A Policy Dialogue program on; Landslide Risk Management in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges
Date of event- 19th December 2020
Location- Zoom Platform
Partner Organizations- DPNet Nepal, Nepal Engineers' Association Bagmati Province, IHRR
Er. Suresh Raut, Chief, Planning and Technical Section / DRR Focal Person, Bhimeshwor Municipality;
Er. Shristi Regmi, Deputy Mayor, Budinanda Municipality;
Mr. Shiva Baskota, Senior Divisional Geologist, Department of Mines and Geology
Mr. Prakash Singh Thapa, Undersecretary, Department of Forest and Soil Conservation
Mr. Dinanath Bhandari, DRR/M Practitioner
Landslides are the most common natural hazards in Nepal, especially in mountainous terrain. The existing topographical scenario, complex geological settings followed by the heavy rainfall in monsoon has contributed to a large number of landslide events in the Kaski district.
In order to understand the risk and identify the gaps and existing challenges in the landslide risk management, the policy dialogue program was organized in association with DPNet Nepal, Nepal Engineers’ Association Bagmati Province and IHRR. The preparedness phase has to be considered with top priorities along with the response and other phases. Despite the institutional setup and paradigm shift in Nepal from relief centric approaches to preparedness and overall cycle of disaster, the implementation aspect seems difficult with the existing resources. This dialogue highlights the existing issues in the implementation aspect and also provides a way forward to this problem.
To identify the current practices & initiatives on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.
Policy gap analysis on landslide preparedness.
Mitigation Works at the federal, provincial, and local levels.
To identify the possible ways to move forward through integration of science and technology in DRRM.
A Policy Dialogue program on Landslide Risk Management in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges was held on 19th December through Zoom Platform in collaboration with DPNet Nepal, Nepal Engineers association Bagmati Province and IHRR. This event was chaired by the Chairman of Nepal Engineers association Bagmati Province Er. Nanda Lal Banjade, Chief Guest Dr. Ganga Lal Tuladhar, Special Guest Surya Bahadur Thapa from DPnet Nepal, and President of NEA Trithna Bajracharya. The program was hosted by the Executive Director of IHRR, Er. Suraj Gautam while the technical session was moderated by Dr. Basanta Raj Adhikari.
The program started with a welcome note by Mr. Surya Bahadur Thapa. Dr. Narayan Chaulagain, technical chair of NEA addressed the Role of Climate change on Disaster and possible ways of landslide management in Federalization. The first speaker of the policy dialogue, Er. Suresh Raut Chief, Planning and Technical Section / DRR Focal Person of Bhimeshwar Municipality shared the Landslide risk Reduction experiences of Bhimeshwor Municipality and recently drafted DRR Policy. He reflected on 14 different prioritized sectors of Bhimeshwor Municipality on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Er. Raut shared on municipality level policy management like the establishment of MEOC, construction of Recharge Pond, Environment management, Ecological based adaptation, criterias for Building Construction, Disaster Mainstreaming guidelines, and so on. In conclusion, Bhimeshwor Municipality has been prioritizing the importance of landslide risk reduction in its Disaster management policies and strategies and has been working actively for its sound implementation despite the challenges and complexities.
The second presenter of the dialogue, Mr. Shiva Kr. Baskota, Senior Divisional Geologist, Department of Mines and Geology presented on the activities of the Department of Mines and Geology(DMG) in the landslide, research, and its role in DRR. Mr. Baskota highlighted aspects and roles on landslide risk reduction of DMG namely Landslides Hazard Zone Mapping, Landslide Inventory Database & Distribution, and Emergency Geological Studies. “Political instability, lack of awareness, lack of coordination among government and local bodies, technical and knowledge are the major gap and constraints on Landslide Management” said Mr. Baskota. He also suggested ways to move forward by shifting response focus to preparedness focus in a landslide risk management system, empowering provinces and local governments, mainstreaming DRR into development planning etc.
Similarly, Challenges for Landslide risk management in the local government and experiences of Budhinanda & Bajura were presented by the third presenter Er. Shristi Regmi. She is a Deputy Mayor at Budhinanda Municipality, Bajura, Sudurpaschim Province. Er. Regmi described the landslides scenario of Bajura District and how it has been resulting in the loss of lives and properties during the monsoon. Strengthening of Local government structurally and financially, provision of IEE/EIA before the implementation of any development activity and proper coordination between the local and central government in Disaster management to avoid overlapping could be the possible ways to improve the implementation aspect.
The fourth presenter for the policy dialogue, Mr. Prakash Singh Thapa, Undersecretary, Watershed & Landslide Management Division, Department of Forest and Soil Conservation facilitated the session on Possibilities of Collaboration & Opportunities of Watershed Management & Landslide risk reduction in the federal structure. Mr. Thapa highlighted possible causes and conditions on landslides, Land and water conservation practices, provisions of the constitution, and policies in Disaster Risk Reduction and Cooperation between three different levels of Government bodies. Land use mapping, multi-hazard mapping, and Landslide Early Warning Management System, Good Governance, Watershed Atlas, Climate Change Adaptation, and building resilience were his key points to focus on functional cooperation and partnership among government bodies.
Lastly, Landslide Risk Management in Federal Nepal; Issues and Challenges were addressed by Mr. Dinanath Bhandari, DRR/M Practitioner. Mr. Bhandari enlightened on Improving DRRM Governance and its drawbacks like lack of accountability, lack of holistic provision, and the challenge of coordination between level and agencies, connecting the dots. He also explained the institutional structure of DRRM, Nepal. Unplanned development and urbanizations are the drivers of multiple and chronic disasters. Good practices for landslide management includes Risk mapping and zonation appropriate for land use, Integrated Watershed Management, Risk sensitive Construction, Legal mandates, and organizational accountability to risk reduction as well as integrating geology, meteorology, hydrology with disaster management.
Dr. Basanta Raj Adhikari moderated the overall session and addressed the questions from zoom and Facebook platforms to respective presenters. At last Mr. Gangalal Tuladhar explained the Long Term Plan of Nepal with a vision of “Sambiddra Nepal sukhi nepali” to be fulfilled the strategies to accomplish the vision.
Er. Suraj Gautam, Executive Director of IHRR expressed his gratitude towards all the presenters and partners. At last, the session was formally closed by Nandalal Banjade Chairman of Nepal Engineers association Bagmati Province by providing a vote of thanks to the organizing team, Presenters, and Guests.