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ClimeDoc to achieve SDGs by Climate Advocacy International

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A documentary on impacts of climate change significantly contributes promotion of appropriate actions to achieve SDGs in developing nations



Manang, popularly known as a district behind the Himalaya, is rich with natural as well as cultural heritage. Anyone once reached there are lured by its enthralling beauty, spectacular views of the Himalayas in 360 Degree direction, cultural diversity and welcoming people. Impacts of the climate change are evident and people are facing serious consequences, and if prompt action is not taken the nature and the people will be victimized by its devastating effects in future. “A Himalayan Agony” (possible name of the documentary) is the testament to the negative social, economic, environmental and cultural consequences of climate change, people’s movement to adapt and create a resilient society to their road to better livelihood in a Himalayan district of Nepal, and its story is based on the real events and consequences.  

Although the documentary's major focus would be in SDG 13, it widely covers the objectives of all SDGs except the goal 14. The experiences people and the nature are facing for long period will be filmed and it would be linked with the impact of climate change and justified by scientific evidences. It is essential to let the concerned parties specially the major emitters and developmental partners know about the devastating problems facing by the local people and its social, cultural and economic impacts. It will highlight the theme that it would be injustice if the innocent people are victimized by the impact of the phenomenon that they have not involved. The impacts of climate change in downstream will be also covered in the documentary. We believe it will significantly help to raise awareness on climate change globally and create more moral pressure on developed countries to act promptly on climate change issues. 


Although the concept and action (documentary production and promotion) of this proposal is different with other proposals in previous contests, the theme and objective of the proposal matches with several proposals already participated in the Climate CoLab contests. Some of the proposals that could bring synergy are listed below;

1. DearTomorrow, a promise to the future about climate change

2. What is climate change and what do I have to do with it? 

3. Clean cooking solutions and development of a climate change mitigation p...

4.Youth Action for Climate Change Awareness, Education and Research

5. Generations working together: Elders, farmers, children and adaptation

6. Activating people through discovery, engagement & awareness

What actions do you propose?

Scientific evidences show that the temperature of the world is being increased and the main precursor of it, according to scientific findings, is emissions from anthropogenic sources. Melting of glaciers, unexpected change in weather pattern and sea level rise are some visible effects of it. Though Nepal contributes very negligible amount of greenhouse gas emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable country to the impact of climate change. Manang, a district in the Himalayan region, is an evident of the serious impact of climate change.

It is essential to let the concerned parties specially the major emitters and developmental partners know about the devastating problems facing by the local people and its social, cultural and economic impacts. It would be injustice if the innocent people are victimized by the impact of the phenomenon that they have not involved. This documentary will demonstrate the real problems caused by climate change, adaptation strategies adopted by local people, impacts on culture and socio-economy, and responsibility of government, public and private sectors and development partners to improve the livelihood by creating resilient society and mitigate further impact on overall environment and cultural heritage.

The documentary will be filmed by covering the real changes happened in the Himalayan region because of climate change. Snowcapped mountains are gradually converting to bald mountains and area covered with jungle are now being barren land without any vegetation. Several varieties of flora and fauna, birds and animals are being disappeared due to the lack of their food and shelter. Because of change in weather pattern people have experienced decrease in crop production and many crops which could be grown earlier have disappeared now. There were huge animal farms and when time passes animal husbandry became impossible due to lack of grasses and fodders resulted from the water scarcity and change in weather pattern. A ninety-six years old man in a village told a story of his village and his experiences which was really heart-touching. According to him, they used to grow barley, wheat, buckwheat and potato etc. that were sufficient for them to eat year around but now they have to import more than 75% of food stuffs from southern part of Nepal due to drastic decrease of crop production. The mountains which are just in front and behind of his home used to be covered by snow year-around but now he could rarely see snows in those mountain. Earlier they could figure out the day when snowfall starts and when it ends but now it is unpredictable. This year along a significant number of sheep, yaks and chauri were killed in pasture due to unexpected heavy snowfall in late March which is not a snowfall season.

Fig. 1. Yaks and Chauri Cows grazing at 3700m height

Fig. 2. A farmer sowing barley in the Himalayan Region

Another person in another village who is now active for environment conservation told that, in a single mountain range, facing towards his village and a famous Buddhist stupa, there were 108 natural springs, which had religious values too, and almost all of them dried up now. He also explained that the rate of deforestation in the past was high as people used to use about 200 trees to build their traditional homes but the house thus built were abandoned and people were compelled to migrate to other places as their life became harder because of serious consequences of climate change.  Not very long but about 3 decades ago people could notice glaciers from Mt. Annapurna flowing up to the Marshyangdi river but it completely disappeared now.

