UNDP-ALM Case Study 2011 - Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys

Summary:

Unprecedented glacier melting in the Bhutan Himalayas is posing imminent risks in the form of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF). GLOF events can release millions of cubic meters of water and debris into narrow mountain valleys and thereby cause catastrophic loss of lives, livelihoods and critical infrastructure. The risks are mounting as water levels in several glacier lakes approach critical geostatic thresholds. In direct response this project is working to reduce climate change-induced GLOF risk in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys in Bhutan. The project is undertaking a controlled, artificial drainage effort at Lake Thorthomi, one of Bhutan’s most dangerous glacier lakes. An early warning system is being established in the downstream Punakha-Wangdue valley. 21 hazard-prone communities are being trained in GLOF preparedness. The project is also integrating climate change-related risk management into Disaster Management legislation. The project has lowered Lake Thorthomi by more than 3.63 meters, averting a predicted GLOF event. 17 siren towers along the Punakha-Wangdue valley are providing GLOF early warning signals to 21 vulnerable communities. 67% of households in the target area of the project are aware of GLOF hazard zonation and evacuation routes. Findings from Bhutan are informing GLOF projects throughout the region. Key lessons learned from the project include recognizing the importance of involving stakeholders from different government departments to create appropriate adaptation measures and ensuring that there is on-going cooperation and consistent support between the stakeholders and the government.

Adaptation Experience:

The main goal of the Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys project is to enhance adaptive capacity in order to prevent climate change-induced GLOF disasters in Bhutan. With the main objective being to reduce GLOF risks in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys. In doing so, the project aims to support the Royal Government of Bhutan to integrate long-term climate change-induced risk reduction planning and management into the existing disaster management framework and practices.

Results and Learning:

At the policy level, the project has enabled the formulation of a Disaster Management Bill (DM Bill) for Bhutan and the completion of GLOF hazard zoning, identifying high-risk zone and evacuation sites, of the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar valleys. The DM Bill drafted in 2008 was reviewed and revised in 2011 by international experts and stakeholders and is expected to be deliberated at the next Parliamentary session, scheduled to take place in January 2012, for ratification during the summer session 2012. A government circular for GLOF-resilient land use planning, based on the GLOF hazard zoning, has been disseminated to the local authorities of Punakha, Wangdi and Bumthang. This represents a significant policy-level outcome of the project, as it restricts new construction in the high-risk zone.In terms of capacity development, the project has established District Disaster Management Committees, District Disaster Management Awareness and Planning Teams, and Gewog (sub-district) Disaster Management Committees in all three districts covered by the project area. The project has trained these committees in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management and GLOF risk management, and the bottom-up disaster management planning process at district, sub-district and village level has started.Refer to full UNDP-ALM Case Study - Bhutan, 2011 for more information. 

Sustainability:

The sustainability of the project interventions can be considered high. The project has relied on existing institutional arrangements and human resources for project implementation. In-country technical capacity developed through earlier GLOF field activities has been used profusely and further reinforced through experiential learning as a result of direct engagement of a Bhutanese team in the technical studies, planning, supervision and implementation of activities. The integration of capacity development component to complement the hard components, namely the artificial lowering of Thorthormi Lake and establishment of GLOF-EWS, also suggests that at the end of the project there will be improved capacity in terms of legislation, policy, guidelines, trained personnel, and better public awareness to continue with various interventions after the conclusion of the project.

Refer to full UNDP-ALM Case Study - Bhutan, 2011 for more information.

Replication:

The project has considerable demonstration value and replicability. This is especially true as the project is the first of its kind in the world and because similar GLOF risks are present in other parts of the country as well as in many other countries with comparable geophysical conditions. Notably, experiences from Bhutan’s project have fed into the design of GLOF projects in Pakistan (Adaptation Fund) and Nepal (Global Environment Facility – Least Developed Countries Fund).With the exception of financing, the project has been almost entirely implemented through the use of national technical and human resources, and within the existing institutional set-up of development governance. The experiential knowledge and skills accrued from the project have built the confidence and capacity of the Bhutanese to plan and implement similar projects in other areas that face similar GLOF challenges. These areas include Mangde Chhu sub-basin; Mo Chhu sub-basin; Chamkhar Chhu sub-basin; and Kuri Chhu sub-basin.The project is also replicable in a number of other countries especially in the Himalayan region given the existence of a high number of potentially dangerous glacial lakes in these countries with geophysical conditions similar to Bhutan. In addition to the 24 potentially dangerous lakes in Bhutan, the Report ‘Formation of Glacial Lakes in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and GLOF Risk Assessment’ produced by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in May 2010 has compiled a list of 179 potentially dangerous glacial lakes in various parts of China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.  

