Effectiveness of Local Adaptation Plan of Action in Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Resilience of Poor and Vulnerable Households

Master's Thesis, 2018

60 Pages, Grade: A

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1.1. Introduction to climate change and adaptation
1.1.1. Climate Change
1.1.2. Adaptation
1.1.3. Adaptation- Nepal Scenario
1.1.4. Local Adaptation Plan of Action
1.2. Significance of the study
1.3. Objective
1.3.1. Research Goal
1.3.2. Research Objectives and Questions


3.1. Description of study area
3.2 Research design
3.3. Sample and Sampling Design
3.4. Sources of data and information
3.5. Methods of data collection
3.5.1. Secondary Data Collection
3.5.2. Primary Data Collection
3.6. Data processing of method and analysis
3.6.1. Editing
3.6.2. Coding
3.6.3. Classification
3.6.4. Tabulation

4.1 Participation in LAPA formulation
4.1.1 Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents
4.1.2 Communication Timing
4.1.3 Ratio of P & V in villages and their representation in LAPA formulation
4.2 Compare and contrast the contributions of P&V households and Non- P & V households for LAPA implementation
4.3. Effectiveness of the implemented adaptation plan to reduce their vulnerability and enhance their resilience of HHs
4.3.1. Key problems of the site before the implementation of LAPA
4.3.2 Coping methods for key problems
4.3.3 Occurred Changes

5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendation





Table 1: Criteria, indicators and wellbeing status of Poor & Vulnerable

Table 2: Typology of Participation

Table 3: Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents

Table 4: Programs and activities with respective HHs Participation

Table 5: Priority ranking of the key problems before LAPA implementation

Table 6: Coping methods for the key problems


Figure 1: Nepal LAPA steps in cyclic order

Figure 2: Population by ethnicity of Ghermu village

Figure 3: Population by ethnicity of Mauja Village

Figure 4: Map of study area

Figure 5: Flow chart of research design

Figure 6: Time taken to communicate among CFUGs households

Figure 7: Participation as planned versus real at district level

Figure 8: Participation as planned versus real at village level

Figure 10: Level of Particapation of Poor & Vulnerable in LAPA formulation

Figure 9: Representation of P&V households in LAPA formulation

Figure 11: Contribution for LAPA implementation by various Stakeholders

Box 1: Reasons to adapt to climate change now


AR5 Fifth Assessment Report

CBAP Community Based Adaptation Plan

CBS Central Bureau of Statistics

CF Community Forest

CFUG Community Forest User Group

DDC District Development Committee

DFID Department for International Development

FECOFUN Federation of Community Forest Users

GoN Government of Nepal

HHs Households

IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

LAPA Local Adaptation Plans of Action

LDCs Least Developed Countries

MoFALD Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development

MoSTE Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment

NCCSP Nepal Climate Change Support Programme

NGO Non- Governmental Organizations

P&V Poor and Vulnerable

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

USD US Dollar

VDC Village Development Committees


I would like to express my cordial thanks and sincere gratitude to my research advisor Assistant Professor Sabina Lamichhane, Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara and co-advisors Bikash Adhikari and Dhruba Bijaya G.C., Ph.D. for their comments, suggestions, advice, guidance and encouragement throughout the whole study period.

I am very grateful to District Forest Office, CFUGs member of both Ghermu and Mauja village for their kind cooperation during my fieldwork. The respondents of the study areas deserve high appreciation for their kind co-operation and precious time for answering the questionnaires despite the fact that they were very busy in their farms and other household activities.

I am extremely thankful to NORHED SUNREM Himalaya Project for providing the research grant for this project work.

My respectful thanks go to Mr. Dhurba Malla (AFO), Mr. Yajna Prasad Timilsina, Mrs. Pabitra Jha and all my respected teachers of Institute of Forestry.

I must recall my field assistant Ms. Sita Bastola for her valuable support during fieldwork. I am especially thankful to my dear friend Mr. Sujan Nagaju for his moral support. Similarly, I would like to acknowledge those who are directly or indirectly involved and supported me to accomplish this research.

I am greatly indebted to my family whose love and affection always encouraged and inspired me to perform any work successfully. I owe all my success to them.

Thank you all!


Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPA) is community-based adaptation plan that take a ‘ vulnerability first ’ approaches to climate change. It was initiated more than half decade ago in Nepal and has crossed its planning and early implementation phase and it urges to study how it is progressing. For this purpose, Mauja village of Kaski District and Ghermu village of Lamjung were selected to assess the level of participation of poor and vulnerable (P&V) households (HHs), compare the contribution of P&V households; and examine the effectiveness of implemented plan to reduce the vulnerability and enhance their resilience. For the collection of required information, Household questionnaire survey, FGD, KII and direct field observations were implied for the primary data collection while the intensive literature review was done to collect secondary data. Similarly, Wilcoxon test was applied to check the effectiveness of LAPA implementation at 5% of significance level. The study reveals that, the participation of P&V HHs in LAPA formulation process was found to be quite appreciative. Specifically, respondents of Ghermu were found be more consultative and action and interaction oriented then the respondents of Mauja. However, the respondents of Mauja dominated Ghermu in activeness and involvement in specific activity. Similarly, for the LAPA implementation process, contribution of government agency (35%) is maximum in Mauja and contribution of donor agency (37%) maximum in Ghermu while comparing to contribution of CFUGs, partner NGOs and P&V HHs. In this regard, the contribution of P&V HHs was done in terms of physical contribution in both the villages. Spring and water source conservation activities, plantation of cash crops in bari land, beginning of the entrepreneurship were the major activities initiated by the inhabitants of both the villages after LAPA implementation. The implemented adaptation plan is found to be effective in terms of reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience of P&V HHs in both Ghermu and Mauja. This study recommends for the enabling environment for P&V HHs to take ownership and need to facilitate a process of cross learning and sharing between district level and local level.

Keywords: Local Adaptation Plan of Action, Poor and Vulnerable, Resilience, Participation, Ghermu and Mauja Village.


1.1. Introduction to climate change and adaptation

1.1.1. Climate Change

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (Using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or because of human activity. Climate change refers to significant changes in global temperature, precipitation, wind patterns and other measures of climate that occur over several decades or longer (UCDAVIS, 2018).

People all over the world has started to feel the change and its impact on their livelihood. Low-income households, communities living in climate vulnerable areas and those dependent on climate-sensitive resources are likely to become more vulnerable due to climate change. Nepal is also no exception. Nepal's remoteness, undulating terrain, fragile landforms, extremely diverse landscape, and unevenly distributed resources will pose different levels of location and context-specific climate change impacts. The least developed and mountainous country like Nepal is at forefront ie. 4th ranked and listed as the most climate vulnerable countries in the world (Maplecroft, 2010). Climate change has been posing additional challenges to the country's socio-economic development (GoN, 2011).

The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC attributes human influence as the extremely likely ‘dominant cause’ for the observed warming since the mid-20th century (IPCC, 2013). This increased awareness backed with credible scientific research has led to climate change adaptation gaining prominence on global and national development agendas. The right to adapt to adverse impacts of climate change by vulnerable communities is an accepted norm alongside more traditional development goals of health, clean water and other basic human needs.

However, adapting to adverse impact of climate change carries huge global costs with estimates ranging well over USD 100 billion annually (Margulis et al., 2010). Despite having not materially contributing to global climate change, developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are hardest hit by climate change, owing to their geographic location, their reliance on resources sensitive to climate change, such as agriculture, forestry, tourism and fishing, and their low adaptive capacity both financially and institutionally (Adger et al., 2003; Reid and Huq, 2007; UNFCCC, 2007). The commitment to raise adaptation funds from the industrialized nations, on the other hand, can best be described as lackluster.

Like other nations, Government of Nepal has also developed national framework on local adaptation plans for action (LAPA). The aim of the framework was to integrate climate adaptation activities into local and national development planning processes and to create a situation for climate resilient development. This framework facilitates formulation of the LAPA at local bodies such as village development committee (VDC), municipality and district development committee (DDC). The framework consists of seven steps for LAPA formulation and implementation (MOE, 2011).

