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The Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountains in Mountain Eco-Regions Project (BCRWME) is the first component of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) under the National Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR). The overall objective of the SPCR is to build long-term climate resilience through an integrated water resource and ecosystem-based approach, and to yield lessons on how best to build resilience in vulnerable mountain regions.

This PPCR 1 pilot aims to provide access to more reliable water resources for domestic purposes and irrigation for communities living in the Lower West Seti and Budhi Ganga watersheds of the Karnali River basin which are significantly vulnerable to climate change. 15 Rural Municipalities and 10 municipalities (previous 108 Village Development Committee) have been selected in six districts in the Far Western Development Region of Nepal: Achham, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura and Doti. 

Nepal, as a least developed country with low adaptation capacity, is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and has been classified as one of the ‘hot-spots’ for geophysical and climatic hazards. Global climate change has negatively impacted agriculture, water resources, forests and biodiversity, public health, tourism and other important sectors for Nepal.

Main climate change impacts in the selected project areas include:

  • Reduction in spring yields in dry season due to higher rainfall variability and
  • Increased irrigation demand due to increased temperature and lower water availability
  • Degradation of watersheds (soils and land cover) due to higher rainfall variability

Key project outputs are: new and improved water infrastructure, improved watershed planning and management, increase in sharing of watershed knowledge

The expected outcome by 2020 is:  improved access to reliable water resources for 45,000 households (approximately 260,000 people) i.e. sustained water supplies and reduced time for water collection.

The desired long term impact by 2025 is: improved climate resilience and food security for vulnerable communities

The Climate Investment Fund (CIF) is the primary donor of the project, with the grant being administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project was approved by ADB's Board of Directors on 23 September 2013. The ADB grant agreement was signed on 20 January 2014 and became effective on 7 February 2014. The executing agency is the Department of Forests and Soil Conservation (DoFSC) under the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE). The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has provided a parallel grant for technical assistance, and the agreement between NDF and the Government was signed on 13 February 2014. Project completion is expected by 31 July 2020.