Image(s):
Funding Source:
GEF-LDCF

Effective Governance for Small Scale Rural Infrastructure and Disaster Preparedness in a Changing Climate

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    UNDP, Water Resources and Environment Agency (WREA), Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA)
    Summary:

    Local administrative systems affecting the provision and maintenance of small scale rural infrastructure (including water and disaster preparedness) will be improved through participatory decision making that reflects the genuine needs of communities and natural systems vulnerable to climate risk.

    Project Components:
    1. Inclusive planning, budgeting and capacity development for reducing climate and disaster related risks
    2. Local investment for reducing climate risks
    3. Securing ecosystem services and assets
    Expected Outputs:

    Project Component 1: Inclusive planning, budgeting and capacity development for reducing climate and disaster related risks

    1. Technical capacity enhanced for at least 250 province, district and village officials, university staff, Not for Profit Associations, local watsan and disaster management committees to understand and integrate climate risk information, including on climate induced disasters, into local planning, investment and execution.
    2. Climate vulnerability and disaster risk assessments carried out in two or three provinces as an input to national, province and district planning regulations and guidelines.
    3. Regular dialogues established between district officials, village representatives and local communities on the impacts of climate change and natural disasters on critical rural infrastructure and ecosystems in vulnerable areas, in at least 6 districts.
    4. District level annual investment plans which integrate climate resilience, ecosystem based adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures developed and under implementation, in at least 6 districts.

    Project Component 2: Local investment for reducing climate risks

    1. Climate-resilient water harvesting, storage and distribution systems designed, built and rehabilitated in at least 120 villages (80,000 people), based on projected changes in rainfall patterns and intensity.
    2. Village shelters and assembly points, evacuation channels, improved drainage, and other measures to promote resilience to local climate induced disasters built and rehabilitated in at least 120 villages (80,000 people), based on projected changes in rainfall patterns and intensity.
    3. At least 250 local officials, Watsan Committee members, local disaster management committee members, engineers and local contractors have been trained in managing climate risks to small scale rural infrastructure, as well as technical design elements of climate resilient structures.
    4. Codes and best practices for climate proofing small scale rural infrastructure including ecosystem based approaches are developed, integrated into existing guidelines and disseminated, including gender differentiated concerns.

    Project Component 3: Securing ecosystem services and assets

    1. 1. Physical measures to build resilience to climate induced risks implemented in at least 6 districts by increasing natural retention and storage of surface water- natural wetland management, reforestation and slope stabilization.
    2. Physical measures to build resilience to climate induced risks implemented in at least 6 districts by increasing groundwater infiltration and aquifer recharge – gully plugging, terracing, check dams, vegetation cover increase.
    3. Knowledge and learning materials on climate change, rural infrastructure and ecosystem management developed and disseminated through existing networks and platforms.
    Contacts:

    UNDP Project Contact Person

    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    GEF-LDCF
    Financing Amount:
    4,820,000
    Cofinancing Total:
    25,927,478
    Total Amounts:
    30,747,478

ALM Project Profile 2008 - Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities in Bhutan

Summary:

This project will take the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) process a step further by translating its priorities into reality and developing the capacity of the Royal Government of Bhutan and local communities to adapt to risks posed by climate change. The objective of the project is to reduce climate change-induced Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding (GLOF) risks in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys in Bhutan. Through the project, the Government of Bhutan will integrate long-term climate change-induced risks into the existing disaster risk management framework. The project will integrate climate risk projections into existing disaster risk management practices and implement capacity development measures. The project will demonstrate practical measures to reduce climate change-induced GLOF risks from Thorthormi glacier lake, and facilitate replication of lessons learned in other high-risk GLOF areas, both within and outside Bhutan.

Adaptation Experience:

The most significant climate change impact in Bhutan is the formation of supra-glacial lakes due to the accelerated retreat of glaciers with increasing temperatures. The risk of potential costly economic damages on key development sectors such as agriculture, hydropower, and forestry by Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) is mounting. Climate change is attributed as the primary reason that water levels in glacial lakes approach dangerous thresholds. This poses a new dimension to the existing range of threats to lives, livelihoods, and development.

