12Aug2022

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Policy Compendium

Nepal’s Dual National Security Risks: COVID-19 and Climate Change

SAMJHANA Karki

Introduction

Arnold Wolfers says national security means the absence of threats to acquire values and subjectively the absence of fear that such values will be attacked  (Wolfers, 1952). Likewise, Barry Buzan says that traditionally, national security was focused on the military only but now it encompasses political, economic, environmental, and societal security as well (Buzan, 1997).

Security is the condition or means of protection from harm or threat. The protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence are the fundamental security concerns of every state. It was in rigid form in the traditional state system and is equally important even in the modern world order (Baral, B.). The world is facing new security challenges in the 21st century that have forced global and national security actors to think differently. Unconventional security issues such as resource scarcity, climate change effects, livelihood insecurity, environmental insecurity, food and water insecurity, health insecurity, natural calamities and disasters, pandemic diseases, etc. are now an integral part of security going beyond conventional security issues of protecting sovereignty and territory of the state (Upreti, B.R., 2019).

COVID-19 is the name given to the disease associated with the virus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus-2), a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans (Fuentes, 2020). COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Everything has been impacted posing an indirect threat to national security which includes the possible chance to encourage criminal activities such as corruption, black marketing, cyber terrorism, an increase in the number of rape cases, gender-based violence, and domestic violence resulting in the violation of peace and order of the society which is most likely to disrupt the country’s economic development and prosperity. People lost their savings and their livelihood remained at risk. COVID-19 has not just put many migrant workers and daily wage workers jobless; it has also widened the gap between rich and poor resulting in poverty and inequality. This coronavirus has created chaos in daily life and the collapse of the existing healthcare, putting huge stress and fear on people’s health along with the nation’s manpower and labor force.

In the era of great power competition, climate change is expected to amplify the existing security challenges by adding complexity, accelerating the intensity, and presenting new challenges such as the rivalry between the US, Russia, and China in the Arctic region (Rawal, S.S, 2021). The impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt around the world; lives and livelihoods are being lost to extreme events like drought, powerful tropical storms, excessive heat, and more (The Climate Reality Project, 2019).

Climate change has a direct relationship with national security, basically non-traditional security threats. It escalates climate-induced disasters like landslides, wildfires, and floods which are much more likely to cause government instability and bring chaos to internal security and stability. Obviously, there presents a resource scarcity as the demand for a natural resource is greater than its availability. This results in unsustainable growth and a rise in inequality as prices rise to make the resourceless affordable for low-income generating groups of people. This also shows the linkage between climate change and poverty. Those in poverty have a higher chance of experiencing the ill effects of climate change due to the increased exposure and vulnerability, resulting in the low living standards of people. They could not fulfill their basic needs and it ultimately impacts the livelihood system causing a threat to national security in a long run.

Hence, climate change can also be regarded as a critical non-military threat as it results in migration due to a lack of resources and extreme weather events, in both rural and urban areas, particularly in low-income developing countries, and has the potential to indirectly increase the risk of violent conflicts, such as civil war and inter-group violence, global conflicts, pandemics, decrease in livelihood, food insecurity- pose a significant threat to national security.

Climate change is a problem for the entire planet. It is global as it arises from greenhouse gas emissions, which are generated in all parts of the globe. Likewise, its impacts are felt in all world regions. COVID-19 is, in principle, a transboundary problem, because it is borne in one (or more) regions, but it rapidly expands to the whole planet, moving from an epidemic to a pandemic. Being currently a pandemic, COVID-19 is now a global problem like climate change. In addition, the two problems are global in different ways. Climate alterations and global warming are induced by increasing atmospheric concentrations of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), regardless of the geographical location of the emissions. It follows that the impact of climate change on a specific country is to an extent independent of its own emissions, thereby creating an incentive to free-ride on mitigation. Not so in the case of COVID-19, where the impact is transboundary, more like NOx and SO2 emissions, but one affected country cannot benefit from coping policies undertaken in another country, if not to a limited extent (Fuentes, 2020).

