Himalayan Bioresources: Volume 3, Issue 3

Volume 3, Issue 3: December-January-February-March 2012/13

Community-based REDD+ pilot program in Nepal: Incentive for climate change mitigation and forest conservation measures

Understanding how new concepts such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), REDD+, and the evolving global carbon markets can be incorporated into conservation and poverty alleviation strategies have been ANSAB’s recent major goals. ANSAB has, in partnership with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)and the Federation of Community Forestry User’s Nepal (FECOFUN), and with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), been implementing a community based REDD+ pilot program. The program has been set up in order to pilot a national demonstrational governance and payment system for emission reduction, through sustainable forest management. The project is being implemented in three different geographical regions of Nepal: the Khayarkhola watershed of Chitwan, Ludikhola watershed of Gorkha and Charnawati watershed of Dolakha Districts. These districts covers 10,266 ha of tropical to temperate landscapes and are managed by 104 Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGS).  The specific objectives of the project are:

  • To strengthen the capacity of civil society actors in Nepal, to ensure their active participation in the planning and preparation of national REDD-strategies;
  • To establish a Forest Carbon Trust Fund (FCTF) that is sustainable and creditable in the long run; and
  • To contribute to the development of REDD strategies that can effectively and efficiently monitor forest carbon flux in community managed forests.

The project also aims to assess and establish the baseline value of watershed-level forest carbon stock, and to calculate forest carbon of individual community forests to support carbon payment. The approach of this project is to learn from piloting and demonstrating various REDD+ related activities (such as the baseline information collection, forest carbon measurement, benefit sharing mechanism, capacity building, forest carbon measurement, field testing and demonstration) as well as to contribute to the National REDD+ policy process and for demonstrating the feasibility of REDD payment mechanisms in community forests. Further the project has focused on the concerns of indigenous, marginalized people and local communities who are dependent on forests. This is done by involving them in the design and function of a national-level REDD governance and payment mechanisms that supports community forestry at the grassroots level.

Through the project’s capacity building activities, local communities have been trained to measure carbon stocks, thus developing technical skills within the community. Outreach-materials have been developed on subjects such as capacity building and institutionalizing REDD mechanism in Nepal. Many CFUGs have internalized the REDD provisions to include in their own Community Forests constituency and operational forest management plans (OFMP). The communities have initiated activities that enhance forest carbon stocks through promoting alternative energy in all three watersheds at the household level. Some of these include:

  • Using biogas and improved cooking stoves;
  • Enriching plantations through fire prevention; and
  • Controlled grazing and fodder development measures.

These activities have resulted in the 2011 carbon stock of these three community forests to increase by 27391.6 ton carbon (equivalent to 100,435.8 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas while sequestrating the carbon within the range of 1.32 t ha-1 yr-1 and 5.31 t ha-1 yr-1). These community-managed forests, are major sinks, covering close to 7.5 million ha in the Himalayan region.

The project has established the Forest Carbon Trust Fund (FCTF) and a benefit sharing mechanism that will be the foundation for developing a national REDD+ strategy. On June 14, 2011, FCTF was formally established with a US $100,000 seed grant from NORAD, by a multi-stakeholder task force that comprised of members from the Government’s REDD Forestry and Climate Change Cell, the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), ANSAB, ICIMOD, FECOFUN, and the Joshi and Bhandari Company. FCTF distributed US $95,000 last June among the three watersheds, based on four basic elements established by the task force:

  1. The quantity of forest carbon saved above the baseline;
  2. The number of households of indigenous peoples and minority groups;
  3. The female population and women; and
  4. The number of poor households within the project area.

Based on these elements, the Charnawati watershed received $ 45,534.93, Kayarkhola received $21,904.94 and the Ludikhola watershed received $27,560.13. The watershed-level FCTF advisory committees determined the amount to be used for reserve funds when the funding was released (Ludikhola kept a reserve fund of NRs. 150,000 (US $2,142.86), Kayarkhola NRs. 100,000 (US $1,428.57) and Charnawati kept NRs. 100,000 (US $1,428.57)). Remaining funding has been distributed among the CFUGs in Ludikhola. The Kayarkhola FCTF advisory committee has retained half of the money and distributed only half of the funding. Retaining half of the distributable funds was done to ensure that CFUGs performed activities as per the plan. The CFUG has to spend the money on activities that reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The activities should include alternative energy promotion, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forest, biodiversity conservation, enhancement of forest carbon stocks, poverty reduction/livelihood improvement activities, forest carbon monitoring, awareness raising and capacity building on REDD and climate change, and auditing of FCTF and verification of data.

