Rural Energy, Environment and Climate Sensitive Planning Initiative

Introduction

In order to promote environmental management and decentralized energy system at VDC and community level, Rural Environment Energy Development Unit (REEDU) has been established under NAVIN with assistance from REDP/UNDP in 2004, since then, continued support to NAVIN contributed greater level of institutional development, service delivery to member VDCs and accelerate advanced level of lobby & advocacy on RETs. The objectives of REEDU is to share information, knowledge and experiences about development activities among VDCs focusing on rural energy, discuss various facts and problems of the projects and find means to solve the problems, enhance and sensitize the VDCs to develop the energy resources, do works on rural energy development in coordination with concerned organizations, raise the concern and provide policy feedback to the government for the development of the decentralized and self-governing rural energy system at the village and community level. Under this support, a joint agreement was concluded for the year of 2010. Key planned activities for this year were as below:

Key Planned Activities for 2010

A. Advocacy/Lobbying
• Institutional Development
• Strengthening decentralized rural energy system and mainstreaming rural energy issues in VDC planning process
• Participation in various forums for policy advocacy
• Participate in meetings, seminar, workshops( PEB meeting, AEPC-SOD workhsop etc.)
B. Capacity development of Member VDCs
• Research studyd stakeholdersill be shifted to a well-planned climate-proof project. basis of climate-change risks.
• Orientation and training in three districts (REDP)
• Publication of newsmagazine
C. Capacity Development of NAVIN
• Preparation and dissemination of information booklet on role of local government in promotion of rural energy, environment and development
• Training, Information management, sharing and documentation
2. Key outcomes and achievements

• REEDU is being strengthened and has been operating efficiently under NAVIN.
• Functional network of stakeholders at different level for the promotion of decentralized energy system in Nepal is established.
• Decentralized energy planning and environmental management institutionalized at the VDC level.
• Information regarding the promotion of RETs and environment management was widely disseminated to members VDCs and local stakeholders
• Relation between DEES and VDCs established
• Some 128 number of VDC secretary, assistant staffs and other stakeholders directly participated in orientation training program. Thi has positively contributed to prioritize and allocate budget for the promotion of RETs and enhancement of environmental management.
• The Solar program was reported to be vain in many VDCs people are not able to get solar on their demand. The companies are not able to satisfy the people needs.
• Participants get an opportunity to learn the relevant local issues such as Landslide and rural road and bioengineering as one of the tools for mitigating shallow seated instability of slope.
• Commitment to internalize environmental issues and RET sector in VDC plan increased.

3 Major activities Carried out
3.1 Publication of “Gaaunko Awaaj”

NAVIN published three issues of its tri-monthly newsmagazine Gaaunko Awaaj, which included several issues of rural energy and environment and were disseminated to all 3915 VDCs.

3.2 Publication of Information Booklet
REEDU-NAVIN developed an information booklet. The booklet is being published in Nepali language, and contains information on current environmental issues, rural energy technologies, current rural energy policy and renewable energy subsidy policy 2065. The book was distributed to all 75 District Development Committees (DDCs), District Energy and Environment units/sections in the district.
3.3 Orientation and Training to VDC-secretaries and local stakeholders
To institutionalize decentralization in rural energy system, REEDU-NAVIN has provided orientation and training to VDC secretaries and local stakeholders related to rural energy and environmental issues and their role. At present, VDC has good amount of resources from central grant and of own, which can also be utilized and prioritized in the promotion of rural energy technologies and environment friendly development. The main objective of the orientation was to develop capacity of VDC officials to cater their demand by themselves, and to make them aware about rural energy and environmental issues. For this purpose, NAVIN conducted orientation and training focusing participation from VDC secretaries in Sankhuwasava, Achhaam, Myagdi and Dolakha districts in the year 2010. Summary of the details of the consultation is as below:

District Date/Venue Participant number Approaches/learning
Sankhuwasava January 18-20, 2010, DDC Hall 20 • interactive and participatory
• Close coordination with DDC and DEES
• Learning: This program needs political representative
Achhaam April 5 & 6, 2010
DDC Hall 42
Myagdi October 3 & 4, Hotel Dolphin, Myagdi 36
Dolakha December 19&20 DDC Dolakha 30

Following sessions were included in the training module:
Day-1
1. Environmental concern and general overview, relevant policies and acts
2. Key environmental issues, Climate change, Environment Impact Assessment, Role of VDC
3. Rural Energy Technologies available in Nepal,
Day-2
1. Rural Energy policy, Renewable energy subsidy provision 2066
2. Landslide and bioengineering as mitigation measure, different bioengineering techniques
3. Decentralized energy planning approach at VDC level
The list of resource persons in the different districts is annexed.