Some of the similarities between COVID-19 and climate change is that both are emerging issues (in terms of urgency), and every nation is affected by its impact. And both issues require a global effort and coordination. COVID-19 and climate change both fall under non-traditional security threats. The main question is Why does the COVID-19 threat take more seriously compared to the threat of climate change?

The article argues that the level of perceived risk towards the COVID-19 is higher than the perceived risk of climate change. To make the argument on the above-mentioned statement COVID-19 and climate change are measured and compared through human cost, economic cost, and social cost.

Although both issues are equally serious and require a timely solution, climate change is not treated with the same urgency as COVID-19. While coronavirus is treated as an immediate danger, the climate crisis is still not treated seriously whose consequences are decades away. Unlike a health disaster, it is harder to visualize how climate breakdown will affect us. Comparing both threats, climate change has a larger impact on national security.

Addressing the threats created by coronavirus and climate change, it is significant to analyze and compare its impacts from the national security perspective and the level of risk perception. The first section of the article shows the comparison of the costs. The second section shows the theory of perceived risk and in the end, its relevance for the Nepalese security aspect.

In the following section, the cost is analyzed in terms of COVID-19 and climate change.

Human Life toll due to COVID-19

As of 28 November 2021, the worldwide Covid death toll crosses the 261,400,499 million cases with 5,213,720 deaths. The compulsory lock-down, for instance, might increase the risk of people having mental illnesses, or even worse, increase the rate of suicide. Another reason is that people have been denied getting routine medical care as they did before the pandemic, such as cancer care, hemodialysis, etc. or people may have to postpone their operations because of a shortage of medical resources and so on.

Human Life toll due to Climate Change Impacts

The World Health Organization found that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress (WHO, 2021).

Approximately 30% of the global population experiences deadly heat for over 20 days per year. By 2100, this will rise to 48% if Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are drastically reduced and 74% if they continue to grow (Parncutt, 2019). As a new study shows that climate change is linked to 5 million deaths a year, almost 10% of global deaths can be attributed to abnormally hot or cold temperatures, according to new research linking extreme weather to mortality (Lombrana, 2021).

Due to climate change-related food shortages alone, the world could see a net increase of 529,000 adult deaths by 2050. Climate change could force 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 and poverty makes people more vulnerable to health problems (Christensen, 2019).

World Bank estimates that climate change could push 62 million South Asians below the extreme poverty line by 2030. Now, changing weather patterns are expected to directly impact over 800 million people by 2050 and will continue to burden South Asian countries economies. (Fallesen, Khan, Tehsin, & Abbhi, 2019).

In a future with continued high emissions growth, climate change’s impact on temperatures will cause an additional 73 deaths per 100,000 in 2100 (Carleton, Tamma, & Jina, 2020).

 Economic Impacts- COVID-19

According to the data given by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) seating capacity dropped by about 50 percent in 2020, and passenger totals dropped by 60 percent with just 1.8 billion passengers taking flights, compared to 4.5 billion in 2019. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) also released full-year global passenger traffic results for 2020 showing a 65.9% decrease in demand (revenue passenger kilometers) compared to the full year of 2019 (Clark, 2021).

The travel restriction and lockdown have affected every sector such as travel and tourism, and business. It has impacted every stage of the supply chain in the market, including production and distribution creating a negative supply shock and resulting in the closures of factories. Significant reductions in income, a rise in unemployment, and disruptions in the transportation, service, and manufacturing industries are some of the major economic impacts of COVID-19 (Pak A, 2020).

Economic Impacts- Climate Change

Economic impacts of climate change are already seen. According to Morgan Stanley, climate disasters have cost North America $415 billion in the last three years, much of that due to wildfires and hurricanes (Cho, 2019). Climate change has increased competition for diminished land and water resources, ramping up tensions between livestock owners and others (OCHA, 2021).

A report from the World Bank on climate change, water, and the economy predicts that some regions such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa could see growth rates decline by as much as 6% of GDP by 2050 (World Bank Group, 2016).

In Asia, 3,454 disasters were recorded from 1970–to 2019, with 975 622 lives lost and US$ 1.2 trillion in reported economic damages. Asia accounts for nearly one-third (31%) of weather-, climate- and water-related disasters reported globally, accounting for nearly half of deaths (47%) and one-third (31%) of associated economic losses. Most of these disasters were associated with floods (45%) and storms (36%) (WMO, 2021).

