KATHMANDU, June 5: On the occasion of the World Environment Day, the European Union (EU), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have announced the launch of a new development cooperation project titled “Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystems (GRAPE) in Nepal”.
The project is funded under the Team Europe approach showcasing EU and member state cooperation in Nepal. It contributes to the Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) approach, which both the Government of Nepal and the International Development Partners Group (IDPG) have adopted to pursue economic development with a long-term sustainability lens, according to a joint press statement issued by them.
The joint statement said that the overall objective of the GRAPE project is to foster climate resilient, green economic growth of Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces. "Under this objective, the project will support Nepal’s capacity to adapt agricultural practices to climate change and thus strengthen income generation of marginalized households. Socially disadvantaged groups and women in particular will benefit from strengthened participation in value chains, which are integrated in sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural ecosystems," the statement said.
To achieve these objectives, GRAPE supports the identification and piloting of innovative approaches (action research) for climate resilient and water-efficient agricultural products incapacitate the target beneficiaries to integrate the same into their practices. Participatory approaches will be applied to enhance the governance capacities of municipal and provincial levels for steering and promoting the development of selected climate-smart value chains. Furthermore, the project supports the actors producing agricultural knowledge and innovation in knowledge exchange with practitioners and policy makers, also at the national level and with actors beyond the project’s geographical scope. By this, the project intends to contribute to scaling up best practices.
The statement further said that the project is an integral part of EU and its member states’ efforts of implementing the EU Green Deal, including the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, in Nepal. The project will contribute directly to Nepal’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), specifically to “scientific research and adaptation approaches to assess and address impacts of climate change”.
The project will focus on 20 municipalities of Karnali and Sudurpaschim provinces. It will be implemented between 5/2021 and 12/2024. This Multi Donor Action of € 12.35 million is jointly co-financed by the EU, MFA and the BMZ. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which aims at cooperating closely with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) as well as the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE).
While the project ensures regular communication with various ministries relevant to the project, especially the Ministry of Agricultural and Livestock Development, the provincial Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment and the provincial Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperatives, the lead Ministry is the Ministry of Land Management Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation.