Climate mitigation in India & Nepal
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, politically unstable and now under the ruling of a communist government since the fall of the monarchy in 2008. 30 million inhabitants, a human development index ranking it 149th out of 189 countries, 25% of the population lives below the poverty line and 72% are employed in agriculture, which contributes more than 50% of GDP.
Pollution has become a major problem: uncontrolled population growth in Kathmandu, a car fleet that is growing by 12% per year, a basin bottom covered by a heat shield where 2 million inhabitants breathe multiples of the maximum doses of tolerable pollutants. Nothing seems to stop the rural exodus, while Nepal was placed in 2014 the second most polluted country on the planet. To these structural problems is added the impact of global warming, more perceptible here than in other countries where we operate.
Among others: accelerated melting of the glaciers, reduced agricultural production, food insecurity, lack of water resources, but also floods, loss of forests and biodiversity, and landslides damaging infrastructure, at an estimated cost at 1.5 points of GDP.
A contrasting country, G20 member, seventh in world GDP, but a modest 130th place out of 189 in terms of HDI, atomic power since 1974, a military budget of $36 billion (6th in the world, between France and the UK) , while 29% of the population live below the poverty line. In 2022, it will be the most populous country in the world. In India, the wealthiest 10% account for 55% of the country's wealth, the highest inequality rate in the world, ahead of the US (47%), and just behind the Middle East (61%).
Though, one in three poor people in the world is an Indian farmer. About 60% of Indians are rural, sinking into poverty. 2 main causes. First, climate change, added with the perverse effects of the intensive agriculture launched in the 1960s to fight famine. Groundwater is falling, water is polluted, soils are being used, yields are dropping, pests are coming back, cancers are multiplying, while the purchase prices are still capped by the State. Thus, to pay rent or inputs, farmers borrow from banks and usurers. At the slightest hitch, they are unable to repay and end their lives by swallowing their unnecessary pesticides (60,000 committed suicide in 2017)
It is about coping, both in Nepal and in India, with built in skill transfer, with the increasingly severe impact of climate change in rural areas and on the poor. The project aims to work for the benefit of farmers and their families by involving local authorities to implement climate change mitigation measures by tapping into the traditional toolbox. The project also plans to strengthen the adaptation capacities of village communities to enable them to maintain their quality of life in a degraded climate environment.
Strengthen the resilience of vulnerable families through adaptation strategies in the agriculture and related sectors, by promoting a diversified cropping system adapted to changing weather conditions and rainfall (adoption of a revised planting schedule, promotion of micro-irrigation techniques, millet and legumes, vegetable domestic gardens)
Improve GHG sinks through agroforestry on farmers' lands and common lands, (bunds for firewood, fodder and wood species, promotion of conservation agriculture, switching from monoculture to multiple crops, reduction of inorganic pesticides)
Reduce carbon emissions (promotion of pits and the application of composting and manure-based formulations to crops, combined with rainwater harvesting, various soil and water conservation measures, promotion of biogas plants the promotion of improved stoves.
This will be complemented by building the capacity of grassroots organizations and rural communities to plan and implement climate smart initiatives.