The Himalayan region is susceptible to a whole range of geo-physical and hydro-meteorological hazards. Over the past decades, the already high hazard, risk and vulnerability profile of the region has further exacerbated with increase in incidence of hydro-meteorological disasters due to various factors including the impacts of climate change and variability processes. Outside the polar region, the short-term and long-term impacts are being felt more perceptibly in the Hindukush Himalayan (HKH) Region and are already becoming discernible. It underscores the need to address existing and emerging risks posed by hydro-meteorological disasters and to evolve a comprehensive risk reduction strategy. The fact that hazards in the region are bound in a delicate cause and effect relationship and together combine to increase risk also needs to be sufficiently addressed. On the other hand, the risks posed by mountain hazards and vulnerabilities of mountain regions have received inadequate attention amongst disaster risk management practitioners.
The Regional Climate Risk Reduction Project, funded by Directorate General, ECHO and UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), aims to address the risks posed by hydro meteorological hazards in the Himalayan Hindukush (HKH) region comprising Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The project is being implemented by BCPR South & South West Asia Office through UNDP Country Offices in these countries with the technical support of the Regional Centre in Bangkok.
RATIONALE FOR RISK MITIGATION INTERVENTIONS AT COMMUNITY LEVEL:
The assessment of hazard, vulnerability and risk profile in selected districts will help identify and develop risk mitigation and preparedness measures to be implemented at community and local administration level. The Project aims to test pilot these initiatives to assess their feasibility and long-term sustainability. It is accordingly proposed to implement these in identified villages/communities on a pilot basis. The proposed community-based activities include contingency planning, introduction of land-use planning and management practices in association with local administration, involving and associating communities to ensure last-mile connectivity and community ownership of EWS, including natural resource management initiatives like forestation, plantation, water/rain water harvesting etc. in risk mitigation interventions and connecting these to enhance livelihood security of vulnerable communities etc. Documenting the inherent capacity and coping mechanisms of communities and strengthening these further will also form an integral part of the process.
In order to support the activities envisaged under the Regional Climate Risk Reduction Project, it is proposed to engage an individual expert to facilitate the following activities:
A. Implementation of pilot initiatives at community and local administration level in identified districts:
1. Support identification and implementation of community-based risk mitigation and preparedness activities in identified villages/communities in Astore and Gilgit Districts
2. Facilitate implementation of community pilot initiatives for preparedness and mitigation involving natural resource management (NRM) approaches such as forestation, plantations, environment management and activities related to watershed/water conservation, rainwater harvesting etc
3. Document key activities and initiatives including traditional coping systems and mechanisms, community knowledge and practices related to risk mitigation, preparedness and response, early warning dissemination and traditional water harvesting/conservation practices, impact of climatic hazards on livelihoods and other key sectors, related dimensions of community’s knowledge related to risk reduction and recommendations for mitigating impacts of climate-induced hydro-met hazards
4. Support to enhance the effectiveness of the proposed community-centric EWS and work with the project team, local administrations, communities and technical agencies for the same
5. Facilitate implementation of land-use planning concepts and practices at community and local administration level
B. Knowledge Networking and Training and Capacity Building:
1. Facilitate linkages and networking with national, provincial (state) and local administrations, technical/academic/research organizations, NGOs/CBOs, communities and other stakeholders
2. Identify gaps, needs and limitations at community and administrative level in terms of capacity building and preparedness to address hydro-meteorological hazards in future and develop suitable training modules in association with project team
3. Facilitate, organize and conduct capacity building training programmes for communities, elected representatives, local administrations and other stakeholders (including trainings on first-aid, contingency planning and search and rescue, NRM etc)
4. Support development of IEC materials for community sensitization and awareness as part of risk mitigation and preparedness activities
• Implementation of community pilots for risk reduction and preparedness with focus on natural resource management, water conservation, early warning systems, capacity building of communities and contingency planning
• Identify training needs and impart pilot training programmes on identified and agreed areas along with preparation of training modules
[Plan for pilot activities will be developed in consultation with the NADMA and key stakeholders. Implementation of identified activities will require final approval of the RCRR project team]
Timeframe and Consultancy
The initiative would focus on selected villages of two districts in the Gilgit Baltistan region (Astore & Gilgit) and the activities will be completed within five months starting from the date of signing of the contract. The study and pilot initiative would be supervised by the Project Support Officer (Pakistan) under overall guidance of Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Advisor BCPR and Team Manager, Regional Climate Risk Reduction Project in Himalayas. This would include active association with the process and field visits; and any inputs provided or perspective deemed fit to be addressed during the course of the study would be factored into the methodology. The methodology will be finalized in consultation with the project team.
1. An Individual expert preferably based in Gilgit Baltistan, having past experience of working with the community in disaster risk reduction, addressing mountain Hazards & Natural resource management for adaptation, and having substantial linkages at grass roots level would be chosen to facilitate the community-based activities
2. The Individual expert must have extensive knowledge of community based disaster preparedness process especially in use of tools such as PRAs, CBDRM, HVR and process of micro planning etc
3. Ability to establish good working relations with key stakeholders especially linkages with state as well as local level administrative machinery would be essential
4. The selected individual should be able to mobilize a strong network of volunteers for undertaking interactions with communities and other stakeholders, and for implementation of community activities
5. The individual expert should also be capable of developing contingency plans and impart training to local institutions including local administrations and local youth (preferably from local educational institutions)
6. Extensive knowledge and practical experience of developing and implementing methodologies for community awareness and sensitization would be desirable.
7. Experience in organizing and facilitating seminars, workshops and consultation will be an added advantage for selection of particular individual
8. Capacity to deliver the product on time and of desired quantity and should be able to send/deliver materials in the desired format
9. The assignment would entail travel and stay with the communities for a considerable period, the individual should be able to organize adequate logistical support for himself/herself and the team as well as for Project Support Officer or partners interested in joining the study and community pilot initiatives, as and when required.