Globally averaged precipitation over land has likely increased. Each of the last four decades has been successively warmer than any decade that preceded it since 1850. Global surface temperature in the first two decades of the 21st century (2001–2020) was 0.99 [0.84 to 1.10] °C higher than 1850–1900. The global mean sea level increased by 0.20 [0.15 to 0.25] m between 1901 and 2018. In 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years, and concentrations of CH4 and N2O were higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years  (IPCC Report, 2021).  Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since AR5 (IPCC Report, 2021).

The direct damage costs to health (i.e., excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), are estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030 (WHO, 2021). Over 930 million people – around 12% of the world’s population – spend at least 10% of their household budget to pay for health care. With the poorest people largely uninsured, health shocks and stresses already currently push around 100 million people into poverty every year, with the impacts of climate change worsening this trend (WHO, 2021).

Social Cost – COVID-19

Apart from this economic cost, there is also social cost in various fields that cannot be overlooked and need time to recover. Like health, education, the increase of inequality in society, increase in domestic violence, as many governments announced stay-at-home guidelines. Personal protective equipment (PPE), billions of worn masks, and sanitizer bottles, among other plastic-based, single-use items that must be disposed of internationally, could have a direct environmental impact. Besides, as people stay at home and increase their usage of online shopping, the increased waste of households from shipped package materials could also induce a serious environmental impact.

Evidence suggests that COVID-19 has exacerbated the food security problem in countries that already have them. In Sudan, for example, an estimated 9.6 million people (21 % of the population) were experiencing a crisis or worse levels of food insecurity in the third quarter of 2020, which is the highest figure ever recorded for Sudan (WFP, 2020).

Social Cost- Climate Change

Throughout the 21st century, climate change is expected to lead to increases in ill-health in many regions and especially in developing countries with low income. In urban areas, climate change is projected to increase risks for people, assets, economies, and ecosystems, including risks from heat stress, storms, extreme precipitation, flooding, landslides, air pollution, drought, and water scarcity. Rural areas are expected to experience major impacts on water availability and supply, food security, infrastructure, and agricultural incomes, including shifts in the production areas of food and non-food crops around the world. Climate change results in various patterns of inequality. As the impacts of climate change mount, millions of vulnerable people face greater challenges in terms of extreme events, health effects, food security, livelihood security, water security, and cultural identity (World Bank).

Cost to Mitigate COVID-19

The global economy contracted by 3.3 percent in 2020, where the majority of nations experienced negative economic growth due to the slowdown in global economic activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (Ministry of Finance, 2021). As the economic impacts of the pandemic have become salient, governments have begun to slash their budgets for mitigating other global risks, including climate change, likely imposing increased future costs from those risks.

According to the Nepal Public Economic Survey FY 2077/2078, the COVID-19 epidemic has affected Nepal’s economy and for the first time in the last two decades, the economic growth rate has been negative at 2.12 percent. This is even higher than the economic damage caused by the devastating earthquake of 2072. Nepal government had announced a stimulus package exceeding Rs. 210 billion in the budget for fiscal 2020-21 to help businesses cope with unfavorable circumstances created by the COV- ID-19 pandemic and to boost the economy (The Himalayan Times, 2020).

In China, the total estimated healthcare and societal costs associated with COVID-19 were 4.26 billion Chinese yuan (Jin & et.al, 2021). As of July 1, 2021, China has an estimated RMB 4.9 trillion (or 4.7 percent of GDP) of discretionary fiscal measures announced (IMF, 2021).

Similarly, the Indian government unveils ₹6.28 lakh cr. stimulus post-second COVID wave (The Hindu, 2021).

The World Bank has approved a fast-track $29 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project to help Nepal prevent, detect, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen its public health preparedness (World Bank, 2020).

According to a report by U.S. health data company IQVIA Holdings Inc, the total global spending on COVID-19 vaccines is projected to reach $157 billion by 2025 (Mishra, 2021).

