Nepal holds national consultation – Early Warnings for All and WITH All

22 September 2023

The national roll-out of the Early Warnings for All - and WITH All - initiative in Nepal has been kicked off at a two-day multi-stakeholder workshop on 21 and 22 September 2023 in Kathmandu.

It is one of a growing number of national consultations taking place in the 30 initial focus countries to accelerate progress towards the goal of ensuring that everyone on Earth is protected by life-saving Early Warning Systems by the end of 2027. It coincided with high-level events at the UN General Assembly in New York to mobilize funding and political commitment for Early Warnings For All (EW4All).

The Government of Nepal is at the final stage of finalizing its Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) framework, with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) leading a dedicated task team which acts as the coordination mechanism for EW4All in Nepal.

The government has a crucial role in driving action on early warning services for their citizens, adopting a "whole-of-society" approach that involves all stakeholders, including civil society, academia and the private sector as well as support from regional organisations and international development partners.

A man is giving a presentation at a conference.
Nepal holds national consultation

Mountainous Nepal is vulnerable to multiple hazards including floods, drought, heat and cold waves, landslides avalanches and other geophysical hazards.

It has mobilized incredible engagement and commitment from stakeholders at national and local levels to meet the challenges but faces human resource and capacity constraints.

Early warnings of major hazards (including floods and drought) are issued regularly. However, there is a need to improve coordination and linkages between different pillars of the early warning chain. There are also shortcomings including in the operationalization of the Common Alerting Protocol, nowcasting of rainfall and flooding in urban areas.

Observations in remote/high-mountain areas pose a particular challenge and there is a need for more research on severe weather dynamics in mountain areas.

The national consultation was led by the NDRRMA, and co-organized together with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as global Pillar leads of the EW4All initiative, as well as with other UN agencies in Nepal and the Association of International non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Nepal (AIN).

It aims to achieve the following:

  • Review the current state of early warning systems in Nepal and assess the progress in implementing the four pillars of EW4All.
  • Explore linkages and alignment among ongoing and upcoming initiatives, and consolidate key stakeholder commitments to strengthen early warning systems.
  • Affirm the national coordination mechanism to guide multi-stakeholder efforts in scaling up end-to-end early warning systems across the four pillars and linking them to national and local engagement.
  • Agree on a process for identifying priority areas for action in the national early warning system(s), with respect to the minimum core capabilities. Identify key challenges and barriers to risk-informing, issuing, communicating, and acting on early warnings effectively, and recommend targeted actions to overcome these, in line with national developmental priorities.
  • Provide initial inputs towards a multi-year, multi-stakeholder EW4All National Roadmap (2023-2027), around which all actors can marshal coordinated resources, technical assistance, and long-term support.

Discussions focused on how to improve understanding of the EW4All initiative among relevant government and non-government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector, and forge broader consensus and awareness on the national coordination mechanism.

The consultation also sought to reach agreement on a process for identifying national and sub-national policy, technical, financial and other gaps across the four pillars of the EW4All Action Plan, and a roadmap to achieve this.

The series of national consultations kicked off in July with a meeting in Maldives in the Indian Ocean. This was followed by consultations in Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Lao PDR. The next in the series will be in Cambodia on 4 October (and Bangladesh, tentatively on 17 October).

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