Results and Learning:

Project Objective: To reduce climate change-induced risks of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys. Key lessons learned: 1. Involve stakeholders from different government departments to create appropriate adaptation measures: Adaptation measures require involvement of stakeholders from different government departments as climate change adaptation cuts across different sectors of development. 

Sustainability:

Although DGM has adequate engineering geology skills and carried out a number of geotechnical assesments and mapping, the approach of fielding a multi-disciplinary team proved to be very important for achiving the objectives of the engineering and safety plan at the Thorthormi lake and for the implementation of GLOF risk mitigation work. The 31 trained DM team members will be further training the teams in each block at the local government level to ensure that local DM plans are formulated to incorporate climate change risks.

Replication:

Adaptation measures require involvement of stakeholders from different government departments (DOE was included as additional partner) as climate change adaptation cuts across different sectors of development / Cooperation among the stakeholders and consistent support from the government is crucial in successful implementation of the project / Involvement of district authorities and local communities and their acceptance of the project are crucial for successful implementation of project activities.

Funding Source:
GEF-LDCF

ALM Case Study 2010 - Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities from Glacial Lake Outburst Floods in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys

Summary:

The most significant impact of climate change in Bhutan is the formation of supra-glacial lakes due to the accelerated retreat of glaciers with increasing temperatures. The risk of potential disasters inflicted by Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods (GLOFs), pose new threats to lives, livelihoods and development. The risks are mounting as water levels in several glacier lakes approach critical geostatic thresholds. The objective of this project is to reduce climate change-induced GLOF risk in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys in Bhutan. Recognizing the need for systematizing the country’s disaster risk management system to account for climate change induced GLOF hazards, the Government of Bhutan seeks to integrate long-term climate change-induced risks into the existing disaster risk management framework. The project will integrate climate risk projections into existing disaster risk management practices and implement corresponding capacity development measures. It will demonstrate practical measures to reduce climate change-induced GLOF risks from the potentially dangerous Thorthormi glacier lake, and facilitate replication of the respective lessons learned in other high-risk GLOF areas, both within and outside Bhutan. Complementary to this risk reduction effort, the project will ensure that early warning mechanisms for the Punakha-Wangdi Valley, which is currently not equipped to handle the full extent of potential GLOF risks, is expanded to incorporate coverage of this growing threat. Lessons learned from this initiative will enable expansion of early warning systems in other disaster-prone areas downstream of potentially hazardous glacier lakes.

Adaptation Experience:

The project’s main goal is to enhance adaptive capacity to prevent climate change-induced GLOF disasters in Bhutan. In doing so, the project aims to support the Royal Government of Bhutan to integrate long-term climate change-induced risk reduction planning and management into the existing disaster management framework and practices.

Results and Learning:

Progress to date: At the policy level, the project has enabled the formulation of a Disaster Management Bill for Bhutan and the completion of GLOF hazard zoning, identifying high-risk zone and evacuation sites, of the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar valleys. A government circular for GLOF-resilient land use planning, based on the GLOF hazard zoning, has been disseminated to the local authorities of Punakha, Wangdi and Bumthang. This represents a significant policy-level outcome of the project, as it restricts new construction in the high-risk zone.In terms of capacity development, the project has established District Disaster Management Committees, District Disaster Management Awareness and Planning Teams, and Gewog (village cluster) Disaster Management Committees in all three districts covered by the project area. The project has trained these committees in community-based disaster management and GLOF risk management, and the bottom-up disaster management planning process at district, sub-district and village level has started. GLOF and Flood awareness has been promoted through the national newspapers and broadcasting services. This includes the development and dissemination of a hazard awareness map and publishing of an Emergency safety and First Aid handbook. A number of media and advocacy materials have also provided insights and knowledge on the issues and challenges associated with the artificial lowering of Thorthormi Lake and reduction of GLOF risks and vulnerabilities (e.g. WWF Publication “The Cost of Climate Change: The story of Thorthormi Lake”). These materials have immense promotional value and potential to generate global interest and resources to support similar activities in the future.Making progress toward risk reduction from one of Bhutan's most dangerous Glacier Lakes (Lake Thorthormi), the project has successfully lowered the Thorthormi Lake level by 86 centimetres and the two subsidiary lakes by 47 and 41 centimetres and thereby reduced water pressure on the thinning moraine dam during the first phase (2009). Mid-way through the second phase (2010), the water level of Thorthormi Lake was reduced by 43 centimetres and the level of the subsidiary lakes by 59 and 20 centimetres. The mitigation work has moreover generated valuable experience in artificial drainage design and monitoring, but also provided income to more than 300 people.An interim manually operated Early Warning System is operational based on focal persons equipped with mobile phones in 21 particular vulnerable communities. The installation of the automatic Early Warning System is underway. The project has demonstrated its abilities for adaptive management by mobilizing additional government partners (Department of Energy) and co-financing for the up-scaling of a GLOF Early Warning system (EWS). As a result, an automated EWS can now be established at a more comprehensive scale than earlier targeted under the project. The re-planned automatic GLOF-EWS will have sensors at four additional locations and siren towers at nine additional sites than originally planned. In addition, the functionalities of the EWS have been expanded to enable long-term monitoring of hydro-meteorological data.

