Nepal's Agriculture Sector Reshapes its Budgeting Approach to Tackle Climate Change Impacts

The Government of Nepal in partnership with UNDP has developed a new tool to identify and track spending on agricultural activities for promoting farmers’ resilience to climate change impacts and to contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

The innovative tool introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is expected to lead to clearer lines of accountability and build more transparency in public spending. “If we can better capture and track all our expenditures related to climate change, then it will help us to better plan, implement, and monitor programmes that meet farmers’ needs” said Yubak Dhoj GC, Secretary, MoALD. "By introducing more accurate methods, the agricultural ministry hopes to set an example for other sectors to better target and mobilize finance to address climate change," he added.

Nepal was one of the first countries in the world to pilot a method to track public climate spending in 2012 that in 2013 had won the Global South-South Development Expo Leadership award.

The new tool allows tracking of spending in activities up to the field-level. The agricultural activities identified as contributing to climate resilience are grouped in seven categories and each category has a list of activities that can be included.

The tool will enable key officials in Nepal's new federated governance structure, and local planners to take more ownership and provide leadership in all stages of the climate governance in their sectors.

“MoALD’s proactivity sets a good example to other ministries on how public spending can be better monitored to directly address the high need for local communities to adapt to mounting climate risks,” said Dr. Simon Lucas, Team Leader, Inclusive Growth and Resilience Team of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). “When implemented, these reforms will have far-reaching benefits to Nepalese farmers through smarter sector planning and local budget decision-making.”

Dr. Yogendra Kumar Karki, chief of Planning and Development Cooperation Coordination Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, provided overall guidance to a ministry-wide task force charged with developing the initiative. He said, “With the support of our development partners, the agriculture sector in Nepal is innovating and improving the management of public finances to effectively address climate challenges to agricultural livelihoods.”

The Ministry of Finance will make the necessary adjustments in its database and budget systems to incorporate the new tool. “Nepali agriculture officials have taken a major step forward towards addressing climate change and gender disparities," said Mr. Hari Saran Pudasaini, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance. Mr. Pudasaini who is also the chair of Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee on climate finance to implement climate change financing framework (CCFF) added "By tracing predefined activities that address top climate threats, and by considering how well they are designed to reach known beneficiaries including women, the government can ensure that the needs of vulnerable communities remain in focus when we budget.”

Note: This initiative was supported by UNDP through two funding sources.
i) Integrating Agriculture Sector in National Adaptation Plan (NAP-Ag) project which seeks to address capacity gaps by enhancing the understanding of climate change impacts and integrating climate risk manmagnet in the planning and budgeting processes in the agriculture sector is funded by German Government’s International Climate Initiative. Similarly, the Governance of climate change finance to benefit poor and vulnerable programme, funded by DFID, supports establishing budget polices and institutional processes to effectively govern climate finance.

Climate Change Financing Framework (CCFF) endorsed by Ministry of Finance Link

For more info:
• Mr. Lal Kumar Shrestha, Under Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development; [email protected] | 01-4211841
• Mr. Tirtha Chiluwal, Under Secretary, Budget Division, Ministry of Finance. [email protected] | 014211362
• Mr. Ramesh Aryal, Chief Climate Finance Unit and Under Secretary, Ministry of Finance; [email protected] | 014211301
• Mr. Apar Paudyal, Policy Analyst, United Nations Development Programme. [email protected] | 015553200

Photo Credits: FAO Nepal

Thursday, January 10, 2019