Climate adaptation is a major global change challenge. It has now gained both scientific as well as policy recognition at the international and national levels. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has made strategic policy decisions to support climate change adaptation in developing countries. The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) process was mandated by the UNFCCC in the Marrakech Accords of 2001, with the intention to mainstream climate change adaptation planning within national development planning in least developed countries (LDCs). The NAPA is considered by LDCs as a way of developing immediate and urgent adaptation priorities at the national level identified to deal with the adverse effects of climate change (UNFCCC, 2002).

1.1.2. Adaptation

Adaptation to climate is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, throughout human history, societies have adapted to natural climate variability by altering settlement and agricultural patterns and other facets of their economies and lifestyles. Human induced climate change lends a complex new dimension to this age-old challenge (IPCC, 2001).

Adaptation is adjustment in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. This term refers to changes in processes, practices, or structures to moderate or offset potential damages or to take advantage of opportunities associated with changes in climate. It involves adjustments to reduce the vulnerability of communities, regions, or activities to climatic change and variability. Adaptation is important in the climatic change issue in two ways-one relating to the assessment of impacts and vulnerabilities, the other to the development and evaluation of response options (IPCC, 2007).

Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) refers to "dangerous" human influence on climate in terms of whether they would "allow ecosystems to adapt, ensure food production is not threatened, and enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner". The extent to which ecosystems, food supplies, and sustainable development are vulnerable or "in danger" depends on their exposure to climate change effects and on the ability of impacted systems to adapt. Thus, to assess the dangerousness of climate change, impact and vulnerability assessments must address the livelihood of autonomous adaptations.

A key challenge in climate change adaptation in developing countries as a whole, and to handling global change in particular, is to link local adaptation needs on the one hand, with national adaptation initiatives on the other, so that vulnerable households and communities can directly benefit (Regmi etal., 2014).

Adaptation also considered an important response option or strategy, along with mitigation (Klein et al., 2007). Even with reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, global temperatures are expected to increase, other changes in climate- including extremes- are likely, and the sea level will continue to rise (Raper et al., 1996; White and Etkin, 1997; Wigley, 1999). Hence, development of planned adaptation strategies to deal with these risks is regarded as a necessary complement to mitigation action (Burton 1996; Smith et al., 1996; Parry et al., 1998; Smithet al., 1999).

Adaptations have been distinguished according to individuals' choice options as well, including "bear losses", "modify threats", "prevent effects", "change use", and "change location" (Burtom et al., 1993; Rayner and Malone, 1998).

In this connection, reasons to adapt to climate change now by Burton 1996 are so relevant. See Box 1 below:

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Box 1: Reasons to adapt to climate change now

Source: IPCC, 2007

1.1.3. Adaptation- Nepal Scenario

Prior to implementation of LAPA, the institutional arrangement to implement LAPA needs to be clearly defined. Effective implementation of LAPA requires efficient local governance along with the engagement of civil society. In Nepal, LAPA is mostly integrated with district development planning but implemented by community based organizations (CBOs) and community mobilisers at the village development committee (GON, 2011; Peniston, 2013).

For generations, communities in Nepal have been using traditional farming methods such as choosing crop varieties, local knowledge and innovations of adaptation to climate change (Dahal, 2009 and Regmi and Adhikari, 2007). Adaptation responses vary from preparing for the risks of disasters caused by extreme weather events to the changes in the resources and their production at the ecosystem and landscape levels. Indigenous and local knowledge on natural and managed ecosystems help communities adjust their practices in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, land, water and other natural resource systems. The gradual adjustments to on-going practices constitute what is currently known as community coping capacity and autonomous adaptation practices in the face of climate change and other stressors (IPCC, 2007). According to ICIMOD (2013), indigenous and marginalized poor people in Nepal are most vulnerable to disasters because they live in fragile terrains exposed to risks from flash and seasonal floods and landslides. Both low-probability fast onset extreme events such as flash floods and high-probability slow-onset events, like health hazards, increasingly threaten settlements and human security in Nepal.

A local level adaptation strategy among communities is one of the coping mechanisms for them to deal with low crop production, soil fertility loss, drying up of water resources, spread of diseases which are adverse impacts of climate change. Community level evidences of and unproven information require further investigation as it their prospects hasn’t been fully researched. There is need to investigate whether existing local knowledge and livelihood assets enable villages to cope with climate change. It needs further examination how local knowledge and innovations are important in designing research and development interventions targeted for vulnerable communities (Regmi et al., 2008).

Adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers

Communities have been using their own traditional methods of adaptation for generations. There is no early warning system, seasonal forecast or any activities directly related to climate change. The following sections describe community basedadaptation strategies and implications of such interventions in the livelihood of poor communities.

As per Regmi, 2008, the practiced adaptation strategies and their implications are:

Practiced Adaptation Strategies and its Implications

- Water storage system to cope with water scarcity

Farmers are constructing water conservation pond during the monsoon in Kalabang of Kaski District. Farmers of Arba VDC in Kaski District use water harvesting tank to trap rainwater to be used in the dry season. Farmers practice wastewater collection and drip irrigation for vegetable farming in Begnas VDC of Kaski District.

- Management practices

Farmers are using mulching in vegetable farming to increase soil moisture. Some farmers are constructing retention walls along terrace risers to check soil loss and are planting, vegetative barriers such as broom grass, mulberry, and Napier grass on sloping lands and roads.

Farmers are constructing drainage canals in bar lands to check spill loss from intense rainfall and using of vegetative barriers (Broom grass, Napier, Mulberry) to control gully erosion. Trail improvement is also carried out for soil conservation.

- Change in crops

In Kalabang of Kaski District, due to drought, khet land (irrigated) was converted to bari land (rainfed), so rice was replaced by millet and mustard. Farmers are now growing drought resistant crops in tari land (semi irrigated). Early maturing vegetable are preferred by farmers. Mustard replaced wheat, which requires less water. Drought resistance rice varieties, such as Mansara and Anga, are now preferred by farmers.

Farmers now sow high quality rice like JethoBudho, a local landrace which they sell in the market and buy cheaper rice like Mansuli. Farmers in Mustang and Dolpa Districts are now growing new vegetable species in their homestead due to change in temperature. Similarly, farmers in the flooding areas of Bardiya and Kailali Districts are growing watermelon, sesame, black gram, peanuts and sweet potato to cope with stress environment.

- Improved storage system

Farmers have been making pits to store potatoes. According to farmers, this helps to reduce storage temperature so that they can store longer. Some farmers in PumdiBhumdi VDC of Kaski District are protecting the seeds from frost and chilling temperature by covering with plastic and hanging them in safe places.

Farmers of Joshipur VDC of Kailali District are using earthen vessels to store their paddy, maize and other cereal seeds. These vessels are kept on raised beds to protect from flooding. Similarly, farmers are also raising their level of houses and cattle sheds to keep them safe during monsoon flooding.

- Other coping mechanism

Farmers of Belwa VDC of Bardiya District are planting crops early, dropping late maturing varieties and developing alternative irrigation systems (e.g. pump set). Use of new hybrid varieties such as short duration and drought tolerant varieties is also common in many areas of Nepal. But most of the farmers believe that local landraces have stress tolerant traits.

To solve the issues above regarding water and land resources deterioration, District Forest Office, Soil Conservation Office along hand in hand with different organizations like FECOFUN, REDD, CARE, WWF have aided the local people to build community water tanks, educate about crop varieties, cropping pattern, etc. to mitigate some of the negative effects of above mentioned impacts of climate changes.

MSFP has provided support on 5 major areas of vulnerability as mentioned and prioritized in the LAPA and CAPA. These 5 areas are as follows:

- water security,
- energy security,
- ecosystem management,
- disaster mitigation (flood/ landslide control), and;
- livelihood security.