Sustainability:

The sustainability of the project interventions can be considered high. The following factors are expected to contribute to the sustainability of the interventions implemented through the project: The project has relied on existing institutional arrangements and human resources for project implementation. In-country technical capacity developed through earlier GLOF field activities has been used profusely and further reinforced through experiential learning as a result of direct engagement of a Bhutanese team in the technical studies, planning, supervision and implementation of activities. The integration of capacity development component to complement the hard components, namely the artificial lowering of Thorthormi Lake and establishment of GLOF-EWS, also suggests that at the end of the project there will be improved capacity in terms of legislation, policy, guidelines, trained personnel, and better public awareness to continue with various interventions after the conclusion of the project.The training and awareness programmes on CBDRM are aimed inter alia at enabling local authorities and communities to develop dzongkhag- and gewog-level disaster management plans. The intent is to eventually mainstream the activities outlined in these management plans into the overall dzongkhag and gewog development plans and programmes. This approach is expected to enable the local authorities to internalize and continue project-supported activities as a part of regular government programme after project completion. A key deliverable aimed by the project is the Disaster Management Act. The Disaster Management Bill has been finalized and submitted to the Parliament for deliberation and ratification into an Act. The Bill is expected to be deliberated and ratified at the next Parliamentary session, scheduled to take place in winter (November/December) 2010. If and when ratified, the legislation will provide legitimacy to the DDMCs and GDMCs that the project has helped set up in Punakha, Wangdi and Bumthang, and strengthened through training and awareness programmes. Furthermore, the legislation will provide for appointment of Dzongkhag Disaster Management Officers on a full-time basis to facilitate and assist the implementation of disaster management plans and activities at the dzongkhag level. Adaptive engagement of other stakeholders during the course of project implementation, for instance the inclusion of the Dzongdas of Punakha, Wangdi and Gasadzongkhags in the PB and the mobilization of additional funds from the PHPA for the GLOF-EWS, is expected to have enhanced local ownership and commitment for the sustainability of project interventions.

Replication:

The project has considerable demonstration value and replicability. This is especially true as the project is the first of its kind in the world and because similar GLOF risks are present in other parts of the country as well as in many other countries with comparable geophysical conditions. With the exception of financing, the project has been almost entirely implemented through the use of national technical and human resources, and within the existing institutional set-up of development governance. The experiential knowledge and skills accrued from the project have built the confidence and capacity of the Bhutanese to plan and implement similar projects in other areas that face similar GLOF challenges. These areas include Mangde Chhu sub-basin; Mo Chhu sub-basin; Chamkhar Chhu sub-basin; and Kuri Chhu sub-basin. The current project covers Pho Chhu sub-basin, which has eight potentially dangerous glacial lakes, and down stream areas along Puna Tsang Chhu up to Kame Chhu. The project is also replicable in a number of other countries especially in the Himalayan region given the existence of a high number of potentially dangerous glacial lakes in these countries with geophysical conditions similar to Bhutan. In addition to the 24 potentially dangerous lakes in Bhutan, the Report ‘Formation of Glacial Lakes in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and GLOF Risk Assessment’ produced by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in May 2010 has compiled a list of 179 potentially dangerous glacial lakes in various parts of China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. A Climate Change Adaptation Fund project is under formulation to address GLOF risks in Pakistan drawing on the approach and lessons of this project.

