44214-024: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions | Asian Development Bank

Nepal: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions

Sovereign (Public) Project | 44214-024 Status: Active

The Asian Development Bank is working with Nepal to ensure a reliable water supply for use in the home and for agriculture for about 45,000 households. The project is improving water management and storage practices in about 100 communities, and working to protect the areas around water sources to increase the volume of clean water. This includes building water collection ponds and drinking water tanks to store water during dry months, and educating communities on water conservation practices.

Project Details

Project Officer
Rana, Arun S. South Asia Department Request for information
  • Nepal
  • Grant
Project Name Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions
Project Number 44214-024
Country Nepal
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0357-NEP: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions
Strategic Climate Fund US$ 23.54 million
Grant 0358-NEP: Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions
Nordic Development Fund US$ 4.63 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture and Natural Resources / Water-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming

The Project will support the implementation of the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) which has recently been developed by the Government of Nepal in partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank and was endorsed by the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience sub-committee of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) on 28 June 2011. Within the overall framework of the SPCR, the Project will enable communities in mountainous ecosystems that are significantly vulnerable to climate change impacts to have improved access to and reliability of watershed and water resources.

The Project aims to provide access to more reliable water resources for domestic purposes and irrigation for communities living in the watersheds of Nepal's river systems, which are significantly vulnerable to climate change. The watersheds selected lie in six districts in the Far-Western Development Region: Achham, Baitadi, Bajhang, Bajura, Dadeldhura, and Doti. Access to and reliability of water resources will be improved through a participatory program of integrated watershed management with interventions in upland areas to increase surface water storage and groundwater recharge.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Nepal is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. To achieve the country's overriding goal of reducing poverty, Nepal will need to manage its substantial climate risks and chart a climate resilient growth path. Moreover, as a mountainous country belonging to the Himalaya region, also known as the 'third pole' or the 'water tower of Asia', Nepal faces unique challenges. Temperatures are rising fastest at the highest altitudes, affecting glaciers, snow and ice, and threatening the generally poor and isolated communities that depend upon them. Retreating glaciers and changes in seasonal snow fall and melt will lead to greater uncertainty about water discharge patterns and, in the long run, diminished water availability. This results either in floods that destroy agricultural crops, displace people, kill livestock, and cause sediment deposits on agricultural lands, or in droughts that also destroy crops and affect livestock, and result in insufficient water for drinking and sanitation. In both cases, women's vulnerability increases more than men's as their traditional roles of fetching water, firewood and fodder, and working on agricultural lands will be severely affected with floods and droughts. Furthermore, the coping and adaptive capacities of communities to climate change depends on their knowledge and awareness of climate change risks and appropriate mechanisms to address these risks, and their access to and control over resources, which, oftentimes, the disadvantaged groups do not have.

In recent years the Government has given a much stronger emphasis to issues related to the environment and now to climate resilience as well. The Government prepared the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA, 2010) through a broad-based consultative process. The NAPA includes 43 adaptation options that have been clustered into 9 priority profiles, several of which call for interventions in watershed management, soil and water conservation, scaling up multiple-use water systems, enhanced water storage, and ecosystem management.

Nepal has some experience in integrated water, forest and agriculture management. The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management (DSCWM) under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MOFSC) is the lead government institution for watershed management, and its field offices implement small projects to protect and improve water resources and their catchment areas. Water management in Nepal has traditionally been according to administrative rather than geographical boundaries, and Nepal is preparing an Integrated Water Resources Management Policy. DSCWM recognizes that an understanding of the link between the hydrologic cycle and land management at the watershed scale is necessary for effective water resources management, and is keen to boost its capacity in this regard. The 3-year interim development plan (2011-2013) calls for a watershed-based approach.

Impact Climate resilience in Nepal mountain communities improved
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Communities in selected climate-vulnerable mountain watersheds have access to more

reliable water resources

Progress Toward Outcome Subproject civil works and catchment restoration works ongoing for Batch 2 and 3.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Participating communities have improved catchment management and new or improved water storage


2. Communities and government manage water and land in an integrated and inclusive manner within watersheds

3. Knowledge-based approaches for integrated water and land management and improved water reliability and accessibility in the wake of climate change adopted by government

4. Project management support provided

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)


39.2% of SP CDG executive committee & 45% of MA CDG

executive committee members are female. (68 Batches 1 3 subprojects)

At least one woman is in a leadership role in each SP CDG and MA CDG committee. Most women serve as treasurer or secretary.

Three SP CDGs have women as chair.

Not started yet.

Trained 8 CDGs to date

so it is too early to assess. To date, 43% of participants are women and none are Dalit/DAG.

The list of knowledge products is being prepared & will be finalized by August 2017. Planned to start from September 2017 until the end of project


Method has been agreed and is being used in the hydrology impact study. Study results

are not yet due, and it is too early to assess application of results to government programs.


Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The project has an environmental assessment review framework that specifies environmental criteria for subproject selection. Subprojects of the types planned have minor or insignificant environmental impacts. It is expected to most of the inventions will be classified as Category C under ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement, with the exception of some of the newly constructed earthen ponds, which would be categorized B. A rapid environment assessment will be conducted for each subproject to determine the classification. Initial environmental exams will be prepared for Category B subprojects, and due diligence reports will be prepared for Category C subprojects. One district soil conservation office staff member will be trained as an environment officer for monitoring, supported by a consultant. The project management unit will prepare annual environmental monitoring reports.
Involuntary Resettlement The project will undertake small community-driven schemes with no resettlement or involuntary land acquisition. Communities must submit applications for project benefits and indicate in such applications that they voluntarily donate any necessary small parcels of land. By doing so, they become primary beneficiaries of enhanced water availability and watershed management. The selection criteria further require that communities demonstrate their willingness to carry out catchment protection measures. A voluntary land donation framework has been prepared and requires that due diligence is conducted on each scheme to ensure the selection criteria has been met.
Indigenous Peoples The communities where the potential schemes are located are almost exclusively Chhetri and/or Brahman and Dalit, and have insignificant Janajati (indigenous people) presence. The Janajatis do not constitute a community and are generally not a part of the agrarian system in the project area. An indigenous peoples impact-screening checklist has been prepared that will be used for each proposed subproject to screen out any subproject that will have negative impact on indigenous peoples' communities. A few members of an endangered, nomadic, indigenous peoples group, the Raute, occasionally visit the project area in Achham and Doti districts. To minimize their vulnerability and to conserve the natural resource niche that their marginal livelihood depends on, the project has included, as part of the subproject selection criteria, avoidance of project water storage interventions in land where the Raute are known to camp, even though untapped water sources may exist.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The first multi-stakeholder workshop to frame TA design was organized during joint programming mission of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) in September 2009. In March 2010, a small-scale TA was approved to conduct further consultations and analytical work in order for the Government to prepare its Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) using PPCR financing. Consultations at the national (primarily through the NAPA thematic working groups), district (6 sample districts, involving 150 people), and local level (12 places, involving 450 people, 40% of which were women) were held during the 6-month implementation period of the small-scale TA. A second joint programming mission involving Government, NGOs, local governments, and civil society was fielded in November 2010 to review the findings of the SPCR preparatory team and agree on priority SPCR projects. The final joint programming mission was fielded in February 2011 an a full multi-stakeholder workshop was dedicated to the design of the TA, with breakout groups designing activities for each TA component. Finally, a consultation workshop was convened in August 2011 to review the draft TA paper and provide suggestions for improvement.
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services All consultants and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) will be recruited according to ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. One main package of consulting services will be engaged for project implementation support and supervision. An estimated 709 person-months of national consulting services are required to (i) facilitate project management and implementation, and (ii) strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of the executing agency. The consulting firm will be engaged using the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method. Considering the remote location of the assignment, its unique management challenges, the variety of types of infrastructure in one project, and the need to implement the project in a shortened time period with high quality works, a quality:cost ratio of 90:10 will be used. Taking into account the services required and consultants to be recruited, the fact that DSCWM lacks the experience in procuring large consulting services packages, and the necessity to reduce project implementation start-up delays, the Government has requested that ADB, on behalf of the Government, undertake the shortlisting, evaluation, and ranking of the lead firms or organizations and their proposals. Contract negotiations, approval and signing of contracts will remain the Government's responsibility, with ADB assistance as may be required.

All procurement of goods and works will be undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines.

DSCWM has little to no experience in procuring contractors for civil works. Their usual practice is to engage communities to manage the construction of small civil works, with DSCO staff supervising and technically assisting them. They do not have experience in designing or constructing irrigation ponds or drinking water tanks and associated transmission systems. For these reasons, procurement of civil works will be through contractors and managed by the PMU, with the assistance of consultants. Procurement of goods through shopping may be done by the PMU and DSCOs, with assistance of the PMU's procurement specialist. The Project Director of the PMU will be responsible for the procurement of all goods, related services, and civil works under the Project.

Goods, related services, and civil works will be procured in accordance with ADB's Guidelines for Procurement. Since all contracts for civil works, equipment and services are expected to cost less than $1,000,000, contracts with a value greater than $100,000 will be awarded using national competitive bidding (NCB) procedures acceptable to ADB. Shopping will be allowed for contracts valued between $100,000 equivalent or less. DSCWM will certify to ADB that the goods and services financed by the grant are procured from ADB member countries. For small works where materials costs are less than $2,400 and where in-kind contributions in labor is freely provided by the community, ADB may agree to force account procedures provided that DSCWM has the capacity to assure proper use of funds. ADB must approve in advance the awarding of all contracts and substantial contract variations.

Because contracts will be awarded using national competitive bidding, before the start of any procurement ADB and the Government will review the public procurement laws of the Government to ensure consistency with ADB's Procurement Guidelines.

Responsible ADB Officer Rana, Arun S.
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Nepal Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Dept. of Soil Conservation & Watershed Mgmt.
Ministry of Forest & Soil Conservation
P.O. Box 4719, Babar Mahal
Kathmandu, Nepal
Concept Clearance 10 Oct 2011
Fact Finding 20 May 2013 to 24 May 2013
MRM 09 Jul 2013
Approval 23 Sep 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 22 Sep 2017

Grant 0357-NEP

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2013 20 Jan 2014 07 Feb 2014 31 Jul 2020 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 25.48 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 23 Sep 2013 0.00 13.13 56%
Counterpart 1.94 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 23.54 23 Sep 2013 0.00 11.42 48%

Grant 0358-NEP

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
23 Sep 2013 13 Feb 2014 13 Feb 2014 30 Jun 2019 - -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 4.63 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 23 Sep 2013 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 0.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 4.63 23 Sep 2013 0.00 0.00 0%

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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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