In 2021, the Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung has started a three-year nature and climate protection project in Nepal, which will be implemented in cooperation with our local partner ANSAB (Asian Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources). The Federal Ministry for the Environment supports the project via the Medium Grants of the International Climate Initiative (IMG).
The project area is located between the Himalaya and the Terai lowlands in southern Nepal, in the middle of a biodiversity hotspot, and includes approximately 20,000 hectares of forest and 1,000 hectares of smallholder agricultural land near the Chitwan National Park. It is home to the Bengal tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, Ganges gavial and many more rare and threatened species. However, human pressure and climate change are jeopardizing the forests with their extraordinary biodiversity, and deteriorating the watersheds of this sensitive region.
Building on a proven concept, administrative rights are transferred to local communities, ecological management is ensured, and the habitats of many rare native species are brought into better condition and connected with each other.
Project activities include:
- Assistance to community forest user groups in the transfer of administrative rights and local capacity building.
- Inventory of forest resources, including medicinal herbs and other non-timber forest products.
- Prevention and control of forest fires and promotion of alternatives to the use of firewood.
- Organizational support for small farmers, training in organic farming, humus building, and management of wildlife conflicts.
- Support in the certification of forest and agricultural land according to criteria of organic farming and wild collection and wildlife-friendly practies.
- Supporting enterprise development in the marketing of sustainable products and local ecotourism.
- Formation of an association with entrepreneurs, government agencies, and communities with the goal of promoting the production and marketing of sustainable local products.
- Creation of environmental education materials for local schools, training of teachers and multipliers, creation of an environmental education trail, and awareness raising through local media.
Hence, the project combines conservation measures with the formation of an alliance between authorities, forest user communities, local producers, and entrepreneurs, combining ideas and resources.
About 30,000 people benefit directly and 100,000 indirectly by strengthening their resilience to climate change and global crises and improving the livelihoods of marginalised groups. We anticipate that additional 30,000 hectares of surrounding forest will be positively impacted since local communities use the project measures as a model for replication.
The project will contribute significantly to biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and strengthen the resilience of ecosystems and local communities.
Our partner ANSAB