According to the local inhabitant, people could normally figure out weather pattern and follow it to prepare agricultural lands, plant crops, harvest them, moving their animals in pastures in various locations etc. but now they cannot predict it and compelled to face serious consequences of unpredictable climatic shift.

Fig. 3. Local variety of apple which is now almost disappeared due to change in weather

Although people heavily migrated to other places but they have love and affection of their place and culture in their heart so some villagers decided to return to their village to spend their remaining life there and contribute for environment and cultural protection. Environmental activism such as saving trees through awareness, plantation is already initiated. People are reusing the woods of abandoned houses to construct new houses, resorts, museum etc. which not only benefit them personally but also assist on protection of environment as well as promote tourism.

Fig. 4. An example of in environmental activism to save trees

A smart way of adaptation, utilization of walls and floors of abandoned house to create greenhouse for the production of green vegetable, is very noticeable example besides others. Many animals, specially yaks and sheep were died in last few years due to unpredictable snowfall pattern, people now have constructed temporary shed in various parts of pasture lands by expecting that cattle can be saved from unexpected snowfall. To increase the number of animals, they have also started religious movements in which people donate number of animals to Buddhist stupas and they will not be sacrificed hence the number started to increases each year. Earlier there were huge apple farms filled with local variety but they gradually disappeared and people now have started to plant hybrid variety of apple imported from Europe which can grow well in the new environment. People are trying to restore their culture and festivals with the help of old Monks.

Fig. 5. A Himalayan village which is facing devastating consequences of climate change

In summary, the same generation has experienced such extreme weather, social, cultural and environmental changes and trying to adapt accordingly. The documentary will make comparison between environmental, physical, economic, social, cultural conditions of the past and the current and relate it with the pattern of climate change

Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?

The documentary would be produced by Climate Advocacy International (CAI) ( Climate Advocacy International (CAI) is a youth driven non-profit / non-governmental organization established by a group of experts in various sectors and it is committed to providing both professional and social services to its valued clients, people and societies in need. It is engaged in activities that support, promote and enhance to achieve the sustainable development goals and provide practical solutions to the real world problems, and this in turn increases the sustainability of the nature. The organization mainly advocates and works in various aspects of climate change, clean energy, green growth, eco-innovation, cleaner production, clean water & sanitation, food and forest, environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, resilient society, social justices, capacity building and knowledge sharing. It is also a platform for empowering youth and women and mainstreaming them in climate change and sustainable development activities. ClimeDoc (filming a documentary on issues related to climate change, energy and environment) is one of its important strategic initiatives and this documentary is a part of it. 

CAI will hire filming director, researcher & script writer, cameramen, editor, sound director, director of photography, music composer and story teller, and make an expert group who could produce a world class eye-opening documentary. Mr. Dharma K.C, executive director of the CAI will lead the team of expert.

Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?

The documentary will be filmed in various parts of the Annapurna Himalayan range in Manang District of Nepal but it will be promoted throughout the World. Some part of the documentary will be filmed in other the Himalayan ranges and downstream to demonstrate the impact of climate change in a wider area and social, cultural activities people are carrying out to mitigate and adapt with the changes. 

The documentary will be filmed locally and internationally to raise awareness in all level.

In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

As the major objective of the proposal is to film a documentary by capturing devastating consequences of climate change in the Himalayan range and downstream, it is not a direct action on climate change mitigation & adaptation. It rather raises awareness locally and give a message to the world to act promptly against climate change in many developing and least developed countries. We have seen the tremendous impact of a movie "An Inconvenient Truth" produced by the former US Vice President Al Gore. We believe this documentary and similar other documentaries which we will produce in future will bring similar results. 

The documentary will show issues on energy consumption, agriculture, farming, cultural activities to protect environment etc. and by watching these, we believe, international communities may start to cooperate with the concerned communities and government and fund actions and policies that could significantly help to reduce GHG emissions and promote adaptation practices.

What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?

We aim to produce at least one documentary longer than an hour (about 75 – 90 minutes), and some short documentaries on issues related to technical, economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of climate change in a calendar year. Bringing the bitter climate reality, action taken to mitigate the harmful impacts and adaptation practices to public via documentaries or films opens eyes of various stakeholders and encourage them to contribute directly or indirectly for the betterment of the situation. ClimeDoc, which literally means climate documentary, is a program of producing climate change related documentary in various regions of the world, which are facing devastating impacts of climate change, through the involvement of various parties and show it to a wider public to disseminate awareness and reality, and also encourage the activities to retard the environmentally unfriendly moves and overcome negative consequences of climate change. 


