Photo: LI-BIRD Photo Bank

Travelling Seminar: Sharing Gender, Agriculture and Climate Change Interlinkage with Law Makers of New Federal Structure

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By: Lakpa Sherpa, LI-BIRD

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) organized a travelling seminar on 9 June 2018 in two Climate Smart Village sites, namely, Mahottari and Dhanusa. There were 26 participants comprising of newly elected Parliamentarian Members, Deputy Mayors, Dalit Women Representatives, Rural Municipality Chairs, Ward Chairs and District Coordination Committee Chairs from Provence 2.  The seminar also consisted of Senior Government Officials, Ward Members, NGO Federation's representative, NGO Partners and Members of National Farmers Group Federation (NFGF). 

The on-site observation geared at enhancing the knowledge of newly elected women on three interconnected issues - gender, agriculture and climate change. The major objective of the one day travelling seminar was to share climate change issue and existing polices, and help elected law makers to learn real challenges and opportunities of farmers in the Chure and Terai region, so that the law makers, Members of Parliament and Deputy Mayors will address pertaining issue of climate change in new policy or the input they give to policy formulation is grounded. 

Participants observing seepage water technology. Photo: LI-BIRD Photo Bank

The travelling seminar included climate change, agriculture and gender issue sharing, a field visit and post field visit and wrap up meeting. Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director of LI-BIRD, welcomed everyone to the travelling seminar with an opening remark highlighting the objectives of the seminar. Dr. Bikash Paudel, Programme Development Director, presented the background information of the climate change problems, and elaborated on the impact of climate change in gender and how Climate Smart Village Approach is supporting the farmers to adopt. Mr. Nagdev Yadav, President of Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal, spoke on the field experiences on climate change and piloting CSV as a local partner. He further briefed about what participants can observe in the field. 

The participants observed raising of seepage water technology, solar irrigation, intercropping, sprinkle irrigation, runoff harvest pond and sprinkle irrigation CSVs. The field visit allowed local, provincial and central level Parliamentarian Members, Deputy Mayors and other participants to interact with the farmers. “We now produce three crops after raising the seepage, and sell surplus vegetables. We don't purchase vegetables from outside now”, said Mr. Durga Bahadur Bhujel, Member of School Irrigation Channel Conservation Users Committee. Similar experience was shared by Ms. Bhagbati Thapa, Member of Bahunmara Irrigation Channel Conservation and Users Committee: ”Raising seepage water in Kali Khola [river] is our traditional way of using water in the farm. The improved irrigation channel has saved our time and we don't have to maintain temporary channel anymore. Because we have water in our farm, this makes our agriculture climate smart." 

Ms. Sharada Thapa, Member of Province Assembly, providing her observations. Photo: LI-BIRD Photo Bank

The runoff harvest pond is not only conservation pond or reservoir, it is utilized and distributed benefiting upstream and downstream communities. Solar irrigation is used to uplift the water from reservoir which is distributed to 56 households residing upstream of the pond. “Conservation of water originating from Chure region is crucial for the water security in Terai”, said Ms. Indu Kumari Sharma, Member of House of Representatives. Similarly, Ms. Sharada Thapa, Member of Province Assembly, said “It was good to understand and see resource leverage and utilization for conservation of Chure region. This visit has enhanced my knowledge and I will put forward the agenda of conserving Chure and protecting Terai campaign (Chure jogau ra madhes bachau abhiyan)." 

In the reflection session, Ms. Mina Kumari Yadav, Deputy Mayor of Charnath Municipality, said “This is a great opportunity for us to learn grass root activities relating to climate change.” Mr. Yam Malla,  an Expert in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, also emphasized the relevancy of the travelling seminar with Chure conservation and climate change adaptation technology: “What we saw today is a practical example of conservation, where there is an social, economic, technological and good governance interlinkage. I feel that this travelling seminar is successful knowledge platform." 

Participants welcome by the communities during the travelling seminar. Photo: LI-BIRD Photo Bank

Gender, Agriculture and Climate Change (GACC) project is supported by CGIAR research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and implemented by LI-BIRD and local partner Community Development & Advocacy Forum Nepal.