However, though the sensitization and awareness raising activities are common, the prioritized sectors and adaptation options vary depending on the ecological location and the degree of risk and vulnerability. For example, flash floods, river bank erosion, and siltation are major risks in the Terai region, while landslides and water scarcity are more common risks in the hills. Clearly, the adaptation options are prioritized accordingly (MSFP, 2016).The Climate Change Policy 2011, has a mandatory provision to spend at least 80 % of the budget available for climate change need to be spent for the implementation of adaptation activities at local level. Therefore, a local adaptation framework was felt necessary and thus LAPA framework was formulated.

The LAPA and CAPA prepared in the Terai region have focused on the following which have been identified as the most practical and common options for enhancing socio-ecological resilience:

- ecosystem management: conversion of public land into forest plantations, reclamation and conversion of under-utilized land into forest land, introduction of silvic-cultural practices, forest cleaning, and fire line establishment;
- introduction of scientific forest management in LFG areas;
- water security through water source protection;
- livelihood support through vegetable farming especially off-season on the river banks, and livestock farming, especially goats;
- alternative energy promotion through introduction of improved cooking stoves, and biogas unit installation;
- soil and embankment conservation through river-training related activities, such as retaining wall construction, and bio-engineering programmes for soil protection.

In the hilly regions, in terms of prioritized adaptation options, LAPA and CAPA activities have more focused on water security and livelihood support but with some activities concerned with ecosystem management and landslide control – for example:

- water source protection,
- construction of conservation ponds and plastic ponds for irrigation,
- construction and renovation of recharge tanks,
- vegetable and livestock farming,
- landslide control through embankment construction to protect against landslides and erosion,
- bio-engineering for landslide area stabilization, and to a lesser extent:
- establishment of plantations and forest management improvements through silvicultural practices, forest cleaning, and fire line creation,
- the introduction of improved cooking stoves.

Several local adaptation strategies, such as changing both agricultural practices and water harvesting and management, are increasing efficiency in resource use. However, to increase the adaptive capacity of poor households, it is essential to incorporate climate change adaptations within the local planning process (Adhikari et al., 2018).

1.1.4. Local Adaptation Plan of Action

Local Adaptation Plan of Action (LAPAs) are community- based approaches that take a 'vulnerability first' approach to climate change adaptation. In other words, it is a community- led process, based on communities' priorities, needs, knowledge, and capacities, which should empower people to plan for and cope with the impacts of climate change (GoN, 2011). The LAPA framework is designed through piloting the LAPA process in 2010 in ten districts, supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) under the Climate Adaptation Design and Piloting Project – Nepal (CADP-N). To date 70 LAPAs have been prepared in the start-up phase (with 30 more under finalization), ready for full-fledged implementation in 69 Village Development Committees (VDCs) and one municipality of 14 districts of mid and far west Nepal, facilitated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) – Nepal Climate Change Support Programme (NCCSP). Three national NGOs are involved in the preparation of 70 LAPAs. Against projected funding requirements of USD 40 million for implementation of the LAPA priorities, DFID and the European Union (EU) have committed funding of approximately USD 23 million. Out of the funds allocated by the government for LAPA implementation, 80% will be used for local-level activities, while the remaining 20% will be dedicated to institutional capacity building and coordination at the national level. Simultaneously, enhanced capacity of national and local government and various other service providers has been expected. To date implementation of the LAPA priorities has not commenced (GoN, 2011).

1.2. Significance of the study

Since Mauja is moderately vulnerable village and Ghermu is highly vulnerable village due to changes in climatic patterns, it was seen essential to realize the extent to which LAPA has been aiding the local people for mitigating the negative impacts. By carrying out this study, we will be able to quantify the effects of LAPA in both villages. As the LAPA and CBAP were developed following all the process of development as per GoN, 2011, they were taken in the field for action. After which, the projects started facilitating on implementation of the plan. Project partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries of the planned activities started implementing with their full extent to create leverage and for multiplier effect. A quick assessment of the activities relating to impact amelioration that have been implemented has demonstrated that there are some issues of adaptation planning. These issues relate to some of the people disregarding the project and its implementation. On the other hand, there are some issues of outcomes and output in addressing the issue of P&V households. Such issues include limited benefits to targeted households and disparity between the people.

The issue of ownership in adaptation planning is crucial for several reasons. It is crucial in developing a common understanding of problems created by climate change in the locality. It is crucial in achieving broad-based commitment to solutions. Respectively, it is crucial in reducing conflicts in implementation of adaptation plans and in achieving cost effectiveness in implementation (Dhungana et al., 2015). In contrary, use of many institutional forms for adaptation plan development has a consequence of dispersed responsibility and unclear accountability.

Some other issues are making adaptation plan a 'wish list project'; assessment of vulnerability gives a list of projects and they all seem important, problem lies at the required resources. On the other hand, use of external knowledge and expertise to address the local situation of those P&V households where problem lies at not mobilizing the indigenous knowledge for effective outcomes and output. The most and the critical issue is the level of participation of P&V households in adaptation planning process and the degree of reducing their vulnerability and enhancing their resilience. In this study, we are more focused on the level of participation, and the degree of reducing vulnerability and enhancing their resilience.

1.3. Objective

1.3.1. Research Goal

The overall research goal of this study is to explore the impact of LAPA on reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience of P&V households.

1.3.2. Research Objectives and Questions

To achieve the research goal, three prime objectives are set each with series of research questions that help to understand the complexity of the given theme.

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Collaboration among rural institutions is crucial for shaping climate change adaptation and its outcomes (Agrawal, 2010). The LAPA experience showed that a range of institutions are relevant for local adaptation planning (Ayers et al., 2010). Adaptive action and responses must occur at different levels and involve various decisions across a landscape made up of agents ranging from individuals, firms, and civil society, to public bodies and international agencies (Adger et al., 2005).

The expected effects of climate change on water availability are linked to findings on the communities’ vulnerability to the changes. The communities are vulnerable to changes in water availability under climate change, but this vulnerability is small in comparison to adaptation opportunities. However, the ability to appropriate benefits from these opportunities is constrained, and it is the extent of this inhibition that determines vulnerability (Gawith et al., 2017).

Regmi and Star (2014) interviewed community members within three VDCs and found that 20-25% of the households within each VDC were involved in the design of their LAPAs. Local stakeholders whom were previously excluded from climate change discussions are being increasingly sensitized to some of the predicted climate change impacts, an integral step to build resilience and eventually adapt (Regmi and Star, 2014). Furthermore, communities with raised awareness can then demand increased climate change adaptation action from their local representatives, whom will be inclined to act (Chaudury et al., 2014).

About 91% of the farming households have adopted at least one practice to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change and it is imperative to involve farmers in climate change adaptation planning processes if the full benefits of such policy action are to be realized. (Khanaletal., 2016).

Though there are evidently many challenges faced as the LAPAs progress from development to implementation, there is one in particular that has lacked attention. Many of Nepal’s climate change impacts faced are highly or directly related to water resources. As mentioned, Nepal is administratively divided into 75 districts. The 2010 NAPA identified that of these 75 districts, 22 are highly vulnerable to drought, 12 to GLOFs, and 9 to flooding. The increased risk posed from these water-related calamities is just one aspect of the acute requirements for water resource management due to climactic changes within Nepal (GoN, 2010).

Each LAPA includes detailed descriptions of the largest threats faced by their locality due to climate change. The first approach of the study was to examine these identified threats. JVS/GWP-Nepal grouped these into 8 of the most commonly identified potential impacts ((JVS/GWP-Nepal, 2016):

- drying-up of water sources;
- effects of landslides on irrigation and drinking water supply;
- decrease in agriculture production from floods, landslides and drought;
- increase in drought-induced barren land;
- damage to agricultural land due to river and stream floods and bank cutting;
- infestation of disease and pest (domestic plants and animals);
- damage to infrastructure from natural disasters such as landslides and floods, including from fire and ice melting; and
- lowering down of groundwater table

Grouping of adaptation actions calls for the development of various water infrastructures such as irrigation canals, groundwater wells, drinking water supply, micro-hydroelectricity, and bridges (JVS/GWP-Nepal, 2016). Water-related adaptation actions which received considerably less priority include those related to capacity building and agriculture (JVS/GWP-Nepal, 2016). However, capacity building has been identified as a crucial component of successful climate change adaptation. This is widely referred to as adaptive capacity or “the ability of different socio-ecological systems and agents to respond and recover from climate impact” (Lemos et al., 2013). Without this capacity to adapt and build resilience, other adaptation efforts may be futile (Eisenack et al., 2014).