Cost to Mitigate Climate Change

As of January 2021, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has invested $1.9 billion in grant funding from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) for 386 adaptation projects in 98 countries (Bakarr, 2021). According to the UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report 2020, adaptation cost is expected to be $140 – $300 billion annually by 2030.

In the context of climate change the cost to mitigate climate change the total global economic cost would be €200-350 billion per year by 2030 (Ritchie, 2017). When mortality costs around the globe are totaled, the researchers find that the present-day value of emitting an additional ton of CO2 is $36.6 per ton under a scenario of continued high emissions (Carleton, Tamma, & Jina, 2020).

Threat or Risk Perception

Threat or risk perception is the conscious or unconscious estimation that something is dangerous or there is a risk of a certain thing. Normally we respond to a threat when we feel it also, we tend to respond more when there is a larger threat and vice versa.

The below-mentioned 2*2 table shows the actual threat and perceived threat of COVID-19 and climate change respectively.

The table needs to be finalized …

 A2(Actual risk of CC)P2(Perceived risk of CC)
A1(Actual risk)A1=P1  A2=P2
P1(Perceived risk)P1<A1P2<A2
Table 1: Table showing the risk perception of COVID-19 and climate change

where, A =Actual Risk, P= Perceived Risk

A1= Actual risk of COVID-19 and A2= Actual risk of climate change

Similarly. P1= Perceived risk of COVID-19 and P2= Perceived risk of climate change

The above-presented data and explanation in the previous chapter also show that climate change is the actual threat to COVID-19. But its perceived risk is less than that of COVID-19. COVID-19 has been seen and perceived by most people as a “clear and present danger” to the entire world population. Attention has been focused on COVID-19 and people have paid comparatively less attention to the ongoing changes in our planet’s climate. We have got a vaccine for COVID-19, but we can’t place hope in finding a vaccine against climate change. Covid-19 will remain for more than 1-2 years, its impact will be less as compared to climate change. Climate change has been here for ages and will be here for a longer period. But we are not able to mitigate it.

Although climate change costs are high, their threat is perceived less. Reasons may be climate change impact could not be seen directly or has a regular impact as COVID-19. It is just like a slow poison. But in the case of COVID-19, we can see the live deaths in front of our eyes. Also, it is a public health compound that the government can control. On the other hand, climate change impact could not be handled by a single government.

The World Bank has already warned ‘that climate migrants will be in the tens of millions in three decades even if urgent action is taken. The UN has said that reduction targets are not being met and there is a rising likelihood the world will miss its Paris Agreement target of reducing global warming to 1.5C (34.7F) above pre-industrial levels  (World Bank, 2019). Despite the fact, that climate change is not treated with the same urgency as COVID-19.

Global leaders and governments are not taking urgent actions they should be taking to save the planet. The main reason is, that the coronavirus effect is visible, it immediately infects and potentially kills anyone exposed to it, whereas climate change impact is slowly destroying our planet, creating a major threat to our survival over decades of time. A leading climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber has also said – “If you do not stabilize climate change, you will actually destroy the good prospects for development.”

The actual risk of climate change is high as compared to the actual risk of COVID-19, but people are more concerned about protection from COVID-19 rather than climate change. Similarly, in the case of the government, climate change is given less priority. So, the perceived risk of climate change seems to be below. In such conditions, when actual risk is greater than perceived risk, the level of response should be high and rational policy-making is required. But the same part is missing.

Given the compressed time frame of COVID-19 and the perception of the immediate high risk involved, significant financial sources and public and private research institutions are activated to hastily find and produce a solution. In the case of climate change, research activity is admittedly facing a much more complex problem, one whose consequences are (mistakenly) perceived by policymakers and the public as less urgent and is more widespread and undertaken on a quite different financial, geographical, and temporal scale (Fuentes, 2020).

Implications for Nepal

Nepal’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting every inhabited region across the globe, with human influence contributing to many observed changes in weather and climate extremes (IPCC Report, 2021). Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, water-induced disasters, and hydro-meteorological extreme events such as droughts, storms, floods, inundation, landslides, debris flow, soil erosion, and avalanches. Nepal’s mountainous and challenging topography and socio-economic conditions (ranks 145 on the Human Development Index, merely one-fourth of its population live below the poverty line) make it a highly vulnerable country to climate change.

