Climate-induced loss and damage report stresses need for more adaptation measures

NL Today

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Kathmandu: While disagreements continue over addressing climate-induced loss and damage in the negotiations at the UN Climate Summit, COP26, people in many developing countries struggle daily with climate-related disasters.

A new report ‘When the climate becomes a threat: Evidence of Climate Change induced Loss and Damage in Nepal’ by DanChurchAid shows how people were forced to leave their houses, and how the water and the landslides destroyed their property and fields and killed their cattle.

The report assesses the situation in three municipalities in Nepal. All three areas have experienced either flooding or landslides, two natural hazards which are linked to climate change.

Nepal is vulnerable and affected both by melting glaciers, and increased temperatures and rain. In such a mountainous country this has dramatic effects, reads the report.

The report found out that none of the three municipalities received international support, but local authorities and civil society organizations provided some immediate support. The report highlights a variety of findings based on the research in the three municipalities namely Aathbis of Dailkeh District, Panchadewal Binayak of Achham District and Barbardiya of Bardiya District.

However, this support was far from enough and 82 percent of the households had to take out loans to recover and rebuild their homes. Nine percent chose to permanently leave their homes and can thus be called climate-induced displaced people, according to the report.

Marco Aviotti, Country Director, DanChurchAid Nepal suggested, “Loss and damage could possibly have been prevented if sufficient adaptation measures had been taken in advance. However, for these three communities, as for many other communities in poor and vulnerable countries, adaptation is lacking.

“The conclusions of the paper are therefore clear: more international support is needed, both for adaptation, and for addressing the loss and damage people face.”

Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, Secretary-General at DanChurchAid, said, “The situation is tragic. These people have not been contributing much to global warming, but at the same time climate change has a huge impact on their lives and livelihoods.

“This is not fair! Climate-induced loss and damage must be addressed globally, and big polluters must mobilize the support needed.”

The climate action advisor at the DanChurchAid office in Nepal, Rajan Thapa, shared, “The assessment shows that people have been forced from their homes and that some people choose never to return. This is sad, but also understandable, as climate change continues to pose a threat to these communities.

“Without adaptation to reduce the risk for flooding and landslides, it is likely that these municipalities will continue to face similar disasters, leading to more climate-induced loss and damage.”