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Scenarios are still important for national planning
17 Jan 2018

Results from current projections show that the road ahead is challenging…” said Arun Bhakta Shrestha, ICIMOD, to a gathered crowd of 60 stakeholders from the Government of Nepal. The road ahead that Dr. Shrestha is referring to is challenging indeed as the past year has reminded us. From the three hurricanes that battered the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S., to the August floods in South Asia, climate extreme events have been a constant.

Convening for an interaction workshop at Greenwich Park Village in Kathmandu, the group of government representatives met to discuss the first phase of climate change scenarios that had been carried out at by a group of climate change specialists. The resulting findings indicate that such information would be beneficial at the decision making level for future adaptation initiatives in Nepal.

For effective adaptation to take place, the herculean task of management and relaying of information falls on the shoulder of decision makers. But what if decision makers were made aware of possible climate impacts in advance? In the realm of climate science, advanced knowledge of climate impacts can be achieved through climate scenarios.

The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process is one such method through which climate scenarios can be applied to the well-being of future communities. Adapted under the , NAPs are a means of identifying promising adaptation possibilities. In Nepal’s context, the NAP process has been at the forefront of government and other agency efforts. Modelling and technical support being provided by ICIMOD is a crucial step towards the formulation process. 

From ICIMOD, the team involved in the modelling of future projections on temperature, precipitation and extreme events, consists of hydrological and climate experts that have worked closely with representatives from the Ministry of Population and Environment, and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Learnings from this cross-collaborative effort can be taken as lessons for other member countries and lesser developed countries in the HKH.