WWF received a three-year grant from the GEF to address the issues related to land degradation and climate change vulnerability in the Churia range, a fragile ecosystem covering about 13% of the total land area of Nepal. The project titled ‘Sustainable Land Management in the Churia Range, Nepal’ was officially launched amidst a ceremony in the capital today.
“This project marks an important start to help address the growing challenges in the Churia range,” stated Krishna Raj BC, Officiating Secretary of the Ministry of Land Reform and Management. “It underscores the need for a multi-stakeholder approach and coordination that is much needed to address the diverse environmental and human complexities of the region.”
The project being implemented by WWF Nepal in coordination the Ministry of Land Reform and Management, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Ministry of Agricultural Development and Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment covers four Churia range districts namely Makawanpur, Parsa, Bara and Rautahat.
The Churia range is important to the environmental and economic well-being of Nepal. However, land degradation and deforestation have increased the vulnerability of the Churia range where incidences of floods and landslides are on the rise. This also directly impacts people living in downstream areas. The GEF-funded project in Nepal will, in essence, empower local communities to sustainably manage the forests of the Churia range and promote community-based conservation. Project partners will also work towards improving the development and implementation of Nepal’s policies related to land use, and identify sensitive forest areas for restoration and conservation.
“We take pride in knowing that WWF Nepal is the government’s trusted partner in conservation,” stated Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “The new GEF-funded project opens up opportunities to further strengthen this partnership while working with the local communities in order to build long term and sustainable solutions to biodiversity conservation.”
The GEF is the largest source of public international funding for projects to address global environmental challenges. WWF Nepal became the first office in the WWF network to pilot the GEF project under the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) for its fifth replenishment period (GEF-5).
“This accreditation is the result of a very strong working relationship between WWF Nepal and the Government of Nepal in collaboration with WWF GEF Agency”, stated Herve LeFeuvre, Director of GEF Relations, WWF US. “WWF and the Government of Nepal will work together to scale up the results of this project in the context of GEF-6 programming between 2014 and 2018”.