The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland on 1-12 November 2021. The summit will bring together heads of states, experts, campaigners, and others to envision and accelerate towards a zero-carbon economy.  

British Council with support from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Nepal, is creating a campaign, Road to COP26, which aims to strengthen capacities and amplify voices of those most impacted so that they can engage national and international stakeholders of climate change response in the lead up to COP26. 

Working with our network of collaborators, partners, and global programmes we hope to inspire action ahead of COP26. Joining forces with education, arts, media, civil society, and private sector organisations and the UK, we aim to enable a diverse set of actors in Nepal to respond creatively to the challenges of climate change. 

Road to COP26 focuses on gender and youth empowerment, and innovation as critical attributes of effective and sustainable climate change adaptation. Outputs from the campaign will be showcased in Nepal in October 2021, before an independent delegation of project beneficiaries travel to the UK to participate in collateral activities in/around COP26.  

Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. But the effects of climate change are disproportionately spread across communities and constituents. This is because of various intersectional complexities. British Council research shows that women/girls, despite being most vulnerable and serving in key governmental, scientific and civil society positions, are not sufficiently represented in climate change discussions. This deficiency is further compounded by the urban-rural divide, language barriers, and a host of other issues that continue to the marginalisation of women and girls, exacerbating their vulnerability. 

Women/girls’ agency requires support systems that can appropriately counter their diminished roles. Road to COP26 is working with women journalists and developing mass media platforms to collate diverse voices, particularly from indigenous communities to bring stories, perspectives, and concerns of Nepali women/girls to national attention.  

Through TV, radio and digital media, Road to COP26 aims to reach millions with original content co-created with women/girls on the frontline of climate change impact.  

Inclusive Innovation  
A zero-carbon economy is possible by 2050 but requires the strategic and innovative application of existing resources. In partnership with Kathmandu University’s School of Arts and School of Engineering, Applied Arts Scotland, and Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Computing (in association with the AHRC Creative Informatics programme), we are exploring how nature-based solutions and informal innovation can contribute to climate change resilience and adaptation in Nepal.  

Together, the UK-Nepali partners will work with the stakeholder of innovation in Nepal to co-deliver a grant program which provides capacity building, financial and mentoring support for the development of the inclusive and innovative nature-based solutions in creative sectors of craft making. Through training and networking, the programme hopes to connect entrepreneurial capacities with a multi-disciplinary outlook to realize long-term education outcomes and resources that can advance creative sector solutions to climate change.  

Young Voices  
Through Connecting Classrooms’ Rivers of the World, in partnership with Thames River Trust, and Camera Sika in partnership with Into Film, we are engaging schools, educators, and students across Nepal to undertake climate change research to develop original media and artistic content. These outputs will be showcased in Nepal and the UK to share young people’s voices so that key stakeholders are aware of their concerns and perspectives.

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