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The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is a Norwegian state directorate for development cooperation. The agency aims to contribute to effective management of aid funds and ensure that the Norwegian development cooperation is quality assured and evaluated

Organic agriculture: A promising sector for income generation in Nepal

The farm production system in Nepal is highly integrated and interlinked, and is characterized by subsistence farming. The majority of the farming communities have extremely small landholdings of less than 0.5 ha. Farming in Nepal has always been based on production techniques that are healthy and promote healthy existence of inter-related elements of the ecosystem – soil, plants, animals and people. Synthetically produced fertilizers and pesticides have hardly been used or never been used in the case of some hill areas in Nepal. The advent of commercialization of agriculture has exacerbated environmental problems and to top it up climate change is affecting communities who already have limited options for coping with adverse weather conditions. Therefore farmers are now exploring farming systems that can help to produce more from the available land, water and labor resources without either ecological or social harm, and increase their resilience to climate change. Organic agriculture represents one such potential area that is gaining momentum in economic, health and environmental aspects.

There is growing trend among urbanites for organic products, especially vegetables. An increase in purchasing power, education and awareness about health and quality of organic foods and the willingness to pay for healthy foods among consumers have increased the demand for organically cultivated vegetables in urban areas. This has also resulted in a vague mechanism of organic pricing and premiums although there is no established framework for organic product pricing. Market practices of organic agriculture in Nepal show individual farmers, entrepreneurs and cooperatives that are taking the practice forward as a remunerative enterprise. For example, one of the organic farm entrepreneurs in Nepal – Mr. Prem Lama of Aashapuri Organic Farm, Sanga, who has been farming about 5 hectares of land, is selling about 300 kg of organic products daily and generating more than NRs. 500,000 (US $6,250) a month. He is providing more than 50 organic products including ground apple, shitake mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbage and cucumber to restaurants and star hotels in Kathmandu. He has also been exporting asparagus, ground apple and mushrooms to Singapore. Currently there are also many private companies like Organic village, Kheti bazaar, Organic World and Fair Future working in partnership with local farmers and bringing organic products from different parts of the country to the Kathmandu Valley. In addition, many organic shops specially targeting the elite society and tourists are increasing in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

As the organic agriculture sector is gaining momentum in Nepal, it also possesses a great scope for its competitiveness, as Nepal is home to many potential products, namely spices, essential oils and medicinal plants, fresh fruits and vegetables. A significant area of agricultural land in Nepal is also organic by default, and is gradually increasing.  The enabling environment for the sector also seems to be favorable in Nepal with the recent establishment of the National Organic Agriculture Accreditation body (NOAAB) and the National Coordination Committee for Organic Agriculture Production and Processing System (NCCOAPPS), and policies supporting organic agriculture. The National standard for organic agriculture has also been established and endorsed by the government, and working guidelines for two certification systems (Internal Control System and Participatory Guarantee System) are being developed, both of which will serve as an important instrument for taking advantage of the international and domestic markets. The latter is a certification scheme particularly for small farmers whose products are of high demand in the local market, but who cannot meet the high cost of certification.

The role of organic agriculture in enhancing soil fertility and nitrogen inputs and addressing food security is well known. A participatory assessment of the organic agriculture conducted by ANSAB based on current price rates and growth potential also shows that the sector possesses high prospective of income generation in the peri-urban areas. In addition it can  involve youth and thus reduce the current alarming rate of youth migration to urban areas and abroad in search of better livelihood opportunities and higher incomes.

Know on ANSAB’s policy, research and network program>>>

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Guidelines for measuring carbon stocks in community-managed forests

ANSAB published the guidelines for measuring carbon stocks in community managed forests in 2010, the second edition of which was published in 2011. This publication describes the methods, procedures and steps for measuring carbon stored by forestry land use system. The guidelines introduce globally accepted equipments, instruments, methodologies, procedures and standards in forest carbon measurement and offer a detailed recipe to use them more efficiently and effectively in Nepal’s specific context.

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Prickly Ash
Indian Gooseberry
Indian Mastiche
Long Piper
Wild Asparagus
Soap Nut
Soap Pod
Indian Valerian

October 2012 prices in NRs./Kg. Average of two markets (Kathmandu and Nepalgunj) for Nepal; and four (Delhi, Tanakpur, Lucknow and Kolkata) for India. Variations calculated from the previous month.

