Western Terai Landscape Complex Project (WTLCP)

What was the project about

 The Western Terai Landscape Complex project promoted landscape-level conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources across the Western Terai.

Nepal's western Terai, with its extensive areas of sal and chure forest, grasslands, wetlands and two major river systems, is an important home for globally significant biodiversity including:

  • royal Bengal tigers, asian one-horned rhinoceroses, wild asian elephants, black bucks, gangetic dolphins, and hispid hares;
  • more than 350 species of birds out of which more than 20% are threatened; and
  • extensive crop diversity, including local varieties of paddy rice, barley, and millet.

The area's rapidly growing population of over half a million people is seriously threatening this biodiversity as over-grazing, over-exploitation and uncontrolled forest fires degrade the forests; as forests are converted into farmland; as poaching and other human pressures reduce the number of wild plants and animals and as traditional crop varieties are replaced by modern cultivars. The loss of forests and other habitats means that the forest corridors through which wildlife travel from Nepal's protected areas to protected areas in India to the south and the Churia forests to the north, are being rapidly degraded.

The overall objective of WTLCP was to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of globally significant biodiversity in Nepal’s Western Terai Landscape Complex (WTLC); the immediate objective of the project is to establish effective and efficient integrated landscape planning and management systems for the conservation and sustainable use of the WTLC.

Although the western Terai has two large protected areas — Bardiya National Park and the Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve — the long-term viability of the area's biodiversity depends on managing large adjoining areas to provide a more extensive system of habitats across whole ecological landscapes.

WTLCP was an 8 year long project which began in 2006 to establish a landscape-level management model to safeguard the area's biological wealth and its vital ecological functions. The project promoted landscape level conservation across the two protected areas, their buffer zones and adjoining landscapes in 52 VDCs of Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts with forests making up 60% of the area.

Work on the challenging task of bringing together government agencies, local people and non-governmental expertise to sustain the area's biodiversity in tandem with meeting local people's needs is on-going.

The project promoted enabling policies and helped build an institutional framework for the integrated management of the area. The aim was to overcome the sectoral boundaries between forest department- and the department of wildlife-managed areas and between areas managed for conservation and areas managed for agricultural crop and livestock production. This division often hinders conservation efforts.

What did we accomplish

Broadcasting conservation

With project supported the weekly radio programme Sanrakchen Sansar (Conservation World) broadcasted on the importance of conserving biodiversity. The programmes were popular and the local Tharu people appreciate the shows broadcast in their language.

Reducing crop damage caused by wildlife

Installing of of Bardiya National Park has greatly reduced the damage caused by wild elephants to neighbouring households and their crops.

Afforestation for biodiversity and livelihoods

Local user groups, with project support, planted 122 hectares of the Mohana River's banks with multipurpose tree species that protect the soil, provide non-timber forest products, fodder and firewood and are an important wildlife habitat.

Some of the major achievements include:

  • Landscape conservation and Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES) concept incorporated into TYP (2009-2011)
  • Encroachment Control Strategy and Nepal’s Corridor Management Policy
  • Integrated Landscape Planning Guideline developed and piloted
  • Sustainable Financing Mechanisms developed and disseminated
  • Payment for Environmental Services process guideline developed
  • Performance-based Grant System Guideline developed and pilotedLandscape Support Unit established in Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC)
  • Capacity of national biodiversity institutions strengthened
  • District Forest Coordination Committee (DFCC) and Community Forest Coordination Committee (CFCC) established and strengthened; capacity of community institutions enhanced
  • Trans-boundary cooperation and collaboration between Nepal and India (e.g., deterring poaching and illegal trade of wildlife practices, replication of best practices)
  • Habitat conditions improved, biodiversity maintained/enhanced, biodiversity threats reduced
  • Agro-biodiversity conservation practiced initiated (e.g., establishment of seed banks)
  • Facilities for wildlife surveillance and monitoring enhanced and human-wildlife conflict reduced
  • Dependency on forest products was reduced (e.g., installation of biogas attached toilets and improved cooking stoves)
  • Income and employment opportunities enhanced; strengthened market linkages and networking of forest based enterprises
  • Enhancement of household access and participation of forest management through community forestry programs, private plantations also increased participation in community institutions.

Who Financed it?

Amount contributed
GEF $3.3m
UNDP $1.3m
Total budget $4.6 million
In-kind funding
Bioversity International  
Government of Nepal  
Parallel funding
SNV $2.4m
WWF $1.5m
Total parallel funding $3.9 million

Delivery in previous fiscal year




UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Nepal 
Go to UNDP Global