On March 29, a group of scholars, researchers and scientists representing various national and international non-governmental organisations as well as government organisations from Nepal gathered together at Hotel Greenwich in Kupandole, Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Matrix. The CCA Matrix is a tool to explore and classify, and systematically review existing and ongoing adaptation measures and approaches to climate change in 12 study sites in the HI-AWARE study basins—the Indus, Upper Ganga, Gandaki and Teesta. HI-AWARE, ICIMOD’s Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience initiative, is in the process of testing adaptation measures in observatory labs in these sites and designing adaptation pathways for out-scaling and up-scaling.
HI-AWARE is aiming to move beyond the traditional criteria for adaptation measures that included only governance needs, bridges and barriers for implementation, and costs and benefits by including criteria that are also related to the robustness of the measures during critical moments, their time horizon and their flexibility. If/how a given adaptation option decreases the vulnerability of the poor is set to be an important criterion.
The half-day, national-level workshop aimed to collect feedback and input fromstakeholders on the Climate Change Adaptation Matrix, get input from stakeholders on improved classification of adaptation options, and identify the most important criteria for policy makers and practitioners for evaluating or assessing adaptation options.
The formal introductory session involved welcome remarks by Dr Arun B Shrestha from ICIMOD. The South Asian region, including Nepal, is going through social, economic transformations. Climate change issues are impacting this structural transformation.
Dr Aditi Mukherji, from ICIMOD, highlighted the objectives of the workshop. She described the day’s course as a methodology workshop aimed at improving, refining and updating the information and knowledge so far generated through literature reviews and case studies.
Dr Anjal Prakash, from ICIMOD, gave the first presentation of the day. He introduced the HI-AWARE project and highlighted the key research components within the Gandaki River Basin and its major outputs that are relevant to the policy and practices of addressing climate change adaptation needs in Nepal.
Dr Bimal Raj Regmi, consultant from ICIMOD, delivered the second and third presentations. He provided an analysis of how climate change adaptation is classified based on the nature of adaptation responses in the context of the HI-AWARE study basin. He next highlighted the criteria for assessing adaptation options.
After the main presentations, the floor was opened for questions and answers. Participants raised questions about the various ways in which adaptation options are classified. They indicated that present classifications need to be further expanded and that more clarity is necessary.
There was an interesting discussion that focused on looking at the content of the day’s presentations and the issues with the classification of adaptation options. The main issue identifiedduring the discussion session was the need to look at more practical and pragmatic ways of classifying adaptation measures.
Dr Phillipus Wester, from ICIMOD, is seen interacting in a group. The criteria for assessing adaptation options/measures were discussed extensively, and participants were asked to provide feedback on the relevant criteria for assessing adaptation options in the HI-AWARE study basins, particularly the Gandaki Basin.
The workshop was successful in getting practitioners working in adaptation across the climate-sensitive sectors together to suggest a way forward for climate change adaptation studies in the Gandaki River Basin. The half-day event ended as Dr Wester summarised the discussion points. One of the main priorities of the HI-AWARE teamwill be to move ahead, keeping in mind the comments and suggestions provided by the workshop participants in terms of the classification of climate change adaptation options, and the criteria for evaluating them.