Government of Nepal and UNDP sign US$4 million project for conservation and sustainable use of Wetlands

Mar 15, 2007

15 March, Kathmandu - The Government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed a US$ 4 million project entitled 'Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Nepal' to be implemented in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Sunsari and its buffer zone districts and the Ghodaghodi Lake Complex of Kailali district.

'We hope to develop this as a model for sustainable wetland management in Nepal to be replicated by the government. Moreover the project will also indirectly contribute to the peace building process by improving the livelihood opportunities of the targeted communities thus enhancing access to natural resources,' said Mr. Ghulam Isaczai, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

With this new initiative, the communities themselves will be involved in the management planning process and identifying practical and sustainable alternatives for harvesting and collecting wetland resources and forest products. As a result, the communities dependent on the wetland for livelihood will immensely benefit from the project. At present, there is a high dependence on forest and wetland resources since a large number of population is engaged in agriculture and fishing in both the project areas.

The new project will create awareness on and build the institutional capacity of the communities to conserve the wetlands which are being threatened by several factors such as poaching, cattle grazing, over fishing, uncontrolled drainage, pollution and deforestation. The communities will also be able to influence local development policies supportive to wetlands, develop incentives for community-based ecotourism activities, and promote sustainable utilisation of resources.

The project is technically and financially supported by UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The implementing partner for the project is the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) and The World Conservation Union (IUCN) Nepal. Other partners at the local level are Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), Department of Forest (DoF), District Development Committees (DDCs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs).

Contact Information

For further information please contact: Sangita Khadka 5523200 ext: 1077, mob: 98510 81114.