Kathmandu adaptation conference ends with declaration on finance

• May 1, 2014
adaptation conference

Conference in Kathmandu aimed to discuss finance option for and share stories of community-based adaptation. Creative Commons: Neil Palmer (CIAT), 2012

Delegates meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the role of community-based adaptation have signed a declaration calling for a radical shift in flows of finance to ensure vulnerable communities can deal with the impacts of climate change.

The Kathmandu Declaration calls for climate funding to reach local communities, target the most vulnerable, and prioritise disadvantaged groups including the poor, women, children, indigenous people and landless people.

Only be putting these vulnerable communities at the heart of community-based adaptation will such measures succeed, the declaration argues.

The declaration also says stakeholders must be able to access information about the availability, deployment and utilisation of adaptation funding to ensure accountability and transparency.

It calls for strong environmental and social safeguards and robust stakeholder processes to ensure adaptation does not increase community vulnerability or limit the well being of future generations.

It also includes recommendations for strengthening the international and nation funding of local adaptation.

Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, welcomed the Kathmandu Declaration and said current funding for adaptation was “pathetically insufficient”.

The Declaration follows the International Institute for Environment and Development’s 8th annual Community-Based Adaptation Conference, which saw experts and stakeholders examine ways to unlock finance to help communities in developing countries adapt to climate change, while also showcasing some of the projects already underway in the developing world.

Community adaptation is practice

While Kathmandu was abuzz with stories at the 8th annual community-based adaptation conference; one small village in the foothills of Nepal’s Himalayas is already a prime example of the benefits of local knowledge in dealing with climate change.

For the families of Majhthana – a village made up of terraced maize fields at the foot of the steep Himalayas hills – life has become a daily challenge.

The village’s riverbed remains dry throughout most the year nowadays, except for when increasing extreme rainfall leads to flooding which sweeps through the families’ homes and fields.

Hail is also getting fiercer when it hits before the monsoon season , the villagers complain that warmer temperatures are bringing irritating mosquitos, and the earth road – prone to landslides – which gets produce to market and children to school is becoming ever more uncertain.

Meanwhile, monkeys living in the forests around Majhthana, are carrying away many of the vegetables that are grown in the fields – as they too find life more difficult with climate change. The men who would once throw rocks to protect the fields have left the village for low-paying construction jobs in the Middle East in a bid to support their families.

But thanks to some outside technical assistance, start-up funding and local labour, the community is addressing some of the difficulties they face.

They have begun to grow hardy citronella grass and mint of the verges of the forests, as well as substituting chamomile flowers for one crop of rice of maize in their fields each year.

The monkeys won’t touch them, they say.

The harvested plants can then be distilled in the village, becoming fragrant oils, and fetch up to $50 a litre.

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TckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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