3.4 Study Conducted
REEDU/NAVIN has carried out a study in sample districts to understand the VDCs contribution in rural energy sector. The aim of study was to find the perception of VDC secretaries in the rural energy sector, to find out the VDC contribution in RE sector. Following activities were conducted to accomplish the planned activities. for the study:
ii) Review and documentation
ii) Community consultation and field observation
iii) Draft preparation

Micro hydro Observation
Community/MH visited Date Key Observation
Kaule Khola MH Dudhilavati, October 2, 2010 – 9 K.W capacity Microhydro benefiting to some 110 HHs
– Cost of MH 17 lakhs ( Community- 3 lakhs, VDC 2,50,000, AEPC:Remaining)
Gaudi Khola I MH demonstration project “ – 24 K.W capacity of MH benefiting to some 240 HHs
– Cost: NRs. 3945000 ( Community:577,000; VDC: 3,50,000 +3,50,000 (in two consecutive years), AEPC;16,80,000 Additional 2,40,000 as grant from AEPC for end-use diversification

Other RETs observation:
Different RETs were observed in different period of time: The RETs observed were particularly: Biogas, Solar technologies, Improved water mill etc. The observation of these RETs was to explore the response of the users of such technologies.
3.5 Seminars/Meetings/Workshops
Executive Committee members and professionals in REEDU/NAVIN regularly participate in seminars, meetings; workshops organized by partner organization representing NAVIN on policy advocacy, feedback on rural energy and decentralized planning. Similarly, NAVIN has been involved in facilitating NAPA process, and strongly advocating promotion of decentralized rural energy promotion approach wherever possible. In the same way REEDU/NAVIN has been Lobbying and advocating for sustainable rural energy development and the environment conservation for sustainable development.

3.6 Involvement in Consortium
NAVIN is recently involving in consortium of different study groups. REEDU/NAVIN is a representing as member of consortium of project entitled community based vulnerability assessment, risk mapping and adaptation planning. Similarly, professional NAVIN is also actively participating in the HD platform 10 and partnered particularly advocating the role of rural energy in achieving the target 7;” Ensuring environmental sustainability”.

3.7 Institutional Development
Training on “Basic Training on Geographic Information System(GIS)” was provided to REEDU staff. The training was provided by Nepal GIS Society from 20 June to 25 June. The training provided knowledge on: Getting to know Arc GIS 9X, Geo referencing, GPS Data Input, Geo-database Introduction to analysis and output design in ArcGIS Environment.
A training on Budget analysis and advocacy was also provided to REEDU staff in order to increase capacity of the unit to advocate regarding the RE sensitive budget at center and local level.

3.8 Regional Interaction
NAVIN organized regional Interaction program on “Relevant issues of local governance” in Dadeldhura on 12th of June 2010. Chair of NAVIN-district chapters, representatives of ADDCN, MuAN, Chair of VDC secretary of nine far western districts participated in the program. In the interaction program participants were made updated about the key activities undergoing through the NAVIN. In that program importance of environment and rural energy technologies being incorporated in the local level planning were also interacted. In the program role of REDP in promoting RETs at local level was also highlighted.

4. Way Forward / Future Perspective
People, development actors, donors and researchers are now a day very much concerned over environmental change due to the developmental process. Increased environmental deteriorations due to the consumption for energy use and development are being taken with high priority. In order to promote environmental management, government of Nepal is also taking the programs specifically focusing on clean technologies. Rural Energy technologies are in one hand promoting environmental sustainability and in the other hand it is making the rural life easy. However, only the promotion of RETs is not sufficient for the sustainable environment management. It is very important to institutionalize environmental management practice in the local level knowledge and planning process. It is very important that environmental initiatives are taken from the local level within their periodic plans and developmental plans not as a project basis. To enhance such internalization it is very important to link the RETs with the livelihood opportunities. If the RETs are connected with the people’s livelihood then they will be easily institutionalized at the local level.
In the future, REDP has lots of opportunity to work not only for the enhancement of the living style of the people but also for increasing the livelihood opportunities of the rural poor. For this perspective REDP are recommended the following:

• The policies such as One Micro hydro-One VDC/One RET-One VDC has to be promoted.
• Upgrading of the MHs capacity in order to satisfy the demand of energy of increased population and promote the livelihood opportunities through proper end-use diversification.
• The community needs to be engaged in software part (orientation, training) beside the installation of MHs or any other RETs.
• Work and support NAVIN in order to institutionalize the decentralized energy planning and management at the local level
• Enhance professionalism and diversification of its activities to focus in livelihood options for rural communities.

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