One of the four objectives of our work is Env. & DRR. This means communities have improved resilience to disaster risks and care for mother earth.
The strategic objective three focuses largely on affecting changes in the disaster risk reduction and ecological wellbeing domain. It emphasizes the need of Caritas Nepal to continue to promote healthy and sustainable environment for ecological balance and harmony. This is in consideration of the fact that marginalized communities are unjustly affected by climate change and disaster mainly due to the prevailing inequity and discrimination in the society. The disaster and climate crises adds further to the multiple layers of vulnerabilities the vulnerable communities faces whereas they do not have adequate capacity and resources to cope with it.
Root causes of disaster risk and climate crises
|Root causes disaster risk and climate crises||· Increasing deforestation and other unsustainable practices leading to disruption of ecosystems and causing climate change|
|· Increasing pollution and use of toxic chemicals which negatively impacts on the environment|
|· Overexploitation or unsustainable use of natural resources; rapid depletion and challenges on access to sustainable source|
|· Unsustainable agricultural practices such as excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers, leading to soil degradation, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.|
|· Inadequate capacity of the community to reduce and manage disaster and pursue sustainable environmental practices.|
|· Weak climate resilience, low capacity for disaster preparedness and anticipatory action particularly among the marginalized communities.
Climate stresses and disaster risk directly impacts the livelihood, basic services (food, health, and sanitation), wellbeing and their dignity, of the marginalized people and communities further making them more vulnerable in time of crises. According to United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Nepal Red Cross Society Nepal is prone to natural disaster, which is exacerbated by factors like poverty, rapid urbanization, and climate change. Nepal faces over 500 disaster events annually that range from small to large scale (GoN, 2015). Nepal is also one of the most climate vulnerable countries according to the Global Climate Risk Index (2020), which ranked Nepal as the 9th most climate vulnerable country in 2018. Climate-induced disasters have a significant impact on national economic and social development, with the direct cost of these events equivalent to 1.5–2% of current gross domestic product (GDP) per year (NPC,2021). Nepal is located in a seismically active region and hence faces high risk of earthquake [the last one (2015) causing massive loss of economic and human life]. Floods and landslides are recurring events while also equally vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as hailstorms, thunderstorms, hot and cold waves and change in rain patterns. The country’s temperature is reported to be constantly rising higher than the global average and the glaciers are also rapidly melting. This increase in temperature is affecting agriculture, water resources, biodiversity and the pattern of rainfall thereby affecting the livelihood and well-being of the vulnerable population particularly, low-income families/farmers and the settlement exposed to climate stresses and disaster risk. According to a vulnerability and risk assessment carried out by the government of Nepal, women, girls and indigenous communities are more at risk and disadvantage during extreme climate events due to cultural norms and social inequalities. The vulnerable communities who are affected the most also have the least capacity (skills and resources) to cope with the crises and its extreme impacts. There is reported reduction in rice production and decrease in summer and winter crops due to change in rain patterns(Adhikari 2017). Climate change has also induce migration and likely to affect human health (WHO, 2021). The main cause of this is the combination of natural hazards as well as patterns of human behavior and the unsustainable and harmful practices like pollution, deforestation, unsustainable use of natural resources are causing climate change and disaster risk which exacerbate these hazards and increase the vulnerability. Hence there is a need to promote climate change mitigation and sustainable environmental practices as well as reduce disaster risk and increase resilience to address the equity and justice in climate action, but also ensuring that there is an ecological balance and synergy through adaptation of sustainable and inclusive development practices thereby reducing the risk and vulnerabilities for building resilient communities.
Outcome and Output for strategic objective three
3.1 Households are resilient (improved capacity for disaster risk reduction) and have undertaken disaster preparedness and mitigation measures to address primary disaster risks.
3.2 Communities are resilient (improved capacity for disaster risk reduction) with local risk reduction plans, multi-stakeholder structures and partnerships in place.
3.3 Local governments are effectively linked to NDRRMA to report on disasters and to ensure provision of services to the affected people.
3.4 Nature based solutions enhancing greenery and improving the ecological context are applied to reduce disaster risks and to mitigate climate change.
3.1 People and households have increased knowledge, attitude, and behavior that reduce disaster risks. That is people are aware of their vulnerability to environmental and climate related hazards, understand how to access early warning information and to reduce exposure to risks, understand how to seek safety during disasters, and pursue preparedness and mitigation actions for risk reduction)
3.2 Local communities in collaboration with local governments develop policies and implement plans to reduce disaster risks in a participatory manner. These include Local Disaster Climate Resilience Plan (LDCRP), disaster preparedness plan, climate adaptation plans as per guidelines of NDRRMA.
3.3 There are functional multi-stakeholder structures and partnerships at local level that manage disaster risk reduction effectively (i. e. Disaster Management Committees, Task Forces, and partnership between community and service providers etc.).
3.4 Disaster risk reduction is done in a comprehensive manner at the communities for primary disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake (which include early warning, simulation exercises, risk reduction measures, and safe places and shelters) and also addressing multi-hazard concerns.
3.5 Public institutions such as schools have School DRR plans in place and take risk reduction measures. Children are aware of disaster risks and are knowledgeable of how to behave for safety purpose in time of disaster.
3.6 Communities undertake campaigns to improve greenery in private land, conserve forests, maintain waterways, manage watersheds and reduce pollution.
3.7 Communities are able advocate to receive support to reduce disaster and climate risk and make claims for climate justice.
3.8 Communities have planned, pilot tested and or up-scaled technology, practices and /or models for preparedness, mitigation or adaptation to climate change.
Strategic Interventions for strategic objective three
 GoN (2015): Government of Nepal (2015). Nepal Earthquake 2015-Post Disaster Needs Assessment. Vol. B: Sector Reports. GoN, NPC, Kathmandu
 Government of Nepal. Ministry of Forests and Environment (2021). Vulnerability and Risk Assessment and Identifying Adaptation Options Summary for Policy Makers
 Adhikari (2017) Adhikari V.R et al, 2017. Impact of climate variation on paddy production in Nepal
 World Heath Organisation (2021). Newsroom. Climate change and health