Global climate change is one of the many complicated issues we face today in our world. Nepal in particular is highly vulnerable to the potential negative impacts of climate change; here, the average annual temperatures are already increasing. It has really become prior issue to adapt and mitigate the climate change. The negative impact of climate change is clearly seen and has been experienced these days. The change in temperature and rainfall pattern is the more vivid consequences of climate change. This has led to shifting seasons/rainfall, extreme weather pattern, shifting cultivation, change in breeding season, outgrowth of diseases, encroachment of alien species, alteration in the quality and quantity of air, water, soil etc. Many terrestrial, freshwater species are struggling to survive, cope, some have shifted to new locality, and some have extinct because of Climate Change acceleration rate and negative impacts on them. Because of this agriculture, forestry, energy and tourism sector are being primarily affected ultimately leading to social and economic deterioration. Further, inadequate climate change resilience knowledge and practice, inappropriate soil and water conservation measures, insufficient retention of soil moisture, inadequate technical know-how has crippled the food insecurity. In addition, Subsistence farming practices, poor agriculture modern technical input driven on various aspects relating to promoting resource management (natural and human) has deteriorated drastically production and productivity resulting in rampant migration.
These effects have obviously hampered the livelihood of the people at various levels. Hence, the best way to cope the consequences of climate change might be through the implementation of adaptation strategies and intervention at local level. However, in the context of Nepal, mitigating climate change is difficult to some extent because of limitation in economic/finance, poor technological advancement and least role of contribution in Green House Gas emission. In addition, most of the communities, where the climate change impacts are extreme, are very poor. Poor and marginalized communities, who often live in vulnerable areas with limited information, limited livelihoods options and low adaptive capacity, are obviously most vulnerable to climate change. Similarly, women are on the frontline of climate change due to their multiple burdens to manage their livelihoods. Predicted impacts of climate change will heighten existing vulnerabilities, inequalities and exposure to hazards. It will create barriers to poverty reduction efforts and reverse many of the important socio-economic gains made by developing countries. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.
Hence, in order to cope with the leading change of climate and to check the turmoil in the social and economic sector, the community should be empowered economically. In this context, Income Generation Activities (IGA) based on traditional skills and locally available resources using appropriate technologies for value addition can be an effective means to help break the vicious cycle of poverty by increasing income to lead a dignified life. The community should be given proper opportunities in the income generation and micro, small, medium enterprises using the local available resources and adapting and introducing the climate resilient species. For this, the climate smart agriculture such as horticulture, cash crops, honey production, livestock management, pissi-culture etc should be emphasized.
Similarly, awareness on Climate Change, training and skills development activities for IGA, technical assistance and financial grant to households’ in order to acquire specific equipment necessary for income generation activities should be provisioned. In addition to this, scaling up of IGA into enterprises and cooperative should be envisioned. Along with this, market linkages between farmers and traders should be prioritized which particularly increases the economic status of farmer and helpful in environmental and economic shocks.
Loss of bio-diversity, introduction of commercial cropping without giving thought to conservation, has widened the social gap. Sectorial and compartmental approaches have not reached at bottom parts due to lack of coherence of programs and the impact of programs have not adequately reflected to the ground reality due to non-integration. The problems of poverty and deprivation in the tribal regions are complex and intense and not fairly addressed.
Protecting land mass from degradation, utilizing ecologically sensitive indigenous and alternative methods for land & water utilization, treatment and maintenance & rejuvenation can help to achieve important prerequisites for environmental sustainability. The time has come to have a concerted action undertake broad based partnership, accelerate cultural biodiversity conservation, institutionalize resilience and adaptation process with value added initiatives that will complement and supplement the initiates of government/mainstream, facilitate community institutions to carry forward broad based human adaptation initiatives. There is a way out if we will consider as an opportunity to work together by garnering collective and shared responsibility to minimize the adverse impact of distress migration, land degradation and climate chaos. At the same time, create a broad based canopy and canvas to accelerate to rejuvenate the resource base, the capability of vulnerable and ultra-poor communities to enhance their capacity, bargaining ability as skill up gradation by accessing and availing actual entitlements, rights and empowerment.
Implementation approach and methodology to achieve results:
- Integration of Climate Change Resilient Integrated Livelihood:
To get a sustained engagement in attaining secured livelihoods especially for vulnerable groups at community level, there should be continuous action-reflection-action and simultaneous programming. Climate Change resilience and income generation related initiatives should be promoted with backward and forward linkages towards achieving over all changes and growth for livelihood enhancement (climate change adaptation and poverty reduction) along with ecological sustainability and economic empowerment. Vulnerable community lead climate resilient integrated livelihood intervention will enhance productivity and transform agriculture subsistence to commercial. Livelihood activities encompasses co-operative farming, commercialization through entrepreneurship, Bio-gas use for cooking which reduces pollution and fuel scarcity in future, etc.
- Small livestock rearing and Cash Crops:
Based on communities’ needs, traditions and indigenous skills, activities and training related to livestock rearing should be identified. The objective is to empower beneficiaries through capacity building program and training for self-employment as barefoot technicians, Eco-preneurs by selling products, services, or technologies related to these themes. The training program should build in components related to technical skills, basic financial skills and market orientation.
- Promotion of Organic Fertilizer and Organic Production:
Organic production should be promoted as one of the key income generating activities. A small and marginal farmer in Udayapur has been using a heavy amount of chemical fertilisers for getting higher yield. The use of chemical fertilisers not only increases the expense but also have negative impact on the soil health and human health. Hence, emphasis should be given on promotion of organic farming practices like organic fertilizer. Organic production activities includes urine collection, Homesteads food production, Barn improvement and sanitation, composting & Vermi-composting, Dessert farming, Plastic tunnels production, bio-fertilizers, Green manuring, etc.
- Local disaster risk reduction and management:
Nepal is at risk from floods, landslides, epidemics, fire, snake bites, winds, drought and devastating earthquakes. It has become necessary to responsible disaster management stakeholders to take initiatives in building disaster resilient communities by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction (DRR) issues into development plans. Under these circumstances and bearing in mind the need to develop disaster risk management from the central to local level and mainstream it with development policy and programmes at all levels, and also in order to ensure the notion of sustainable development. This should be done to make disaster management participatory, transparent, accountable, inclusive and responsible by optimally mobilizing local resources and capabilities, and by ascertaining the access and ownership of all affected classes, communities and regions. Diaster risk reduction activities include SALT, use of focal persons, Existing resource mapping, preparedness plan, Response activities, information and Co-ordination, search and rescue, WASH, protection, Rehabilitation and reconstruction etc.