Biagini et al., 2014 reviewed climate change adaptation activities being implemented across 70 countries funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which includes the funding of NAPAs through the LDCF. Adaptation actions at various stages of implementation were grouped into ten categories. The most commonly adopted and implemented actions were within the category of capacity building. The second most prevalent was management and planning, while the physical infrastructure categorization was sixth of the ten categories. The results suggest that, globally, stakeholders believe capacity building is an integral climate change adaptation measure. The authors reflect that this finding is unsurprising because many of the most vulnerable countries receiving funding lack an “enabling environment”, without which further adaptation actions would not be as successful for increasing resilience to climate change impacts (Biagini et al., 2014).

Furthermore, JVS/GWP Nepal organized an interaction program on reducing climatic vulnerability in the water sector through the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) sector in December 2016. Multi-stakeholder attendees included both governmental and non-governmental organizations. This interaction provided an opportunity to share study findings and experiences on adaptation to climate change in the hydro-electricity sector, approaches of integrating adaptation to the water resource sector, and governmental initiatives on NAP process. The outcome of the interaction has provided inputs to the NAP team, including thematic working groups on water resources and energy coordinated by the Ministry of Energy, to address climate change concerns related to the water resources sector (B. Uprety, personal communication, August 27, 2017).

Comparison between the studies completed by JVS/GWP-Nepal (2016) and Biagini et al., 2014 could be misleading, particularly because the adaptation actions examined by Biagini et al., 2014 were those within NAPAs instead of LAPAs. In addition, Biagini et al., 2014 only assess priority by number of word occurrences within NAPA text, while JVS/GWP-Nepal (2016) examines priority based on budget allocated. However, because 80% of Nepal’s NAPA prioritized adaptation project funding from the LDCF is disbursed to LAPAs (Maharjan and Maharjan, 2017), it is conceivable to draw some comparison.

Firstly, Nepal’s actions listed within their NAPA indeed name and prioritize capacity building over infrastructure (GoN, 2010), concurring with Biagini et al., 2014’s results. Why is it that, locally, capacity building is not prioritized and rather infrastructure is? Perhaps one reason is that infrastructure requirements are locally-derived. Another consideration is that while building adaptive capacity may be costly, water infrastructure projects such as those proposed in the LAPAs are expensive. Finally, it is possible that many of the local communities hope to spend most of their LAPA budgets on infrastructure due to a lack of funding for these projects otherwise.

The research of Sujakhu et al., 2016 revealed that farmers’ strategies for adaptation to changes are mostly related to socioeconomic drivers and to some extent to climatic factors. Existing opportunities to cope with changes relate mostly to non-climatic variables such as available resources, government policy, labor supply, market conditions, and property rights; therefore, these variables need to be considered during adaptation planning. The mountain farmers’ communities in our study area identified the need for more efficient water management and for adjusting farming practices to better utilize the potential of already promising activities such as livestock management, milk production, crop diversification, and cash-crop production to respond to climate change and other hazards. With better support and planning, these measures could be adjusted to meet future climate-change–related risks to mountain development.

LAPA methodology (GoN, 2011)

The LAPA framework has deemed VDCs and municipalities-the lowest level of official governance structures-as the most appropriate units for integrating climate change adaptation and resilience into the national development planning process. In doing so, it ensures that both bottom-up and top-down processes are employed to produce the most appropriate adaptation plans.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides technical assistance to the government at central and local levels to implement LAPA, while District Energy and Environment Units (DEEUs) (to be reorganized as District Energy, Environment and Climate Change Sections [DEECCSs]) of the District Development Committees (DDCs) are the delivering agencies. LAPA implementation is envisioned through government line agencies, service providers and local community groups based on their strength and competitive advantages. DDC will have the ultimate oversight and supervisory role at the local level. It should be noted here that DDC falls under the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) and DEEU falls under MoSTE although DEEU is hosted inside DDC.

Nepal's LAPA framework is guided by National Climate Policy 2011 and based on the priorities set out in NAPA. The framework has been distinctively divided into climate vulnerability assessment phase and adaptation and resilience planning phase, integrating both top-down and bottom-up approaches. The most climate-vulnerable VDCs, wards and communities are identified and adaptation assessment (both challenges and possible interventions) is done with full participation of local communities, including all relevant local government bodies along with other stakeholders. Thereafter, those adaptation options are prioritized again with similar participatory approach, thus forming the LAPA. These LAPAs are integrated into local and national plans in accordance with Local Self Governance Act, 1999 of Government of Nepal (GoN), and guided by the principle of bottom-up, inclusive, responsive and flexible planning.

The LAPA framework consists of seven steps as shown in the Figure 1 for its formulation and implementation.

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Figure 1: Nepal LAPA steps in cyclic order

(Source: MOE, 2011)

Step 1- Sensitization

Sensitization is the first step of the process but is used throughout the formulation and implementation process (next 6 steps) whereby stakeholders at all levels (from community to national) are informed about the impacts of climate change, made aware about the identifiable adaptation options to adapt to those impacts, and also supported to identify the most appropriate institutions for implementation and monitoring of those adaptation options.

Step 2- Vulnerability and adaptation assessment

This step is carried out using a systematic approach of locating the most climate-vulnerable hotspots and communities, and identifying adaptation options that will lessen the impacts of climate change and help them tackily the future impacts as well.

Step 3- Prioritizations of adaptation options

This step prioritizes the most urgent and cost-effective adaptation activities based on a ranking system devised though the involvement of local communities themselves. The process takes into consideration the needs of most vulnerable households while finalizing the list of possible adaptation options.

Step 4- LAPA formulation

The following 7 'Wh/H' approach is used to develop an adaptation pan (Nepal 2011) based on the prioritized activities from the previous step 1. What actions? 2. Where to implement? 3. What approach to use? 4. Who will implement? 5. When to implement? 6. What will it cost? 7. How to monitor progress? A detailed roadmap that systematically answers each of the above questions guides the final LAPA formulation.

Step 5- LAPA integration into planning process

The adaptation plan formed from the previous step is integrated into sectoral, local and national development planning process so that the identified adaptation activities are effectively implemented leveraging the resources from government, non government and private sectors alike. This also helps in institutionalizing the LAPA planning process.

Step 6- LAPA implementation

This step is the most crucial one. It involves the implementation of integrated LAPAs from previous step by ensuring effective participation of all stakeholders (communities, local government bodies, local NGOs, private sector and other agencies).

Step 7- LAPA progress assessment

This step evaluates the progress and outcomes of LAPA by gathering evidence so that any learning, reflection and feedback from it guides the future trajectory of LAPA formulation and implementation. This step ensures the iterative and flexible approach of LAPA.

For carrying out each of the steps, the framework has recommended a formidable array of core tools developed mostly by various NGOs. The Results and Resources Framework (UNDP, 2012) is deployed to measure the LAPA outcomes and indicators.


3.1. Description of study area

The study area Ghermu village lies in Marsyangdi Rural Municipality ward no. 5 which used to be a separate VDC before having the last administrative zone changes and is located at around 5468 ft. from mean sea level in Lamjung District of Western Development Region of Nepal in Gandaki Province.

The village has the total household 402 with total population 1776. Based on ethnicity, Janajati is the dominant caste comprising about 88% of the population followed by Brahmin and Dalit consisting respectively 1% and 11% (CBS, 2014). Most important land use of the village is forest area and pasture land.

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Figure 2: Population by ethnicity of Ghermu village

Rationale for selecting Ghermu Village for the study purpose are as follows:

- The site is highly vulnerable (MSFP, 2014).
- It has been five years since LAPA implementation.
- The site is far from Headquarter and main highway.