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

The total expected budget for the documentary production is  about USD 65,000. The activities that require the budget are;

A. Pre-production cost

Research and script writing

B. Production cost

 Equipment, logistics, allowances

C. Post-production

Voice over/ narration, animations and info graphics and music, archival footage and music, editing and promotion

D. Miscellaneous 

Arrangement of documentary production unit: 

We have already talked to the experienced people working on documentary filming and production, and also signed the Memorandum of Understanding with most of them. They include; director, script writer, cameramen, editor, sound director, director of photography, music composer and story teller. Purchase agreement of necessary video footage taken for last 15 years is also signed with a journalist who has been working in the region. 

Besides, we have captured very useful videos of impact of unexpected snowfall on animal farming and agriculture, cultural programs related to saving nature, interviews with local people who have witnessed and become victims of climate change. 

Regarding arrangement of necessary fund, we are talking with some international developmental agencies who are working on climate change and mountain environment. Some international documentary film festivals organizers are also interested on our concept so we believe, we will be able to collect necessary fund. We will also correspond with other related agencies such as National Geographic, Discovery, HBO, Amazon, Netflix and BBC, and will explain about the win-win situation. We have not observed any significant challenge to implement the proposed action rather we will get support from wider communities as well as governments. 

To avoid challenge related to marketing and distribution we have already talked to some media and we will promote it through these media (TV, FM radios, print media and online medias). Besides, we will promote it through recently very popular social media such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and youtube. We have also requested some celebrities to assist on promoting our project us for the good causes and there are good responses from them. 

Once the documentary is ready we will participate in various international documentary film festivals and we also have a plan to organize an international film documentary film festival in Nepal by inviting concerned organizations, directors, producers and media. To increase awareness in local level, we will work together with local municipalities, village councils and community based organizations and organize several documentary shows locally by inviting local people. Although many local people have already initiated actions on climate change mitigation and adaptation, we believe our project and related campaigns will surely increased such activities and bring positive results locally as well as internationally due to the more actions of international organizations on climate change. 

About the Authors

Dharma K.C (Mr.), Founder and Executive Director of Climate Advocacy Internationalwww.climateadvocacy.orgis enjoying working with full of passion in climate change, energy, environment sectors, and development of innovative policies, strategies and plans to support the current and future needs of addressing climate change, energy and environmental issues considering the norms of sustainable development. Graduated in Environmental Engineering (M Sc.) and with about 15 years of experience in various capacity, Mr. K.C has learned a lot about emerging global market of energy and environment, focusing for the last 10 years on global climate markets, RE, green growth, industrial eco-innovation and corporate sustainability development. Besides, as a capacity development specialist, he has already provided more than 250 capacity building training programs, in many developing countries, on several aspects of climate change, GHGs inventory management, RE technology / project development and implementation, safeguards, green industrialization etc. International experiences mainly in Asia and the Pacific and a strong network with governments, development agencies, public and private companies throughout the World are also some of his professional assets that are making him able to achieve the organizational goal through successful implementation of projects.
A particular interest of Mr. K.C is bringing the technical, political, economic and social aspects of climate change, RE and green growth policies together to provide a foundation for sustainable development through public and private partnership. Mr. K.C has received sufficient professional trainings from several international agencies such as World Bank Institute, KEMCO, ENECO Energy, SEQM UK.
Project experiences in: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and some EU member states. He is very familiar with energy and climate policy and technology development in the North America.

Prativa Bastola (Mrs.) has completed Master of Science (Environmental). After completion of her Master Degree, she joined in the Center for Energy Studies, Institute of Engineering, TU as a “Researcher cum Trainer” where she conducted a wide range of researches related to feasibility study of renewable energy projects, climate change, technology transfer for GHG mitigation, environmental impact assessment etc. While working in Ernst and Young, Seoul, Korea she involved in various projects such as; Green Growth in Vietnam, Green Industry Mapping Strategy in Indonesia, and CDM methodology development of real time navigation system in Korea. Besides, she also worked as a researcher in Ecoeye, and involved in due diligence of green brick and biomass energy generation CDM PoAs in Vietnam. Currently, as a Programme Manager - Climate Change and Sustainability, CAI, she is taking care of projects related to climate change mitigation and adaptation.


What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?

Although some organizations have already produced and promoted films and documentaries related to environment, energy and climate change, we have realized that many people, developmental organizations and governments still consider the films or documentaries are means of entertainment. This has to be changed, and promotion of environmental activities and raising awareness through through various means and media including documentary and film should be included in national energy and climate change policy. 

If policy clearly indicates such requirements, we believe, such activities will be promoted exponentially and this in turn facilitate activities on climate change mitigation and adaptation both in local level and national level as well as internationally. Financial, in-kind or policy support from the government is very essential to implement not only this project but also to meet national target of achieving sustainable development goals. 

Activities related to filming documentaries on various social, cultural, economic and environmental issues will also assist to develop or transfer innovative technology.