Nepal Technical Committee meets to agree on climate change priorities

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Nepal’s Ministry of Finance brought together a technical committee in Pokhara in February to review and select priority climate change projects to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund for approval and funding
 
In Pokhara, west of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, the Himalayas rise majestically from the freshwater Phewa Lake. But this beauty also belies a sad truth: due to climate change, the glaciers on this, the world’s most recognised mountain range, are melting. 
 
It was with this conspicuous reminder as a backdrop that Nepal’s Ministry of Finance brought together a technical committee in Pokhara in February to review and select priority climate change projects to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund for approval and funding. 
 
The committee, chaired by the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, the National Designated Authority (NDA) for Nepal, and representatives from key policy agencies, climate change council and the private sector, reviewed 17 project ideas with the support from the UN Environment/UNDP/WRI GCF Readiness Programme. The committee evaluated project ideas against the following criteria: i) alignment with Nepal’s national climate change priorities, including the National Climate Change Policy, and National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA), and National Determined Contributions (NDC), ii) alignment with the GCF’s strategic impact areas and investment guidelines, and iii) clear identification of possible implementing entity (national or international) for the project.
 
Submissions were open to all entities who had an interest in developing climate change related projects, including government line ministries, private sectors, non profit organization and more.
 
“The project idea call is done publicly to encourage all concerned stakeholders to develop unique project ideas from Nepal. Where as the process of project evaluation and prioritization is an exemplary process adopted by the NDA and will set a precedent on evaluation future applications,” said Lal Bahadur Khatri, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and the National Project Director of the GCF Readiness Programme.
 
The result of the exercise was twofold: not only is there now a pipeline of assessed project ideas that can submitted to the GCF and other potential sources of funding; a nationally-led and owned process has also been established in Nepal for selection of climate change investments, and technical committee is in place under NDA to continue these processes after the UN Environment/UNDP/WRI GCF Readiness Programme support comes to an end. 
 
“National ownership of the process is of crucial importance for the sustainability of efforts to design, deliver, monitor and fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects,” said Aarth Saraph, UN Environment Climate Finance Consultant, who led the workshop as a representative of the GCF Readiness Programme. “The dedication of the technical committee to rigorously apply evaluation tools to identify the projects that address the most pressing climate change needs of the country was evident at the meeting, and demonstrates Nepal’s commitment to tackling climate change.”
 
The NDA has approved two priority project concepts, which will be further developed into full funding proposals for the GCF, with support from the Programme. The support will be tailored to the particular needs of the project and can entail one or several of the following areas, as far as the available budget permits: financial models; feasibility studies; environmental and social impact assessments; strengthening the project design and planning; and the development of a concrete project funding proposal.