On the occasion of World Environment Day, the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development have announced the launch of a new development cooperation project titled "Green Resilient Agricultural Productive Ecosystems in Nepal".

The project is funded under the Team Europe approach showcasing EU and member state cooperation in Nepal. It contributes to the Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development approach, which both the Government of Nepal and the International Development Partners Group have adopted to pursue economic development with a long-term sustainability lens.

According to a joint press release issued by financing partners today, the overall objective of the GRAPE Project is to foster climate resilient, green economic growth of Sudurpashchim and Karnali provinces. Under this objective, the project will support Nepal's capacity to adapt agricultural practices to climate change and thus strengthen income generation of marginalised households.

Socially disadvantaged groups and women in particular will benefit from strengthened participation in value chains, which are integrated in sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural ecosystems.

To achieve these objectives, GRAPE supports the identification and piloting of innovative approaches (action research) for climate resilient and water-efficient agricultural products and capacitates the target beneficiaries to integrate the same into their practices. Participatory approaches will be applied to enhance the governance capacities of municipal and provincial level for steering and promoting the development of selected climate-smart value chains. Furthermore, the project supports the actors producing agricultural knowledge and innovation in knowledge exchange with practitioners and policy makers, also on national level and with actors beyond the project's geographical scope. By this, the project intends to contribute to scaling up best practices.

The project is an integral part of EU and its member states' efforts of implementing the EU Green Deal, including the Farmto-Fork strategy, in Nepal. The project will contribute directly to Nepal's Nationally Determined Contributions, specifically to "scientific research and adaptation approaches to assess and address impacts of climate change". The project will focus on 20 municipalities of Karnali and Sudurpashchim provinces.

It will be implemented between May 2021 and December 2024. This Multi Donor Action of 12.35 million is jointly co-financed by the the European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, who aims at cooperating closely with International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development as well as the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

While the project ensures regular communication with various ministries relevant to the project, the lead ministry is the Ministry of Land Management Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation

A version of this article appears in the print on June 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.