Funding Source:
GEF-LDCF

Recovery of Fiji Islands following Severe Floods

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Fiji
    Summary:

    This project stems from severe flooding in Western, Central and Northern Divisions of Fiji Islands in January 2009. The flooding represented a 1 in 50 year event that caused extensive damage to infrastructure and the agricultural sector. The government appealed to donor partners and agencies to assist with emergency response in the affected districts. UNDP proposes to use TRAC 3 funding to provide support and contribute to the government efforts to undertake technical needs assessments following the disaster and to help formulate a transitional recovery plan.

    Expected Outputs:

    1. Overall assessment of impacts of severe flooding on the agricultural sector in Fiji, quantifying damage and losses.
    2. Socio-economic assessment of flood impacts on the population
    3. Transitional recovery plan to facilitate restoration of livelihoods.

    Contacts:

    UNDP Contact:
    Asenaca Ravuvu
    Email: asenaca.ravuvu@undp.org

    Project Status:
    Completed (Dec 2009)
    Primary Beneficiaries:
    Fiji
    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    UNDP
    Cofinancing Total:
    N/A
    Total Amounts:
    $100,000

Developing a Regional Disaster Emergency Communications Plan for the Pacific Islands

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) and NZAID
    Summary:

    BACKGROUND: Unexpected natural and man-made disasters can occur any place, any time. An immediate response to organize and coordinate recovery operations rapidly is essential to save lives and restore the community infrastructure. These critical emergency activities depend upon the readily availability and access to telecommunication resources to support urgent communications. The Pacific region consists of thousands of islands scattered over approximately 54 million square kilometres of ocean most of which are with very basic communications access or none.

    Contacts:

    NZAID Contact:
    Paul Eastwood
    Email: paul.eastwood@nzaid.govt.nz

    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    NZAid
    Cofinancing Total:
    no information available

Island Climate Update and Seasonal Cyclone Forecasting

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
    Summary:

     Island Climate Update and Seasonal Cyclone Forecasting is a project is funded by NZAID and implemented by NIWA and SOPAC. Funding from NZAid contributes to assisting Pacific Governments in adapting to climate change by integration into national planning, enhancing disaster risk management and regional cyclone forecasting, enhancing access to sustainable clean water and renewable energy supplies.

    Contacts:

    NZAID Contact:
    Paul Eastwood
    Email: paul.eastwood@nzaid.govt.nz

    Project Status:
    Under Implementation (as of March 2011)
    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    NZAid
    Cofinancing Total:
    no information available

Pacific RANET (Radio and Internet Communications)

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    US NOAA OGP, US NOAA NWS, USAID, MetService of New Zealand Ltd., NZAID, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, AusAID, and UK Met Office
    Summary:

    A multi-donor funded feasibility project for all Pacific Development Member Countries, conducted in 2004 and 2005; the planned project was to increase the accessibility of weather, climate and hydro-meteorological related information through the use of radio, including information to assist remote and resource poor populations for their day-to-day resource decisions and preparations related to natural hazards

     

    Project Status:
    Completed (2004-2005)
    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    AusAid
    NZAid
    USAid
    Cofinancing Total:
    no information available

Improving Community-based Emergency Preparedness - Vanuatu

  • Project details

  • Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:
    Care Australia, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
    Summary:

    The project mainly aims to build capacity of communities and local organisations to prevent, prepare for and respond to disaster, within Vanuatu's NAP.

    Other objectives include:

    Contacts:

    AusAID Contacts:
    Brian Dawson
    Email: brian.dawson@ausaid.gov.au

    Paul Mitchell
    Email: paul.mitchell@ausaid.gov.au

    Australian DFAT Contact:
    Timothy Wilcox
    timothy.wilcox@dfat.gov.au

    Project Status:
    Under Implementation (Start Date: January 2008)
    Primary Beneficiaries:
    Torba, Sanma, Penama and Tafea
    Project Details
    Funding Source:
    AusAid
    Cofinancing Total:
    N/A
    Total Amounts:
    $ 1,073,450.40

Reducing Climate Change-induced Risks and Vulnerabilities

Summary:

This project will take the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) process a step further by translating its priorities into reality and developing the capacity of the Royal Government of Bhutan and local communities to adapt to risks posed by climate change.

The objective of the project is to reduce climate change-induced Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding (GLOF) risks in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys in Bhutan. Through the project, the Government of Bhutan will integrate long-term climate change-induced risks into the existing disaster risk management framework.

