Using Geospatial tools Towards Effective Preparation of LAPAs

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AdaptHimal, an International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) initiative, focuses on improving livelihoods and enhancing resilience of the rural poor in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) to environmental and socio-economic changes. Under AdaptHimal, ICIMOD’s geospatial theme is working with the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), the Government of Nepal, to support its Adaptation for Smallholders in Hilly Areas (ASHA) project.

ICIMOD provides technical guidance and support on using geographic information system (GIS) tools in planning at the sub-watershed level to implement Local Adaptation Plans of Action (LAPAs) being rolled out in six districts in Western Nepal: Dailekh, Jajarkot, Kalikot, Rolpa, Rukum, and Salyan. Under this collaboration, geospatial tools are being used in the preparation of LAPAs for the first time in Nepal. A series of capacity building and hands-on trainings for relevant staff including GIS specialists, adaptation specialists, and forestry experts, among others, have been carried out at ASHA’s regional office in Surkhet and at the ICIMOD headquarters in Kathmandu. These GIS trainings were designed keeping in mind the requirements of staff for sub-watershed planning towards the final preparation of LAPAs at the VDC level, taking upstream-downstream linkages into consideration. 

Participants have received an overview of GIS applications such as assessments of land use and land cover change, and forest cover change, followed by an estimation of soil erosion, multi-disaster risk assessment including floods and landslides, and forest fires along with relevant datasets. They are able to conduct these activities in the GIS environment independently and are happy about their accomplishments. A training module is being prepared to replicate this training in the future by collaborating with other relevant agencies working on the preparation of LAPAs.