Greener Journal of Ecology and Ecosolution
Vol. 1 (1), pp. 001-007, October 2013.
© 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: EB07091305
Planning for Climate Change: Leading Practice Principles and Models
Kabi Prasad Pokhrel
Research Coordinator, Research Division, Rector's Office, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu Nepal.
Email: drkabipokhrel @ gmail.com, Cell: 9849301741
Local communities exposed to climate change risks associated with warming, increased frequency or intensity of droughts, erosion, flooding, and changed rainfall and temperature patterns, threatening mountain biodiversity and ecosystems. These environmental risks represent a number of social and economic consequences for rural communities, exacerbated by existing socio-economic disadvantage and an aging population profile. The temporary housing and homes are at particular risk in the event of a major natural disaster. These housing forms are an important source of housing for low income without proper insurance or ownership of land there is a high likelihood that tenants will face long term displacement in the event of a disaster. Other social and amenity impacts for rural communities include damage to crop farm lands, and landscapes or items of cultural significance. Beach and cliff top trails and paths may be subject to more frequent damage and increased exposure to landslip. Changed rainfall patterns and increased likelihood of major drought events represent both long term and abrupt unpredictable risks to agriculture life. Over the next 20-30 years extreme weather events are likely to overwhelm existing infrastructure constructed to current design standards and these infrastructures will all experience increased pressures and require additional repair, maintenance and upgrading works. The following overarching principles for leading practice emerge from the literature on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. The need to uphold the principles of ecologically sustainable development in designing adaptation and mitigation approaches, including environmental integrity, social equity and participation, economic viability and the precautionary principle. This is critical for mountain rural communities whose populations include higher proportions of lower income and socially disadvantaged groups. The need to prioritize actions worth doing anyway, which for Aggrian communities mean actions that have multiple benefits for the environment, for managing coastal processes, for the affordable and efficient provision of infrastructure, for nature based amenity and tourism and for more socially cohesive settlements. The importance of a sound evidence base, for identifying and justifying planning responses to climate change. Local authorities need assistance in accessing, interpreting, and applying consistent and reliable sources of scientific information about climate change scenarios. They need to plan now,in other to prevent further risks associated with climate change. Mountain communities experiencing rapid growth or pressure for rapid development approval, before climate change considerations have been factored into planning and assessment frameworks. There is a particular need to review current planning controls to ensure that they enable new adaptive responses in planning for climate, as well as new technology for climate change mitigation. While climate change is increasingly recognized by Nepalese as a critical issue few local planning schemes include specific provisions for climate change, adaptation or mitigation, aside controls relating to them. However, local authorities have planning provisions that may provide indirect protection from climate change impacts. For instance some responding to a national policy of climate change planning schemes .They include specific protection zones in their planning instrument or equivalent. Other mechanisms that may contribute to the adaptive capacity of local communities under future climate scenarios include bushfire protection or equivalent. This information suggests that many local bodies already have the basis for incorporating climate change considerations within their decision making and development assessment framework but that work needs to be revised in relation to specific climate change scenarios. Similarly, many local bodies have well established approaches to promote more sustainable forms, providing a sound basis for reducing harmful activities and for settlements that are more resilient to some of the impacts of climate change .There is an urgent need to build on and extend this work more widely.
Keywords: climate change, adaptation, conservation planning, community adaptation and policy frame.