Another study area is Mauja village which lies in Pokhara LekhnathMetropolitian ward no. 13 which used to be separate VDC before having the last administrative structural changes and is located at around 4600 ft. from mean sea level in Kaski District of Western Development Region of Nepal in Gandaki Province.

The village has 397 households and 1399 total population. The density of population is moderate population density and is almost dominated by Brahmin & Chettri with Gurung, Pariyar and other marginalized ethnic groups. GihuneKhola, KahuKhola and DobhanKhola flows through this village which is covered by forest area and pasture land (CBS, 2014).

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Figure 3: Population by ethnicity of Mauja Village

Rationale for selecting Mauja Village for the study purpose are as follows:

- The site is moderately vulnerable (MSFP, 2014).
- It has been three years since LAPA implementation.
- The site is far from Headquarter and main highway.

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Figure 4: Map of study area

3.2 Research design

First, the area of interest was selected for the study. Then the literature about the study area was collected and problem was identified. Appropriate methods and methodology were identified, and site was selected for doing the research. Then primary data was obtained from the field survey while secondary data were collected from published and unpublished literatures. Then data was analyzed using both primary and secondary data using statistical tools like SPSS and Ms-Program like Ms Excel. After interpretation was done after the analysis, report was prepared. Flow Sheet of Research Design is given below in Figure 5.

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Figure 5 : Flow chart of research design

3.3. Sample and Sampling Design

Stratified random sampling was used as the population characteristics are heterogonous. This sampling technique gave a better cross-section of population so as to gain a higher degree of precision. Selected Village were stratified based on socio-economic status, considering that it creates heterogeneity in the livelihoods of local people, especially on the factor related to the climatic variation (Weiss and Hassett, 1982). Therefore, entire Village was stratified into 4 categories based on caste, sex, education and occupation for homogeneity and better representation of respondents. The total numbers and list of households were taken from the VDC records and Community forest users’ constitution.

Out of total 397 households in Mauja, 80 households (20%) were selected randomly for interview with the consultation of CFUG member, local resource persons and VDC personnel. In Ghermu, out of 402 households, 80 households (20%) were randomly selected.

To represent the P & V HHs impartially while selecting them for HH questionnaire, village level climate change adaptation and disasters management coordination committee and other stakeholders & key informants were consulted for the selection of sampling location through consultation of LAPA of Ghermu and Mauja.

3.4. Sources of data and information

The key focus of this study is to explore the impact of LAPA on reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience of P&V households. For this purpose, direct field visit and observation-the key to study- was made to collect and compile the facts and figures. In addition to it, for its authentication it is desirable to obtain secondary information and data from institutions, organizations and individuals who are directly involved in the given field.

3.5. Methods of data collection

The selection of appropriate methods for the collection, analysis and interpretation of data is the most important parts of any type of research. This study applies both qualitative and quantitative approaches to achieve the research objectives. A series of attempts and attendance of stakeholder meeting were held to collect in-depth information to fully understand and analyze the research objectives. The qualitative methods were also used to capture the understanding of social process.

3.5.1. Secondary Data Collection

Literature related to the topics, national and international publications, annual reports of related organizations, District profiles from Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), internet surfing and other relevant books and documents were reviewed.

3.5.2. Primary Data Collection

Primary data was collected through questionnaire survey, group discussion, key informants survey and field observation. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was used to collect the data. All the data collected were analyzed accordingly.

a) Key informants survey

Key informants survey was conducted with Local Leaders, Elder individuals, local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) personnel and CFUG's committee member. Both open and close-ended questionnaires were used to acquire the objective driven result in both qualitative and quantitative way.

b) Focus Group Discussion

Focus group discussion primarily was conducted with P&V households. In addition, Dalit group, Woman group focus discussion was conducted, as well, as per necessary.

c) Household interviews

Household were surveyed through a set of structured and semi-structured questionnaires household were surveyed from each village. Questionnaires were asked to gather information about perception towards climate change, impacts on farming and adaptation strategies used by farmers. Household data were collected early morning so that it doesn’t disturb their daily activities. Random sampling assured of impartiality while selection of HHs.

d) Direct field observation

Direct site observations were made in the respective VDCs where observation was focused on the practices and their results. The study team was assisted with local CFUG members.

e) Formal and informal discussion

District level key Stakeholders were interviewed for the study. Stakeholders namely District Forest Office, FECOFUN, was interviewed at the district level. Expert to the subject were consulted, as per necessary.

f) Participatory well being ranking

The criteria and indicators for well being ranking are shown as:

Table 1: Criteria, indicators and wellbeing status of Poor & Vulnerable

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Source: Gentle et al., 2012

Along with the above criteria for the ranking, secondary data from the LAPA of both villages was used to sort out the list of P & V households and make the list of the total Poor and Vulnerable Households in the villages.

From collected data, a typology for determining level of participation was developed with reference from White (1996) cross referenced by Agrawal (2001), to organize the level of P & V and non-P & V participation in LAPA formulation.

Table 2: Typology of Participation

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3.6. Data processing of method and analysis

The data collected during the fieldwork were categorized into separate variable as required by the study objectives. The data were then analyzed by using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative data was analyzed through MS Excel and SPSS tools using descriptive statistics such as percentage, mean, frequency distribution. They were featured in graphs, tables and other pictorial forms. Similarly, Quantitative data were analyzed using Likert Scale and Friedman’s Ranking test was used for the priority ranking of issues prevalent in the village. Similarly, non-parametric Wilcoxon signed ranks test was used to identify the effect of LAPA on the people of that area regarding issues related to changes in the environment, at α=5%.

3.6.1. Editing

Editing was done to assure that the data are accurate, consistent with other facts gathered, uniformly entered, as completed as possible and have well arranged to facilitate coding and tabulation.

3.6.2. Coding

Coding was done to put responses into a limited number of categories or classes. Such classes were appropriate to the research problem under consideration. It was used for efficient analysis and through it several information were reduced to a small number of classes that contain the critical information required for analysis.

3.6.3. Classification

Large volume of raw data was classified as per the nature of characteristics. Data having the common characteristics were placed in one class and in this way the entire data got divided into number of groups or classes. Descriptive and numerical both were classified for the study purpose.

3.6.4. Tabulation

Mass of data was assembled to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order in the form of table. Tabulation was used to summarize raw data and displayed the same compact from for the further analysis. It was used to conserve the space and reduce explanatory and descriptive statement to a minimum, as well.


4.1 Participation in LAPA formulation

4.1.1 Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents

Table 3: Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents

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Of the total 80 respondents in both Ghermu village and Mauja village majority were seen enthusiastic to talk about LAPA. In case of Mauja village, majority of the respondents belong to the age group 18-35 but in contrast, respondents from Ghermu village belong most to age group of adults. This is not similar to the actual population data of the villages as most male population are travelling. The family size of respondents is relatively average with most HHs around 4 members which is relative to overall population data 4.42 in Ghermu, 3.69 in Mauja (CBS, 2014). Majority of families in Mauja village are of small family size with 2-4 members while people belonged to medium family size of 5-8 in Ghermu village. In both villages, main respondents were female. This disparity is predicted as the result of adult male travelling out of the villages to earn living. Majority of the people in Mauja are engaged in agriculture and livestock for their livelihood and source of income compared to Ghermu with other occupations such as business, shops having significant contribution. In Ghermu, Gurung community has dominated as 80% of the respondents were Gurung. In Overall, out of 402 HHs, there are around 85% Gurung, which shows similarity in the sampling of respondents. In Mauja Village, out of 397 HHs, overall 30% population are Gurung of which 40% of respondents were Gurung as highest population within the village of mixed diversity of ethnicity.Out of the total respondent in Ghermu, 40 HHs fall under poor and vulnerable and 37 HHs from Mauja.

