...exploring how people shape the world's forests

October 9th, 2014: Solutions for Climate Change in Nepal

Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Socio-ecological Resilience in the Face of Climate Change in Nepal

October 9, 1:00-2:00pm, Dana Building 2024

Nepal is ranked one of the 5th climate vulnerable countries around the world. The melting of Himalayan glaciers has seriously affected the hydrological stability of the river system, and caused erratic and extreme weather events leading to flash floods and landslides, loss of biodiversity, decline in agricultural productivity, increase of invasive species replacing the native species and depletion of fresh water resources. These adversities seriously have threatened the lives and livelihoods of over 1.2 billion people and  is pushing additional people into poverty negating all efforts of poverty eradication in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Nepal, because of their over dependence on rain-fed agriculture,  natural resources, widespread deprivation and weak infrastructures.

In the author’s understanding of working with 10,000 local community forestry groups over the past 12 years, ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation involve the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services to help people adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. This can involve the use of genetic diversity and traditional knowledge about native species to adapt to climate variability and change. Well-managed, stable, diverse ecosystems are also providing adaptation benefits.  But ecosystems are also vulnerable to climate change and other stresses. They have limits beyond which they cannot adapt and hence support human adaptation. There needs to be a community-led process, based on communities’ priorities, needs, knowledge and capacities, which should empower people to plan for and cope with the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Dharam Uprety is the Climate Change and Forestry Outcome Manager for a multi-stakeholder forestry program which includes the Embassy of Switzerland anda joint program of SDC/DFID/Finland/GoN, Kathmandu, Nepal. The program focus is on climate change adaptation, and resilience building, poverty reduction and livelihood options, sustainable forest management, and job creation through private sector promotion.  Dr. Uprety has a PhD in Applied and Landscape Ecology from Czech University of Life Sciences and a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.