The Small Earth Nepal (SEN), Management Support Services (MASS), City University of New York (CUNY) and Colorado State University (CSU) jointly organized a stakeholder’s consultative workshop for a collaborative research project “Adaptation for Climate Change by Livestock Smallholders in Gandaki River Basin (GRB)” with representatives of international and national partners, academicians, researchers and government agencies on 2 November 2012 at the Hotel Himalaya, Kupondole, Lalitpur. The research project is a joint collaboration of CUNY, CSU, SEN and MASS, funded by the USAID Livestock-Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Program (LCC-CRSP). The Principle Investigator (PI) of the project is Dr. Nir Y. Krakauer – City College of New York (CCNY), CUNY and Co-PIs are: Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar – CCNY, CUNY: Dr. Soni M. Pradhanang – Hunter College, CUNY; Prof. Ajay K. Jha – CSU: Dr. Madan L. Shrestha – SEN; and Prof. Upendra B. Pradhananga – MASS. The workshop’s objectives were to share and discuss among the stakeholders about the methodology and tentative work plan for the project and at the same time to disseminate such information about the project to policy as well as decision makers in Nepal.
This project aims:
i. to understand local and regional climate changes with main emphasis on the occurrences of hydro meteorological extremes over recent decades through new applications of statistical methods to weather and remote sensing data,
ii. to assess the impact of past and present climate variability and change on the health and food supply of livestock raised by small farmers and herders across elevation gradients in the GRB through field survey, and
iii. to work with and train village-based networks to devise pilot strategies for economic opportunities by increasing livestock-agricultural and natural resource conservation system resilience to climate hazards. This can be then replicable and scalable to other climate change vulnerable districts of Nepal keeping in mind sustainability and enterprise opportunity for the rural farmers.
The opening session of the workshop was chaired by Prof. Suresh Raj Chalise, Adviser to SEN. The first speaker of the workshop, Prof. Ajay Jha gave his welcome remarks expressing his gratitude to the organizers as well as the participants. The welcome remarks, was followed by the introductory session in which all the participants introduced themselves. More than seventy participants from different sectors (students, professors, researchers, government’s officials, representatives from NGOs and INGOs, scientists, agriculturists, agronomists, ecologists, veterinary doctors and officers, meteorologist, hydrologists, etc.) actively participated in this workshop.
Following the introductory session, Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar gave his presentation briefing on the specific objectives of the research projects. Prof. Mohan Sharma, from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS), gave his remarks on the project brief sharing his experiences on his three- day’s visits to the research and demonstration sites. Prof. Upendra Pradhananga, giving his remark said that the project was interdisciplinary and would help in poverty alleviation in some extent. Dr. Siddhi Ganesh Shrestha, Deputy Director General (DDG), Department of Agriculture, remarked, “Though the impacts of climate change have been seen worldwide, Nepal is more vulnerable to it due to the physiographic fragility.”
Mr. Kamal Prakash Budathoki, DDG, Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM), highlighted on the changing patterns of the rainfall and severe effects of climate change in livestock and livelihood. Dr. Durga Devkota, IAAS, gave remarks on the holistic approach where she requested for the inclusion of all kinds of people in the project research as every individuals have their own significance. Mr. Netra Sharma, USAID, explained the origination of the project and about how it emerged. He said that the climate change related programs were increasing day by day which are centrally, regionally or bilaterally funded. Prof. Chalise, the chairperson of the workshop gave his remarks on the session with very inspiring experience sharing on research. He suggested including the farmers in the research.
Project sharing and feedback session
Mr. Dhiraj Pradhananga, SEN, talked about the objectives and targeted outcomes of the project explaining the key principles: significantly increase vulnerability of livestock systems, opportunities for collaborative research activities and applicability at the community level. He further highlighted on LCC-CRSP South Asia-Nepal and emphasized on poverty, income, gender, education, livestock, climate change impacts and vulnerability. He briefly shared the climate change studies in Nepal and their linkage with the research project.
After having a brief sharing about the project, the floor was made open for discussion, which was moderated by Prof. Mohan Sharma. The interaction was very fruitful receiving many valuable comments and suggestions towards the enhancement of the project.
After the discussion session, there was a poster session – there were three poster presentations.
1. Mr. Dilli Bhattarai, Tribhuvan University (TU): Study on Impacts of Climate Variability on Sheep Production and Adaptation Practices to Increase Resiliency
2. Mr. Niranjan Devkota , TU: Economic Impact of Climate Change on Wheat Production in Terai, Nepal
3. Mr. Uddhav Paneru, IAAS: Climate change and its consequences to dairy cattle and management strategies
The technical session was chaired by Prof. Upendra Pradhananga. Mr. Piyush Dahal, SEN, presented on the Climate and Hydrology of GRB. His presentation showed the details on the hydro-climatic condition of the basin. Prof Mohan Sharma presented a paper on livestock and livelihood in GRB. Dr Ajay Jha presented on climate change impacts on livestock and livelihood alternatives. Dr Tarendra Lakhankar highlighted on the project details with the planning.
After the technical session, the floor was open for discussion which was moderated by Mr. Dhiraj Pradhananga. The discussion brought the following conclusions.
1. Advises and suggestions will be seek from the concerned departments.
2. The research activities will be shared with the concerned departments. A brief meeting is suggested to be organized at the Department of Livestock.
3. The project will be inclusive and solution focused.
4. The tools of NAPA and LAPA will be reviewed and approached.
5. An attempt will be made for institutionalization of the outcomes of the research.
6. Meeting with different stakeholders will be organized every 6 months.
7. Comments, inputs and suggestions will be cooperated and considered as far as possible in the research activities.
8. Sharing among the LCC-CRSP projects.
The program was concluded with the closing remarks by Prof Upendra Pradhananga, who wished to execute the research with the positive vibes on working further in a collaborative way making the research project more inclusive.
The project also intended to communicate further by different stakeholders’ meetings and trainings, scholarly publications and research training to university graduates. All the data, information prepared, generated from the project will be shared.