4.1.2 Communication Timing

Normally, people are rather busy and thus cannot make time for programs and gatherings in the village. The study was carried out to realize the most appropriate time gap required to notify the people in the village so that they can take part in orientation and other group organized trainings and programs. Effective field communication process was in lead at the field level without many hindrances. In Mauja, a formal written letter was the means of communication and in Ghermu, verbal communication or phone call was made for the communication. All the district level stakeholders for district level orientation and field level stakeholders for Village level orientation were communicated.

The study found that the information reached to the targeted stakeholders with a time variation of one to three weeks and to the CFUGs households. The Figure elaborates the detail time taken to communicate to the CFUGs households.

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Figure 6 : Time taken to communicate among CFUGs households

While the communication timing was short and effective to gather the personal, there was slight difference between planned and real participation. In Ghermu, there wasn’t much disparity between planned and real participation, but in case of Mauja, there was slight increase in the total number of participants compared to the planned one which can be showed in the graph below

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Figure 7: Participation as planned versus real at district level

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Figure 8 : Participation as planned versus real at village level

The graph of planned and real participation in both the district and village level helps to elaborate the level of interest people have in LAPA and its influence in the mindset of people in those area. In both villages, the number of real participants exceeds the supposed number.

4.1.3 Ratio of P & V in villages and their representation in LAPA formulation

In Ghermu village, there were 20% (80) P & V households and in Mauja, 15.86% (63), however, only about 11% in Ghermu and 9% in Mauja were involved in LAPA formulation. In Ghermu village, around 65% P & V HHs were members of CFUGS and 55% of them were present in orientation. However, In Mauja, 50% P & V HHs are in CFUGs and only 40% were participant of orientation program. Voices were rose by the dominant interest groups-Local political leaders, Government officials, Teachers, and other elites and dominated P&V households. Voices towards LAPA implementation and effectiveness were raised by both dominant and dominated which were documented for the plan purpose. The study found that, to some extent, P&V households are capable enough to put the voice on the floor despite all those differences in caste and class.

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Figure 9: Representation of P&V households in LAPA formulation

So, the representations of poor and vulnerable households in the formulation of LAPA process was satisfactory as each household were informed about the formulation of LAPA setting the time gap of two weeks before the formulation process.As per the typology of participation addressed by Agarwal (2001), the participation of P & V HHs was addressed into four different categories.

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Figure 10: Level of Participation of Poor & Vulnerable in LAPA formulation

In Ghermu, the P & V participation was highest for active participation which means that their voices were influential in changing the group decision. However, In Mauja, activity specific participation was done by largest number of HHs.

'As you all members know where my house is. You might have remembered the landslide before eight years. I still remember, the day when my cattle shed and a cow, only a source of income, to my family, were swept away with that landslide. That made me poorer than before. After that nightmare, I asked help to the CFUG and we did plantation just above that part with users' participation. I have noticed after that event, I have never seen that kind of event again. My concern here is, the similar situation is now on eastern part of our forest area and can see at least five households are in vulnerability condition. I request to all the respected personnel, let's put a massive plantation plan in our CFUG. It would be better if we could do plantation of Amliso (Broom Grass). So that, in one hand landslide will be controlled, on the other hand, we could get some source of income to the people like me'- Shanta Bir Limbu, P&V households member of MangdhanaKritipur CFUG.

Collecting the people’s responses prior to the high-level administrative responses regarding the overall issues and necessary facilitation referred to as the bottom-up planning process in the LAPA framework has provided space for vulnerable communities, household, women, and other disadvantage groups to identify their real adaptation needs (Tiwari et al. 2014). The policy including NAPA and LAPA also expressed the adaptive capacity and empowering the poor and vulnerable communities. It was found that LAPA piloting has shed light on the debate about the need to recognize the potential role of communities in adaptation design and delivery. One of the major issues around the local level adaptation is identifying and targeting the most vulnerable households. Study such as community forestry, local development program found that power structures and dynamics, party policies at local level often dominate resource management and undermine the role of poor and disadvantaged groups including women in decision making (Tiwari et al. 2014).

4.2 Compare and contrast the contributions of P&V households and Non- P & V households for LAPA implementation

Most of the CFUGs are now pro-poor friendly (meeting demands of marginalized groups first) and even some CFUGs are P&V friendly (aiding in livelihood upliftment through external resources) as well as programs and different plan of actions are oriented towards lifting their livelihood standards and they are given leeway for resource utilization. For the financial contribution it is clearly stated in CFUG's constitution to support bottom up planned activities, and activities that support P&V households. There was no any compulsion for CFUGs or P&V households to support the adaptation plan financially rather, the physical contribution made by CFUGs, poor and vulnerable households were calculated in terms of financial contribution. In Ghermu, out of the total allocated budget for LAPA implementation, 60% has been exhausted while only 55% of the allocated budget in Mauja has been mobilized.

Even though P & V HHs couldn’t contribute financially, they partake in some of the programs and activities. Some of the programs were oriented for P & V, some only for non-P & V while some for both.

Table 4: Programs and activities with respective HHs Participation

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Physical contributions such as building, infrastructures, manual labors were mostly done by CFUGs and P & V households as P & V HHs could not afford any financial contributions. There were no any contributions from stakeholders' side. But, for CFUGs regardless the aged people, every single person must make physical contribution for communities' prioritized activities. No difference was there for whether well-off households or P&V households. But there was a provision of paying to the skilled labors for their physical contribution (e.g.: In Ghermu village, Rs. 900/ skilled; Rs. 700/semi-skilled & Rs. 650/unskilled manpower, whereas in Mauja village, Rs. 950/ skilled; Rs. 730/semi-skilled & Rs. 650/unskilled manpower). Each P & V HHs contributed around 10 to 15 working days which was converted into their financial contribution as per the provisioned paying wage. The ratio of contributions made by P&V households, CFUGs and stakeholders are represented by the bar-graph given below in Figure below.

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Figure 11 : Contribution for LAPA implementation by various Stakeholders

In Ghermu, as per budget data of the minute, the greatest contributor was Donor organizations contributing 37% of the total. However, in Mauja Government agencies contributed most for the sake of implementation of LAPA. In both villages, P & V HHs contributed around 12 percent of the total contributions.

According to data collected by Rai et al., 2015, In Gupteshwor, Bhojpur, 42.34 % of contribution was done by VDC, 22.98% by NGOs, 10.37% by CFUGs. Along with support from DSCWM providing broom grass, community provided NRs. 60,000; NRs. 50,000 from VDC in the preparation of CAPA of Samekhola VDC in Parbat district MSFP, 2014).

4.3. Effectiveness of the implemented adaptation plan to reduce their vulnerability and enhance their resilience of HHs

4.3.1. Key problems of the site before the implementation of LAPA

As per the household surveys in each Village, focus group discussion (5 FGD) and stakeholders, the key problems were:

- Unhygienic drinking water, natural calamities like landslides, floods, some chronic disease like dysentery, etc.
- Drying up of ponds/ water resources, problems of rearing livestock and farming crops.
- Unaware of climate change impacts and adaptation measures.

So, the survey concludes that the main problem of that site before the implementation of LAPA were drinking water problems with natural calamities like landslides, floods and drying up of ponds and water resources. Using Friedman’s Ranking test, the priority ranking of the major issues in both villages was carried out which can be seen in the table below.

Table 5 : Priority ranking of the key problems before LAPA implementation

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According to the data collected in the field, people in Ghermu believe problems in agriculture as the most important key problem for them, while, Landslide is the greatest problem in Mauja. Some respondents gave more than one opinion as the key problem. It is seen that people not being aware of climate change is the least of their problems in the present context.

4.3.2 Coping methods for key problems

The study reveals that there are several measures to overcome those problems as listed. But there were still some problems to which they don’t have any measures to come with. Upon the discussion with CFUGs users and P&V households, we have learned that P&V households were more affected than the other users as they are totally dependent on local infrastructures and resources.

As seen as major problems both during the past and present context, from the people’s perspective, there were seven problems and the coping strategies that have been used to ameliorate those problems. There are limits to these coping strategies adapted by communities to deal with climate extremes. The coping range and thresholds are determined by the extent of climate variability and capacity and resources of communities to respond individually to the adverse impact of climate change (Adger et al. 2009).

