Environmental Management

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 968–980 | Cite as

Policy Coherence and Interplay between Climate Change Adaptation Policies and the Forestry Sector in Nepal

  • Sunita Ranabhat
  • Rucha Ghate
  • Laxmi Dutt Bhatta
  • Nand Kishor Agrawal
  • Sunil Tankha


Least Developed Countries are likely to be hit the hardest by climate change and need focused efforts towards adaptation. Nepal recognizes that it needs to integrate climate change adaptation into various policies, but limited understanding of how to make these policies coherent is among the factors that hinder effective adaptation action. This can lead to wasted resources and lost opportunities. This paper applies concepts from policy coherence for development frameworks and policy content analysis to examine coherence in Nepal’s climate and forest policies—and discusses the factors hindering effective implementation. The policies are analyzed at the horizontal/external level at three layers—motivation, measures, and planned implementation process. The paper finds that policies are more consistent on motivation level and adaptation measures, but are less coherent on implementation. The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) is more explicit in identifying institutions, organizations, roles and responsibilities, resource allocation (financial), and a monitoring and evaluation plan for climate change adaptation while other policies such as Climate Change Policy 2011, National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2014–2020, Forest Policy 2015, and Forest Sector Strategy 2016 have critical gaps in this area. This paper conclude that formulation of a policy, articulating targets, and mobilizing financial resources are in themselves not sufficient to effectively address climate change adaptation. Policy-based legislation is required, together with development of a supportive collaborative multi-stakeholder approach at different levels of governance, backed up by effective, collaborative monitoring and enforcement.


Adaptation Climate change Forestry sector Least developed countries 



This study was undertaken by the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Program (HICAP) at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). HICAP is implemented jointly by ICIMOD, CICERO, and Grid-Arendal in collaboration with local partners and is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and core funds from ICIMOD contributed by the Governments of Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The views and interpretations in this publication are those of the authors and should not be attributed to ICIMOD, HICAP, or their donors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunita Ranabhat
    • 1
  • Rucha Ghate
    • 1
  • Laxmi Dutt Bhatta
    • 1
  • Nand Kishor Agrawal
    • 1
  • Sunil Tankha
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)KathmanduNepal
  2. 2.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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