United Nations Environment interview with Neeku Acharya, Section Chief, Legal Division, Agriculture Development Bank Ltd. Nepal, the designated National Implementing Entity, on the benefits, challenges and opportunities of accreditation to the Adaptation Fund. The Agriculture Development Bank Ltd. Nepal was among 21 aspiring and Adaptation Fund accredited National Implementing Entities from Asia-Pacific and East European countries who joined the Access to Adaptation Finance Seminar, which took place 23-25 August 2016 in Mumbai, India. Nepal is among eight countries being supported by United Nations Environment Asia Pacific for accreditation to the Adaptation Fund. The interview took place during the seminar.
Q 1. Why is accreditation to the Adaptation Fund important for your country?
Nepal is a landlocked country with immense geographical diversity, ranging from the high Himalayas to the foothills and the terai[i] plains and is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Almost 70 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture for its livelihood and the sector contributes about 37 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Devastating earthquakes in 2015 and the increased intensity of rainfall have intensified the risk of landslides, forcing villagers to migrate to safer areas. In this context, building adaptation capacity to deal with climate change is a high priority for Nepal.
Least Developing Countries like Nepal, while rich in natural resources, are not able to harness these properly due to lack of financial resources and awareness of methods for proper natural resource management. Accreditation to the Adaptation Fund is important to receive both technical and financial resources for proper natural resource management and climate change adaptation.
Q 2. What adaptation priorities will Adaptation Fund finance support in your country?
The funds will be used for water resource and land management, agricultural improvement and capacity building as well as climate-related disaster management.
Q 3. What are some of the challenges or difficulties you are facing in the Adaptation Fund accreditation process?
Nepali is the official work language, so preparing documents in English has taken time. We also need to develop national policies and guidelines required for accreditation such as whistleblower policies. Other challenges are addressing gender and environmental issues and preparing supporting documents needed for accreditation
Q 4. What is working and what is not working for you?
We are at the initial stages and currently working on the identification of capacity gaps that need to be addressed for successful accreditation. This is extremely crucial and demands a lot of attention and work.
Q 5. Will accreditation help you secure access to other types of climate finance?
We hope that accreditation will help us to secure access to other types of climate finance like the green climate fund.
Q 6. What advice would you give to other countries applying for accreditation?
We are seeking advice from other countries as we are just at the beginning stage and still learning.
[i] Plain land region of Nepal bordering India