The project will integrate climate risk projections into existing disaster risk management practices and implement capacity development measures. The project will demonstrate practical measures to reduce climate change-induced GLOF risks from Thorthormi glacier lake, and facilitate replication of lessons learned in other high-risk GLOF areas, both within and outside Bhutan.

Adaptation Experience:

The most significant climate change impact in Bhutan is the formation of supra-glacial lakes due to the accelerated retreat of glaciers with increasing temperatures. The risk of potential costly economic damages on key development sectors such as agriculture, hydropower, and forestry by Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) is mounting. Climate change is attributed as the primary reason that water levels in glacial lakes approach dangerous thresholds. This poses a new dimension to the existing range of threats to lives, livelihoods, and development.

Results and Learning:

Project Objective: To reduce climate change-induced risks of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar Valleys.

Key lessons learned:

  1. Involve stakeholders from different government departments to create appropriate adaptation measures: Adaptation measures require involvement of stakeholders from different government departments as climate change adaptation cuts across different sectors of development. For example, an adjustment made within the project shifted the Early Warning System (EWS) component of the project to the Department of Energy (DoE) instead of the Department of Geology & Mines. EWS setup was reviewed and design aligned with ongoing EWS investments by the DoE.
  2. Ensure that there is ongoing cooperation and consistent support between the stakeholders and the government: Cooperation among the stakeholders and consistent support from the government is crucial in successful implementation of the project. This has been evidenced throughout the inception and implementation phases of this project and directly affects the realisation of Outcome 1: Improved national, regional, and local capacities. The outputs include the institutionalization of climate-resilient disaster risk management (DRM) legislation, policy frameworks and guidelines (1.1) and strengthened capacities for climate risk planning at the district administrative levels (1.2). Close collaboration ensures that the scope, objectives and outcomes are actionable and appropriate. Consistent support and communication also allows for adjustments to be made as necessary (as evidenced from the shifting of EWS responsibilities from the Department of Geology to the DoE).
  3. Involve district authorities and local communities at an early stage of project design: Involvement of district authorities and local communities and their acceptance of the project are crucial for successful implementation of project activities. For example, from a cost-benefit analysis the project found it difficult to decide whether to transport project goods and materials to the project site via yak/horse or helicopter. With input it was determined that although much slower and more time-intensive, yak/horse transportation was preferred as it is cheaper overall, provides economic benefits to local communities and engenders a level of responsiveness in the local community to the project. Additionally, several rounds of awareness and advocacy programs have been conducted in vulnerable communities and institutional arrangements for GLOF preparedness and response were improved through targeted advocacy and awareness actions. A community-based disaster risk reduction curriculum was formulated and tested through a Training of Trainers program in May 2009. District Disaster Management Committee members have been trained in disaster management planning processes and expected to train sub-district DM committees and prepare district DM plans. The design of a GLOF Early Warning System has been upgraded to include communities further downstream, mobilizing additional co-financing resources.
  4. Plan field work well in advance: Given the remoteness of the project area and the limited time window of opportunity for excavation works (4 months per annum), it became clear that field work needs to be planned well in advance. An adequate minimum of working months during the season needs to be maintained each year in order to keep the workforce interested and motivated (otherwise, the financial incentives will be insufficient). Delays in the commencement of excavation works has resulted in the reduction of overall working days at the project site, which has diminished the interest of some workers joining the team. As a result, some workers have dropped out from the work force
  5. Cast a wide net to find the desired expertise (and compensate the labour appropriately): For the project it was necessary to draw labour from a wide range, since the required work force strength was not available from immediate project area. A targeted announcement for workforce recruitment was made in the local media. Financial incentives were made more attractive, and additional insurance was provided. As a result, over 400 people came for recruitment along with mandatory medical certificates.
Sustainability:

Although DGM has adequate engineering geology skills and carried out a number of geotechnical assesments and mapping, the approach of fielding a multi-disciplinary team proved to be very important for achiving the objectives of the engineering and safety plan at the Thorthormi lake and for the implementation of GLOF risk mitigation work. The 31 trained DM team members will be further training the teams in each block at the local government level to ensure that local DM plans are formulated to incorporate climate change risks.

Replication:

Adaptation measures require involvement of stakeholders from different government departments (DOE was included as additional partner) as climate change adaptation cuts across different sectors of development / Cooperation among the stakeholders and consistent support from the government is crucial in successful implementation of the project / Involvement of district authorities and local communities and their acceptance of the project are crucial for successful implementation of project activities.