Table 6 : Coping methods for the key problems

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The chronic problem within the study area was the water. Water sources were drying up due cutting down of trees and landslides. Sources, where they were found, were unhygienic for health. There were no solutions to get required water. Baral et al., 2010 found that landslides and flood directly affected drinking water and low rainfall affected the water resources. So, especially P&V households must make water reservoirs to collect water.

Similarly, they just needed to be extra careful before using water for drinking and cooking food due to unhygienic drinking water. There were some problems to which they didn’t have solutions, for example, there were no proper equipment and means to control fire in Mauja Village. The major underlying reasons behind such problems are lack of proper infrastructures and financial resources to cope with demands of the local people.

Adaptation strategies to cope with climate change and variability must also prove adaptive within a larger context of ongoing economic, political, technological, and environmental dynamics, many of which are not driven by climate (Crane et al., 2010).

An example of such amelioration of water problems can be seen through;

A total of 77 benefited households from the Programme – in Udayapur, Dhimile and Gairigaoun tole of Manebhanjyang VDC – have been storing tap water in the plastic ponds, rather than letting it run to waste, and using this water to irrigate fruit crops and kitchen gardens. The communities state that the collected water has provided significant relief to the water demand of their crops and has boosted their fruit and vegetable yields. At least 42 households have either initiated or expanded semi commercial seasonal and off-season vegetable farming. It has resulted in an increase of annual income of at least NRs 75,000/- per HH – compared to an average income of NRs 35,000/- per HH before pond construction.

4.3.3 Occurred Changes

i) People’s Perception towards LAPA and its effectiveness

A) Ghermu Village

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# = negative statement *= significant at P<0.01; b=based on negative ranks; c= based on positive ranks

The non-parametric test result shows significant result for all the statements. These six statements prove that people perceive LAPA implementation effective.

B) MaujaVillage

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# = negative statement *= significant at P<0.01; b=based on negative ranks; c= based on positive ranks

The non-parametric test result shows significant result for all the statements. These six statements prove that people perceive LAPA implementation effective.

Non-parametric Wilcoxon signed rank test depicted that the issues relating to the effectiveness of LAPA in ameliorating environmental impacts due to climate change as per the studies before and after LAPA implementation is significant. People, in both villages perceive that LAPA has been effective in its goals.

Local people shared some experiences of climatic conditions, ecosystem function and process, and biological system, however most of the respondents were not aware about scientific facts and information regarding climate change, but they understood as rainfall and warming system.

Moreover, respondents were unaware about changing climate and its impacts at local level but their knowledge in the local level changes cannot be overlooked. Local peoples responded based on their experience that warming days, erratic rainfall patterns, ecological variability, biological change and their adverse effects on human beings have increased (Tiwari et al., 2014).

People’s perception of changes in precipitation varied across the study areas. Most of the respondents (79%) claimed that there was less rainfall in winter; 29% mentioned that there were some changes in quantity and duration; and 19% mentioned that the rainfall was more intense in summer. All the respondents of the VDCs had similar perceptions about the decreased rainfall during winter (December to February) and intense rainfall in summer (June to August). According to 14% of respondents in Kunchha, 54% in Khudi and 20% in Ilampokhari, the quantity and duration of the summer precipitation had changed, and rainfall was more intense in the summer (Poudel, 2016).

ii) Key Differences in the Particular Sites

a) Conserved springs and enabling water resources

After, the implementation of LAPA, there was change in attitude of people towards necessity of conservation which caused many ponds to become well managed. Water tank were constructed and reconstructed, plantations were done around the water resources, controlled grazing practices and control of soil loss through proper agricultural practices. People started to realize the importance of clean drinking water and started to keep small scale water containers such as buckets in their home. All these have led to the proper conservation of the springs and water resources as these activities helped stabilize the upstream and downstream water resources.

Applying Adaptive measures

LAPA formulation and implementation has made the local people of Ghermu and Mauja more aware about climate change and its impacts, they have started applying some of the adaptive measures such as: plantation around the water resources, fencing and plantation of fast growing species on the landslide affected areas, etc.

Naked and Barren land are covered with fast growing multipurpose species. The study showed that affiliation of P&V households of the CFUGs in those areas turned made those lands greener. It was seen that several masonries were constructed with local tools and techniques, has helped to control landslides. Gabions, bioengineering methods such as bamboo fencing were used by the local people to control soil movement and water flow. No means were available for water storage and conservation measure before LAPA as people only collected flowing water or water directly from the source.

In Nepal, some district-level offices such as the District Agriculture Development Office have initiated climate change adaptation activities focusing on water and soil conservation. Activities include agroforestry in the leasehold forestry program, small irrigation programs, and plastic tunnels for vegetable production (Tiwari et al., 2014).

Adaptation actions to minimize the risk of drought include the construction of proper irrigation systems, introduction of low water use irrigation techniques such as drip and sprinkle systems, and the use of drought-resistant species and improved crops that uses less amount of water (Khumbu LAPA, 2012/ 13).

b) Control of spread of diseases

Most of the respondents responded that there was a huge problem of water – borne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, etc. As, drinking water was impure at the very time every people could not drink water by boiling which compelled them to drink impure water.

Applying Adaptive Measures

Primary non-formal education was provided about healthy habits and sanitation to keep away from diseases and first aid medical health camp was carried out in the village premises to aid for the proper medical checkups. People used traditional superstitious measures to rid themselves of diseases. From staying away from doctors, to importing medicines on their own has been the aid of LAPA.

To minimize the harm of diseases, awareness activities can be conducted, health camps can be established, and research related to the actual impact of disease due to climate change can be conducted.

c) Better understanding on Climate Change

People normally don’t believe that the change in climate which is an act of nature can be mitigated and thus shun the concept of climate change without embracing it. Changes in the temperature, rainfall patterns have overall effects on the crop production and the livelihood of people.

Applying Adaptive Measures

Proper education and awareness programs were conducted to aid people through the knowledge and training in coping methods for cropping usage and land use patterns. As people used to regard changes in rainfall pattern, extreme hot days as the punishment from the God, several teachings and programs has been successful to orient people with real issue and context of climate change.

Level of awareness about the term ‘climate change’ among villagers represented in this study reinforces the findings of Gallup survey, which showed that 49% of Nepalese citizens do not know about ‘climate change’ and the proportion of people who do not hear the term ‘climate change’ is higher in the rural areas (Gallup, 2009).

d) Reduction in Frequency of landslide

Before, there were several cases of landslide causing huge loss in aspect to both physical and financial. Climate change played as one of the causal agents for landslide, torrential rain, drying of water sources and soil. There weren’t infrastructures to control soil movement and streams & other water sources were left unattended. Other reasons for landslide such as deforestation, uncontrolled grazing, fire, were present as well which aided the effects of climate change as well.

Applying Adaptive Measures

For prevention of landslide, Alichi in Ghermu Village and Amliso in Mauja village has been proven most fruitful successfully downsizing the frequency and intensity of landslide occurrence. In the past, people were mostly reliant on the food crops for livelihood sustaining. Moreover, proper technical know-how of land use also aided in prevention of gully formation ultimately preventing mass movement.

The types of adaptation activities listed in the LAPAs include water source conservation, irrigation canal construction and maintenance, improved cooking stove installation, plantation, check-dam, biogas installation, free health camp and climate change awareness programs (Silwal, 2016).

Indigenous knowledge appears to be crucial for climate change adaptation. Farmers understand aspects of climate change and have been using indigenous adaptations for centuries, but in the face of new or extreme change, sometimes farmers are unwilling or do not know how to act. A mutual relationship is essential; government or NGOs could harness farmers’ knowledge and farmers could benefit from more support from government or NGOs (Dhital& McCarthy, 2010; ICIMOD, 2009; Manandhar et al., 2011).

