Going Green: Building Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods, Nepal

TMI The Mountain Institute is committed to protecting mountain environments and  improving the livelihoods of impoverished mountain people.  By conserving ecosystems and empowering the people in mountain communities, TMI ensures the preservation of resources – natural, cultural and spiritual – that are crucial to maintaining a healthy planet.

Nepal is the world’s 25th most species-rich country and has 7,000 species of high-value plants, mainly in the mountains. Funding raised will plant 80,000 native, high-value tree species on about 50 hectares in remote parts of three mountainous districts (Dhading, Gorkha, and Sankhuwasabha) in Nepal. The proposed areas are near high-potential, off-the-beaten-track trekking trails but suffer from deforestation and ecosystem degradation caused by human (mis)use such as hunting, poaching, illegalt timber harvesting and collection of plants, made worse by the 2015 earthquakes and landslides. Local communities and government officials will be deeply involved in project planning, site preparation, tree planting, and site monitoring and management for the long term. The project will:
– establish nurseries to grow high-value planting stock both for project sites and on private land
– create a sustainable community resource and capacity to maintain it.
– provide training and workshops to benefit the communities with new skills and knowledge and a more sustainable approach to natural resource management
– help strengthen the communities’ potential to benefit from ecotourism by contributing to a more beautiful, interesting, safer, and more sustainable outdoor experience.

The Update

Update December 2017:
Despite significant challenges the project is progressing well and has successfully implemented almost all the activities planned for it’s first year:
– Three multipurpose nurseries established in three mountainous districts, growing approximately 105,000 saplings of different plant species. However, the nursery in Sankhuwasabha was unfortunately swept away by flash floods leaving only 3,000 out of the 50,000 saplings.
– Despite this set back, the hard work continued and by the end of June 2018 approximately 58,000 will be ready to be planted at the project sites. (A further 22,000 will be planted in the following year due to the loss of one nursery.)
– These nursery sites were identified through community consultation with equitable participation of youth, women and marginalised communities in the project areas. Nurseries were then handed over to Community Forest User Groups for management and caretaking. Training was provided to nursery caretakers.
– The project has been implemented in partnership with local NGO ‘Health, Education, Empowerment and Development Nepal’.
– Four community consultation events were also carried out to identify which plant species to grow in the nurseries, and identify suitable land on which to subsequently plant the nursery grown saplings.
Next stage:
– Planting out & re-stocking the destroyed nursery.
– Plantation management plans to be developed.
– Information boards will be created to highlight the sites, species and importance.

Image: TMI Project Area