Although Nepal has a negligible contribution to global greenhouse gases (GHGs), adverse impacts of climate change are already seen in many parts of the country on water, health, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, and economy (Gautam, N., 2014). Nepal is more vulnerable to a changing climate compared to other South Asian countries. Its glacier lakes may burst and cause floods, destroying infrastructure and people’s lives in lower lands. Some of the effects are irregular rainfall change in intensity of snowfall and rainfall in higher Himalayas, flood and landslide, drought, water shortage, heat waves, mosquitos at high altitudes. These effects result in migration, poverty, malnutrition, civil wars due to scarcity of resources, political conflicts, and so on. All these indicators are connected to human security resulting in a threat to national security.

Nepal is facing the problem of snow melting, glacier blasting, soil fertility decreasing. The temperature has been increasing in Nepal in the past few decades.  The maximum temperature in Nepal increased at a rate of 0.06 °C/year between 1978 and 1994, with higher rates at stations located at higher altitudes (MOFE, 2019). Nepal’s diverse geo-climatic system, which combines heavy monsoons, steep terrain, and remoteness, renders the country vulnerable to natural disasters. A rapid increase in atmospheric temperature for the past few decades and climate-induced disasters like less precipitation, heavy precipitation, and drought triggered by it have been causing adverse impacts on Nepal’s Himalayan range and glaciers, and ecosystems dependent on them (Ministry of Forest and Environment, 2019).

Despite its negligible contribution to total global emissions of greenhouse gases, Nepal is one of the countries that have high risks of adverse effects of climate change. Topographical diversity, fragile geological structure, sensitive ecosystems, and diversity of climate and micro-climate zones are the main reasons for it. Furthermore, poverty, illiteracy, social disparity as well as high dependence of the community on natural resources for livelihood have made Nepal more sensitive to the impacts of climate change.  (Ministry of Forest and Environment, 2019). As climate change impacts increase, Nepal’s vulnerability continues to grow.  Globally, it is ranked fourth, in terms of vulnerability to climate change  (UNDP). Nepal has experienced changes in temperature and mean precipitation. Data on temperature trends from 1975 to 2005 showed 0.060 C rise in temperature annually whereas mean rainfall has significantly decreased on an average of 3.7 mm (-3.2%) per month per decade (GoN, 2016).

Under various climate change scenarios for Nepal, mean annual temperatures are projected to increase between 1.3-3.8°C by the 2060s and 1.8-5.8°C by the 2090s. Annual precipitation reduction is projected to be in the range of 10 to 20 % across the country (GoN, 2016). Based on the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) 2010, out of 75 districts, 29 districts are highly vulnerable to natural hazards such as landslides, 22 districts to drought, 12 districts to GLOFs, and 9 districts to flooding. According to the Global Report on Disaster Risk, Nepal ranks 4th position in terms of climate change. Such climate-induced disasters and frequent earthquakes have increased vulnerabilities and risks to water and sanitation security, food insecurity, poverty, migration and further made the country highly vulnerable to climatic hazards.

Changes in the hydrological cycle may significantly change precipitation patterns leading to changes in river runoff and ultimately affecting hydrology and nutrient cycles along the river basins, including agricultural productivity and human wellbeing. There are indications that the dry season is becoming drier and seasonal droughts and water stress more severe. The timing and length of the monsoon period also seem to be changing (E, Chettri, Tse-ring, Shrestha, & Fang, 2009).

Hence, climate change should be regarded as a top priority and mitigation approaches need to be taken.

What is Nepal doing?

Nepal is having some bold targets to mitigate climate change and achieve sustainability. Nepal is formulating a long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy by 2021 with the aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The government has promised to make adaptation plans in all the 753 local governments  (Galimberti, 2021). In the annual budget plan speech, the government has announced a complete ban on the production, import, sale, distribution, and use of plastic bags thinner than 40 microns to reduce environmental pollution from plastic products. This is the third announcement towards this end made by the federal government as the previous two announcements were limited to paper (Ghimire, 2021).