The complexity of climate change adaptation must be understood in terms of its political economy of how agenda is shaped, debated and influenced at national level and how institutions play a role in facilitating adaptation at the local level. As there is lack of enough information on impacts and the issues, adaptation has to build on the experiences to deal with climatic variability and extreme climatic events. The options and strategies may vary but each should be benefiting both the environment and community livelihoods. The transformation is challenging and difficult but not impossible. So, the strategies should be flexible, innovative and context specific with the provision of contingency. There are differentiated roles for stakeholders that need to be piloted and then up scaled. But, it demands transformational changes in the mindset and working approaches.

As mentioned in Regmi et al., 2013 about half of the respondents (64) perceived that the traditional practices were ineffective because of the lack of information, knowledge and technology. Many felt that they had limited access to modern and advance technology that can deal with community responses. Some respondents (13) felt that the traditional technologies could only work in normal situation and proved ineffective in massive damages caused by climate change. There were some respondents who felt that even the exported technologies were ineffective. Similarly, there were few individuals who blamed the traditional extension and service system of the government as cause of the ineffectiveness.

iii) Key Differences in Poor and Vulnerable HHs Livelihood

a) Busy on working in their limited own ‘Baari’ or in other ‘Baari’ replacing traditional crops with cash crops

People were used to being busy working in their own land known as ‘baari’ for farming. They are now aware of climate change and have started cultivating cash crops replacing the traditional practice of raising food crops only. The main vegetables they used to cultivate were cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, chilies, etc. which were source of livelihood in the economy of CFUGs and P&V's household. In the present context, they have been practicing growing of Elaichi (Elettariacardamomum), Amliso (Thysanolaena maxima) and some other cash crops.

As an important cultivation activity, vegetables farming was encouraged due to availability of market and road facilities particularly in Mauja village. In Ghermu village, poor and vulnerable HHs are encouraged for livestock farming as other HHs are mostly engaged in business, shops.

Change in cropping pattern from Cereal crops to intensive vegetable farming in High mountain and Mid mountain region was found to significantly improve household’s income and means of adaptation practices on climate change as well as improve the food security. The economy is agriculturally driven with 80% of the population engaged in subsistence farming or dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods (Ransom, Paudyal, & Adhikari, 2003; Regmi&Paudyal, 2009). The majority of Nepal’s agricultural landscape consists of bari land (rain-fed step terraces in the Mid-Hills) where agricultural productivity is fundamental for ensuring food security. Some strategies reported by respondents, such as planting drought- and flood-resistant varieties and raising vegetables in plastic tunnels (Tiwari et al., 2014), can be linked to climate.

b) Engaged on Meat based, and Milk based animal rearing

Rearing animals has also become more common as it’s not that they did not used to rear before but now the numbers of livestock per household have increased. They specially rear the meat – based and milk – based animals so, that they can sell the milk and meat. They also use the wasted vegetables leaf in feeding their livestock. Now, they don’t have to depend on other people for their livelihood. In Mauja village, people rear cows, buffaloes mainly whereas in Ghermu, they rear goats and hens mainly. Before LAPA implementation, people were only rearing animals for their household purpose which has Snow been transformed gradually into commercial. LAPA, along with different NGOs, modernization of people’s thought has made people get into commercial rearing of animals and develop a market for meat, egg, milk, etc.


5.1 Conclusion

Socio-economic data shows that the number of female populations exceeds the number of male populations in both villages. The study reveals that there was an effective communication process. The information reached to the targeted stakeholders with a time variation of one to three weeks with most responses within the first week.

The representation of poor and vulnerable households in the formulation of LAPA is quite appreciative, as most of the households were informed about the formulation of LAPA at local level. It is learned that P&V households are capable and confident enough to put the voice on the floor despite all those differences in caste and class as they were actively participating during implementation. For the level of participation for P & V HHs in LAPA formulation process, respondents of Ghermu were found to be more consultative and action and interaction oriented than the respondents of Mauja. However, the respondents of Mauja dominated Ghermu in activeness and involvement in specific activity.

There lie some gaps in the ratio of P&V in CFUGs and their representation in orientation as only around half of them were involved in these. P & V HHs were busy and some of them showed disinterest towards LAPA.

Between both villages, planned and real participation in both district and village level was similar as there were either same or greater number of real participants than planned ones. P & V HHs were interested with greater representation in Mauja village.

For the Financial contribution it is clearly stated in CFUG’s Constitution to support bottom up planned activities, and activities that support P&V Households. For planning and implementation of LAPA, any fund was not asked or demanded from P&V households. More funds were available to the Ghermu Village by Donor organizations while government agencies were the greatest contributed for Mauja. Physical contribution was done by the CFUGs, P&V households; and there was not any physical aid from stakeholders' side. Contribution of P & V HHs in both villages was relatively equal.

Three key areas of problems were identified before the LAPA implementation: Water and its sources, Landslide, Health, Farming and Forest fire; and Unaware of Climate Change. It is learned from the field that local people have various ways and means to cope with severity. The study concluded that after the implementation of LAPA, spring conservation activities were accelerated and enabled the water resources; local people especially P&V households started applying adaptive measures with their local innovations and external knowledge. Wilcoxon test was applied to check the effectiveness of LAPA implementation and its effect on the people’s perception towards environmental changes. As per the Wilcoxon test, the implemented adaptation plan was effective as people were responsive positive changes such as decrease in landslide, increase in climate change awareness, increase in agricultural productivity and such.

Due to access to water and awareness, their Baari Land are cultivated and covered with cash crops. Due to fund access and their interest, they are at the beginning stage of entrepreneurships by selling Broom sticks made from Amliso and selling Elaichi fruits. They are engaged on meat based and milk-based animal rearing. While the effectiveness of LAPA can be readily seen within both the villages, as LAPA was implemented in Ghermu village five years ago, there was a much significant changes and people’s attitude was positive towards implementation of LAPA. Poor and Vulnerable HHs in Mauja village requires more consideration compared to Ghermu for uplifting their livelihood.

5.2 Recommendation

- By theory, the approach of LAPA is ‘vulnerability first’. To make it work in the field, presence of P & V in the front parallelly with other stakeholders is required for the entire planning, monitoring and evaluation process. There should be an enabling environment so that those poor and vulnerable households take stake and take ownership.
- Effective implementation of set of process and procedure in poverty reduction needs to be applied. Poverty reduction is always at the prime objective of almost all development offices and organizations. There are very good guidelines and norms, process and procedure. In practice, it is seen that, most of those process and procedure remain only in office document. It is time to implement them in the field.
- Context of 'Vulnerability' should be added in the development intervention. A new terminology 'Vulnerability to climate change' became a hot debate. Adaptation plan should differ from the Development plan in a way that it accounts for vulnerability to Climate Change.
- More time and more resources should be allocated to engage concerned stakeholders at the district level and local level. It is a more rigorous planning process seeking extra time and extra resources. On the other hand, Adaptation planning means not only about forestry or not only about agriculture, it is beyond that which should encompass every infrastructure, social and cultural aspect. Thus, a multi-sectoral approach should be applied to hit this issue.
- Lead agencies working in the district in the field of climate change adaptation should facilitate a process of cross learning and sharing between and across district level and local level line agencies about process and outcomes of reducing climate change vulnerability and building resilience.
- It is important to develop and implement a clear responsibility and accountability for district level line agencies. For this sake, the district level government should allocate relevant responsibilities to line offices to like district forest offices, district agriculture development office, district livestock support office; and irrigation and drinking water division.


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Effectiveness of Local Adaptation Plan of Action in Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Resilience of Poor and Vulnerable Households
Tribhuvan University  (Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Pokhara-15, Nepal)
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Local Adaptation Plan of Action, Poor and Vulnerable, Resilience, Participation, Ghermu and Mauja Village
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Sami Shrestha (Author)Sabina Lamichhane (Author)Bikash Adhikari (Author)Dhruba Bijaya G.C. (Author), 2018, Effectiveness of Local Adaptation Plan of Action in Reducing Vulnerability and Enhancing Resilience of Poor and Vulnerable Households, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/585160


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