Local Adaptation Plans of Action(LAPA) process in Nepal grew from the earlier work in national adaptation planning. The Government of Nepal initiated climate adaptation planning and implementation with the National Adaptation Programs of Action(NAPA), endorsed in September 2010. LAPA ensures the process of integrating climate adaptation and resilience into local and national planning is bottom-up, inclusive, responsive, and flexible as four guiding principles. It is a means to mainstream climate change adaptation into development plans at local levels. LAPA framework was designed to support decision-makers at local to national levels to identify the most climate-vulnerable VDCs, wards, and people and their adaptation needs.