About SP Program

Strategic Partnership Program
The Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) funded by The Free Press Unlimited of the Netherlands and implemented by Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) is a project designed to build capacity of working environmental journalists and to hold series of debates and discussion programs with an aim to bridge the existing knowledge gap.

Nepal, one of the least developed countries (LDCs), is highly prone to natural disasters due to its fragile geology. The country is also among the most vulnerable countries in respect to climate change, ranking fourth in terms of climate change vulnerability.

Nepal hosts some of the most spectacular natural areas and biodiversity in the world. Home to the planet’s highest peak, Nepal also boasts 118 ecosystems, 75 categories of vegetation, and 35 types of forests.

However, these resources are increasingly at risk. The people of Nepal, particularly the rural poor, are directly dependent on natural resources for survival, and a significant portion of Nepal’s economy comes from climate-sensitive industries such as agriculture, forestry, and eco-tourism.

Given that agriculture in Nepal is rain-fed and climate sensitive, the sector is highly vulnerable to climate change in comparison to other economic sectors. With more than 75 percent of the total labour force still dependent on agriculture, the agriculture sector contributes to about 38 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and is still of primary importance to the livelihood of millions.

Although a rise in temperature could have some positive effects, increased agriculture yield for instance, most of the benefits will only be short term and will be overweighed by the negative consequences of rising temperature on the ecosystem. Moreover, the agriculture sector in Nepal is becoming more and more feminized. Gender division of labour is highly skewed, especially when agricultural, pastoral and wage labour is combined with household, community and casual labour.

Apart from that, Nepali children are especially vulnerable when a disaster strikes because of Nepal’s high incidence of poverty, widespread exposure to disease, heavy dependence on natural resources, and inadequate access to information about disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, rights and protection. Climate change has intensified the negative effects of population growth, harmful land use practices, and deforestation and increased the incidence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis.

Children are separated from their families during disasters and when, as is growing increasingly common, their guardians migrate in search of better income opportunities. Providing children with avenues to explore their potentials and take part in development work will help build a society resilient to climate change.

However, with the country moving ahead with the implementation of federalism, Nepal is virtually going through a major transformation. Political changes are finally taking place with the country concluding all-important elections for the newly-carved out local, provincial and federal parliament and the government. With newly-elected people’s representatives taking charge of 766 municipalities and rural municipal councils after a gap of two decades, people across the country now have high hopes of development activities reaching their doorsteps.

Apart from that,the newly-elected provincial and federal parliaments and the governments are in the process of taking charge. With rising expectation of the people for infrastructure development, these newly-elected governments will have immense pressure to implement development projects with in short time due to the slow pace of development in last two decades because of armed conflict and political instability.

To meet the expectations of the people, the newly-elected governments (in the local, provincial and the central level)will be forced to haphazardly implement infrastructure projects without considering the impacts of climate change, as there is a huge knowledge gap on issues related to it.

Already impacted by climate change, communities in Nepal need better information to plan their activities as climate change will largely impact livelihoods of people across the country.

Therefore, in-depth reporting on climate change and dissemination through various medium of communication will help both the government and the communities to be well-informed on the issues like climate change and environment.

The Strategic Partnership Program (SPP) funded by The Free Press Unlimited of the Netherlands and implemented by Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) is a project designed to build capacity of working environmental journalists and to hold series of debates and discussion programs with an aim to bridge the existing knowledge gap.

With this, the project aims to produce more environmental journalists who will be able to report complex environmental issues like climate change through radio, television and print in a more effective manner.

NEFEJ wishes to fulfill this knowledge gap by mobilizing media including the news for children project initiated by the Dutch organization.