The government is making environmentally friendly economic commitments in the form of Nationally Determined Contributions commitments such as the removal of tax hikes on electric vehicles. Commitments alone are worthless unless they are translated into real action. The Nepal Climate Change Support Programme (NCCSP) started with the aim to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Nepal can adapt to the effects of climate change  (MoSTE).

The Government of Nepal, UNDP, and the Food and Agriculture Organization had launched a new project to integrate climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector to address climate change impacts through adaptation initiatives in the agriculture sector and build Nepal’s capacity to mobilize funds for longer-term climate initiatives that are linked to Nepal’s Agriculture Development Strategy (FAO, 2016).

The Government of Nepal and its development partners endorsed the landmark ‘Kathmandu Declaration on Sep 23, 2021, to develop a strategic action plan for Nepal toward Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID). Under the Kathmandu Declaration, Nepal’s development partners have identified up to $4.2 billion in potential future support, in addition to the $3.2 billion in previously committed resources to support GRID (World Bank, 2021).

The National Adaptation Plan was approved on 28 October 2021 by the Council of Ministers of the Government of Nepal.  The programs include adaptation actions that are best able to address climate vulnerabilities and risks in the short (2025), medium (2030), and long-term (2050); as well as adaptation actions that contribute to the achievement of national economic and development priorities (Public Health Update, 2021).

Nepal is also a party to the United Nations Framework on Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). Nepal has aimed to reinforce the implementation of an ‘Environment Friendly Local Governance Framework’ in municipalities and rural municipalities under the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments to enhance climate change adaptation.

Nepal government is giving proper attention as it can, it has set targets, signed, ratified various agreements such as Paris Agreement, attended conferences,s and so on. However, in comparison to COVID-19, it is not giving the needful attention as it needs to be.

Hence, Nepal should capitalize on its pioneering and decade-long experience in the Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPA) process to effectively implement and achieve ambitious commitments of the NDC in action (Jamarkattel, 2021). Although climate activism from the grassroots has emerged, changing the discourse on the urgency of climate change adaptation, without the enactment of strategies regarding disaster risk management, waste management, use of green energy, and other frameworks, international coalitions will not come into fruition (Sharma, 2021).

Conclusion

This article argues that climate change is the defining crisis of our time, and it is escalating even more quickly than our expectations based on recent studies and research. It is a major threat to international peace and security. The major environmental threat, climate change, has widespread implications for Nepal, causing impacts to water availability, agricultural production, forestry, among many other detrimental effects (Adhikari, N.B., 2020).

Not only Nepal, but climate change is also a global issue, sooner or later every country must face the misery of its consequences. Every country either developed or developing, has the same need in climate change, impact mitigation, and adaptation. However, the developing countries lack inadequate preparation for the impact of climate change owing to their finances and technology and have limited capability while they become more vulnerable to climate change. They are believed to have less ability to climate change adaptation impact, less mitigation, and adaptation strategies dealing with climate change. The impact of climate change in developing countries absolutely outweighs that of developed countries and this situation has led to global inequality regarding the urgency to give the same attention to climate change action across the world (Wijaya, 2014).

Policy Recommendations

·         Developed countries must assist developing countries in all climate change-related solutions. Nepal, for example, needs international assistance since it is unable to address this global issue on its own.

·         As there are several diverse stakeholders or stakeholders with varied interests, the practice of collaborative leadership is required in this scenario. Hence, there is a need to practice a collaborative leadership approach during policy-making and implementation. Acting together, with urgency and without ego, helps us fulfill our commitment to impact and focus on what really matters.

·         Although COVID-19 has been given the higher priority as it is the present matter of concern, still there is also an urgent need to focus on climate change mitigation.

·         The climate crisis is providing the impetus we need to transition to a new industrial model based on renewable energy, recycling, and resource efficiency.Policies such as increasing the use of clean energy and improving energy efficiency should be practiced.

·         The counsel of indigenous groups must be heeded. They are also assisting in the preservation of forests and their resources in order to combat climate change.

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ANNEX

Figure showing the chronology of climate change adaptation governance in Nepal, Source: Extracted from Policy Alignment to Advance Climate-Resilient Development in Nepal, pg. no. 5