Started in 2001, Central Department of Environmental Science (CDES) is a premier teaching and learning center educating graduate level students on environmental science and allied issues with specialization on mountain environment, water resources management and wildlife management among others with strong research focus on climate change and its interaction with other environmental issues and in different geographic areas at various levels.
As the climate change is becoming more influential phenomenon with mostly negative effects than initially thought of, with severe impacts already recorded in developing and developed world, Nepal is equally concerned about it and is party to major international mechanisms such as United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Nepal contributes to development of scientific understanding on climate change, such as periodic Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) among others, through different channels and is working to build resilience of its people and develop timely response to changed climatic phenomena. Various reports from IPCC, UNFCCC and other international agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Resource Institute (WRI), the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Maplecroft among others have made clear the worst impact of impact change will be seen among the bottom millions living mostly in the developing countries like Nepal. Given the high risks of climate change in the country despite negligible contribution to global warming, Nepal is continuously advocating for climate justice and is demanding for compensation in the form of climate aids and development assistance.
Even though some of such supports are obvious, Nepal has a long way to go to establish verifiable scientific evidences of both – minimum contribution in the global warming process and high impacts that are seen or are likely to be seen in near future. Except few studies, Nepal still has extremely limited understanding about climate science and majority of climate related advocacies lack scientific evidences making Nepal’s position weak in the negotiations. Likewise, Nepal lacks climate education at various levels and this has largely limited climate research in the country. Realising these facts, and to overcome this challenge, CDES aims to develop a dedicated centre to promote climate science and provide strong basis for science-backed climate advocacy in Nepal. Establishment of the Centre for Climate Research and Advocacy (CCRA), with the help of its alumni, forms a basis to act in this direction.
Objectives of the Centre for Climate Research and Advocacy
Building on core strengths of CDES and to address present disconnect among different stakeholders in Nepal, the Centre will develop a proper communication and coordination mechanisms to achieve the following:
- Establish itself as an apex climate change research entity within TU system under coordination of CDES and drawing expertise from all relevant Institutes and Departments;
- Develop research standards, guidelines and do periodic needs assessment in climate change research in Nepal;
- Develop a roster of experts and consolidate and coordinate climate related researches at TU;
- Develop research partnership with the government and other universities (inside and outside Nepal), I/NGOs and Community organisations to promote TU’s Climate Science agenda, and develop joint PhDs, Research Masters, short courses and trainings;
- Serve as Climate Science Think-tank for Government of Nepal and tap governmental as well as non-governmental funding for climate change research in Nepal;
- Help improve TU’s taught and research courses on climate change, environmental science and others with extensive research, exposures and knowledge sharing mechanisms;
- Issue a peer reviewed Journal on Climate Science in Nepal in coordination with all concerned and ensuring climate related grey literature at TU are gradually transformed into peer-reviewed works;
- Organize periodically climate related major national and international conferences, knowledge sharing events, trainings and workshops as needed; and
- Organize consultations, surveys and knowledge sharing events at national, regional and district level.
Activities planned for 2014/15 (Phase I):
- To conceptualize CCRA, develop strategic document (covering strategic focus and steps within TU, Government of Nepal and Nepalese climate change community), web contents, brochures and other promotional materials and setup knowledge platform and online searchable experts and research database;
- To identify potential donors and develop proposals to tap networks and research institutions specific funding; and
- To identify potential topics for climate research and advocacy considering climate related gaps in Nepal, ongoing climate negotiations and national priorities as well as potential areas to mobilize research students at CDES.
For further information:
Tek Jung Mahat, MSc, PGD
Focal Point – CCRA
Central Department of Environmental Science (CDES) Tribhuvan University