At a glance
Observations of recent climatic trends include increases in temperature, an upward shift of agro-ecological zones, increasingly variable precipitation patterns, and changes in snowfall patterns (less snow and changes in timing). Communities also perceive a shift in wind, frost and dew patterns, as well as increases in extreme weather events (droughts and floods) and avalanches. The Himalayan glaciers, an important renewable water source, are retreating as temperatures increase. All of this entails risks for a poor country with an economy very dependent on natural resources, notably in terms of agricultural productivity and food security, availability of water, nutrition, health and sanitation. Glacial lake outburst floods are also a threat to population and infrastructure.
The Government of Nepal has initiated processes whereby climatic threats to development are being addressed. Priority climate adaptation measures have been identified across a range of sectors through a highly consultative process, which is an exemplar for other developing countries. In preparation for the role of coordination of climate change response measures, the Ministry of Environment has developed an implementation framework that will be used to coordinate national through to local adaptation initiatives.