Consult the complete price list (33 products)


Global Greengrants Fund awards ANSAB for its Community Water Supply project

The Global Greengrants Fund has awarded grants of US $40,000 to ANSAB for its charitable activities. With this grant, ANSAB will work with the communities of Sikre, Pyukharka, Tamche, Chiple and Dovan settlements of Attarpur village development committee (VDC) in North-Eastern Sindhupalchok district for the construction, repair and maintenance of clean drinking water project. ANSAB has previously worked with the Community Water Supply Project to the Ghulghule Masding Kapti Community Water Users Committee in Dolakha with the grants from the Global Greengrants Fund last year.

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Training on Participatory inventory of Non-timber forest products

ANSAB organized a five-day residential training program on Participatory Inventory of Non-Timber Forest Products from 20 to 24 August 2012. After the training needs assessment of therural development toolkits, ANSAB made the decision to organize training on participatory inventory of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), and entrepreneurial development and business planning in 2012. A total of 21 participants from different organizations, including district forest offices, multi-stakeholder forestry program, and community forestry user groups, learnt practical methods and tools to determine total stock and harvestable amount of selected NTFPs, and to derive specific recommendations for forest management interventions.

Training on Entrepreneurship development and Business planning

ANSAB organized another five-day residential training program on Entrepreneurship Development and Business planning from December 10 to 14, 2012.  23 participants from different organizations working with Non-Timber Forest Products, livestock, eco-tourism, rural livelihood and small enterprise sectors were present at the training. Trainers from ANSAB provided practical knowledge and skills on entrepreneurship and business plan that used the organization’s long tested methods and tools. Three entrepreneurs from briquette, soap nut and essential oil enterprise sectors also presented their cases during the training. Over the period of training, the participants prepared detailed business plans of goat, essential oils, sisno (nettle plant) powder, and off-season vegetable (tomato and cauliflower) in four groups.

Training on Value chain analysis, Business development services and Marketing

ANSAB, under the ATIS-Karnali project organized a residential training on Value Chain Analysis, Business Development Services (BDS) and Marketing for community level facilitators in Nepalgunj from October 8 to 11, 2012. Trainers from ANSAB provided guidance to 20 participants including entrepreneurs, BDS providers and staff of community level organizations. Training was focused on concept of value chain, value chain selection criteria, preparation of a value chain map, identification and access to relevant business development services, and marketing concepts for natural resource based enterprises. Participants in different groups prepared a value chain map of Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Jatamansi (Valeriana jatamansi) and Atis (Aconitum sp.) in the Mugu, Jumla and Humla districts of Nepal respectively. Speaking of the training, one of the participants and District President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Mr. Nar Bahadur Rokaya that the training was useful in understanding the process and analysis of value chain of natural resource products, and he would be sharing the learning with the district level stakeholders.

Training of trainers on entrepreneurship development

ANSAB organized a four days training on entrepreneurship development in Rara, Mugu from September 6 to 9, 2012. 37 participants including entrepreneurs, BDS providers and staffs of Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Center (KIRDARC), Rural Development Group Programme (RDGP), Rural Community Development Center (RCDC), Women Welfare Service (WWS), District Forest Offices and interested individuals who could provide BDS support in Mugu, Humla and Jumla districts were trained on facilitating how to nurture entrepreneurship at community level and thus establish natural resource based enterprise in the districts.

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ANSAB provides MAPs resource inventory support in Pakistan

ANSAB provided its technical support to theMennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA) Pakistan team to conduct Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) resource inventory in the Swat district in Pakistan. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Program manager Dr. Kalyan Gauli and Forest technician Mr. Sagar Godar Chhetri provided training from September 11-14, 2012 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Training was given to the technical staff of local NGOs and community persons from Swat, Upper Dir and Shangla districts. ANSAB conducted NTFP inventory in the field and will be presenting the findings to the MAPs entrepreneurs and other partners in the value chain after analysis of the data.

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ANSAB provides technical support on nursery raising in Bhutan

ANSAB provided its technical support to SNV Bhutan to develop nursery techniques for Satuwa (Paris polyphylla) and Chiraito (Swertia chirayita) (Click here for Chiraito information sheet) in November. ANSAB’s research officer Nabin Joshi and nursery technician Shyam Babu Basnyat provided three days of hands-on training on nursery raising, seed collection methods, watering system and transplanting to the forestry field officials and Non-timber forest products (NTFPs)-group members of Lauri and Gomdar of Samdrupjongkhar. As part of its service, ANSAB will also develop a field manual on nursery raising for these two plant species based on the training.

Find management leaflet for 27 NTFPs >>>
Find information sheets for 12 NTFPs >>>