KATHMANDU, Jan 11: The government in partnership with the UNDP has developed a new tool to identify and track spending on agricultural activities for promoting farmers’ resilience to climate change impacts and to contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
The innovative tool introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is expected to lead to clearer lines of accountability and build more transparency in public spending, according to a press statement issued by UNDP.
“If we can better capture and track all our expenditures related to climate change, then it will help us to better plan, implement, and monitor programs that meet the farmers’ needs,” the statement quoted Secretary at MoALD Yubak Dhoj GC as saying. “By introducing more accurate methods, the agricultural ministry hopes to set an example for other sectors to better target and mobilize finance to address climate change.”
Nepal was one of the first countries in the world to pilot a method to track public climate spending in 2012 that in 2013 had won the Global South-South Development Expo Leadership award. The new tool allows tracking of spending in activities up to the field-level. The agricultural activities identified as contributing to climate resilience are grouped under seven categories and each category has a list of activities that can be included.
The tool will enable key officials in Nepal’s new federated governance structure, and local planners to take more ownership and provide leadership in all stages of the climate governance in their sectors. “MoALD’s proactivity sets a good example to other ministries on how public spending can be better monitored to directly address the high need for local communities to adapt to mounting climate risks,” it quoted Dr Simon Lucas, team leader of Inclusive Growth and Resilience Team of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), as saying.
“When implemented, these reforms will have far-reaching benefits to Nepalese farmers through smarter sector planning and local budget decision-making.”
Yogendra Kumar Karki, chief of Planning and Development Cooperation Coordination Division at MoALD, provided overall guidance to a ministry-wide task force charged with developing the initiative.
“With the support of our development partners, the agriculture sector in Nepal is innovating and improving the management of public finances to effectively address climate challenges to agricultural livelihoods,” Karki said.
The Ministry of Finance will make the necessary adjustments in its database and budget systems to incorporate the new tool. “Nepali agriculture officials have taken a major step forward towards addressing climate change and gender disparities,” it quoted Joint Secretary at Ministry of Finance Hari Sharan Pudasaini as saying.