An overview of the opportunities and challenges of promoting climate change adaptation at the local level: a case study from a community adaptation planning in Nepal
As the practice of Community Based Adaptation (CBA) to climate change in countries like Nepal is growing, the literature has pointed out the need for more research in order to test the effectiveness of CBA in reaching the most vulnerable households and its wider applicability. This paper reviews a Community Adaptation Plan (CAP) piloted and implemented in Nepal. The study involved interviews and interaction with a wide range of relevant stakeholders, in order to map their perceptions on the effectiveness of CAP. The findings show that the CAP process and implementation provided for recognition of the role of local communities in climate change adaptation, and ensured their participation and leadership in the planning process. However, due to issues related to the local structure and governance of community-based organizations, the benefits of climate change adaptation support were enjoyed mostly by elites and powerful individuals. The paper suggests that more inclusive approaches are needed, so as to ensure the planning and governance of local institutions is more accountable and responsive to vulnerable households. This could be achieved by devolving decision-making power to the vulnerable households and ensuring inclusive provisions in membership, representation and resource allocation that encourage more equitable sharing of benefits.