<Published in NbS Crowdsourcing app>
By Bikram Rana, Project Manager
Zurich Flood Resilience Project and Flood Parametric Insurance Project
9th December 2021
In Nepal Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA), Practical Action work site is lower Karnali. Flood resilience Program (FRP) focus is in flood prone 5 local government units. ZFRA Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities (FRMC) framework also known as 5C-4R framework (5C entail the sustainable livelihood capitals and 4R entail the systems of resilience of robustness, rapidity, resourcefulness and redundancy. Nature Based Solution (NbS) is inbuilt in Natural capital of Flood Resilience program’s FRMC framework. Under the natural capital there are five resilience indicators N1: Natural Capital Condition, N2: Priority natural units, N3: Priority Managed units N4: Natural resource conservation and N5: Natural habitat restoration. Which also forms a basis for us to work towards NbS for flood resilience and an ex-ante intervention to reduce flood risks. NbS practices reduce the flood velocity entering towards settlements and avoid loss and damage which in turn will also reduce the insurance premiums and may become affordable by last mile poor. NbS such as Community forestry is one of the priority natural unit. We work together with CFUG to create community forest as buffer alongside of river flood plain to maintain a natural barrier against flood. Bio-Dykes were introduced in the River banks to reduce flood risks and protect priority managed units the farmland. In recent times local governments are also co-funding bio-dykes. There are wetlands, ponds in the lower Karnali we have been communicating with the community how these water bodies function as Sponge to rainfall run-off and can Store carbon. Community people conserve and approach local governments to conserve. The other NbS practice that we work with are • Clearing of flood escape channels ( Jharan) managed by communities, • Cleaning of existing FMIS by communities • River- Bed farming (November to May) – technical support from local agriculture offices. • Raised Nursery in monsoon
Coming to barriers and issues on NbS : Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) has potential towards disaster risk reduction, flood management, water security, and resilience to climate change. However, in practice, these measures are still being applied at a slow rate while traditional grey infrastructure remains as a preferred choice. Barriers range from political and governance to social and technological know-how and understanding.There is Need for effective demonstration of NBS to build an evidence base. To generate more information on NbS, we conducted a study on opportunities for NbS to benefit flood resilience in Lower Karnali. The study brings in some possible NbS options in Lower Karnali benefiting flood resilience. • Create forest buffer by planting the fodder species between the river banks and the settlements along the embankment, ( Karnali River management project) • Maintenance of Jharan, irrigation canal and roadside drainage/crossings and establish fodder grass and shrubs species along the bank and embankments; • Construction of bio-dykes (biological embankments) for the Aurahi and Pathariya river sections; • Maintain the community forest by planning more fodder tree and shrub species and species having economical values; • Protection and conservation of wetlands and ponds • Dredging, IWRM and land management ( US/DS)
The next pertinent issue is investment who can invest in NbS. Investments are associated with governance, the first entity that is accountable to invest is government. Governance issues are related to enabling environment institutions and instruments where governance is weak usually these are not in balance. To enhance NbS budget and build healthier governance we use information from FRMC-, NbS study, Local Disaster and Climate Resilience Plan (LDCRP) in identifying NbS needs, elevated in the local government planning process. NbS information in planning process creates horizontal accountability among community members augmenting equity and inclusiveness. The community needs in the government plan creates accountability to implement the NbS. Budgets beyond the local governments’ capacity can be taken to next level government. For example, Karnali River Management Project exists in lower Karnali funded by federal government. Further lower Karnali is surrounded by the National Park, enforces strict rule and regulations, prevent the community from using the forest resources such as fuel wood, fodder, timber, and the use of Bet-Bans for the production of handy-crafts. Park Authority can contribute to strengthen the community forest and to create forest buffer along the Karnali River banks that benefits the community and reduces conflicts between park and people. Cooperatives: are our partners for Index Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) and can assist to create environment for economic activities. Such as support local people to Plant species such as Babiyo, Khar, Vetiver are highly recognized for soil erosion control through their roots, while the above ground bio-mass of these species can be used either for fodder or making handy-crafts (e. g. baskets, ropes, etc.). Local NGOs and Development Partner Facilitate in elevating local government flood risk plans to sub-basin plans and co-fund. Community Member: Engaging in planning Process, coordination with other communities (Up Stream-Down Stream).
Snapshot on Bio-dyke work in Nepal is also from the link https://infohub.practicalaction.org/bitstream/handle/11283/622853/Nepal_Snapshot_Oct21_final%5b1%5d.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y and UNFCCC website https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/NWPStaging/Pages/item.aspx?ListItemId=29059&ListUrl=/sites/NWPStaging/Lists/MainDB&SearchId=09c463e4-675c-de7b-d935-55ab8f7fcd4b Beyond Nepal examples of Practical Action work on NBS are also available. In the UNFCCC document on floating gardens in Bangladesh. https://unfccc.int/ttclear/misc_/StaticFiles/gnwoerk_static/events_workshops_adaptationtechs/e7be62ce709c401a82424d8ada44362b/f52272f5c674446a89bd38bd9f7ddbcf.pdf Coffee agroforestry in Peru: https://infohub.practicalaction.org/bitstream/handle/11283/622852/Peru_Snapshot_Oct21_final%5b1%5d.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y IWRM in Sudan: https://infohub.practicalaction.org/bitstream/handle/11283/622851/Sudan_Snapshot_Oct21_final%5b1%5d.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
The article was originally published in NbS Crowdsourcing app on 9th December 2021. Please click here for the original article.