Posted on 12 April 2023
OECMs or Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures are geographically defined areas of particularly important for biodiversity conservation other than protected areas, that deliver long-term biodiversity conservation under inclusive and equitable governance and management.
Over the past few months, WWF Nepal has organized multi-stakeholder inception workshops in the center, seven consultation workshops in all provinces, 13 local consultation workshops and three community consultation meetings to discuss local-to-national priorities related to biodiversity conservation and OECMs, with a focus on ecosystem representation and right-based approaches to conservation and planning for effective and connected area-based conservation.
During the local level consultation meetings, stakeholders of Rural Municipalities – Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Chief Administration Officer, Ward Chairpersons, Executive members including Dalit and Indigenous women and experts working in natural resource management sections of local government, divisional/sub-divisional forest offices, Non-Governmental Organizations, civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and local communities, community-based organizations, and private sectors were involved. They discussed the key local biodiversity hotspots outside Protected Areas, problems, and solutions for conserving and managing biodiversity effectively, with due consideration to local IPs and communities’ rights, equity, and ecological representation and to maintain ecological connectivity for sustainable in situ biodiversity conservation. The stakeholders emphasized the need to empower the local government, effective coordination, and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, and develop a policy guidance to establish OECMs in the country.
With the outputs received from the consultations, WWF Nepal is providing support to the Ministry of Forests and Environment to prepare a National plan for Inclusive and Effective Conservation Approach to reaching Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Target 3. Target 3 of the GBF aims to protect at least 30% of the earth’s terrestrial, inland water, and of coastal and marine areas by 2030.
With Nepal’s commitment to increasing forest coverage and achieving 30% of areas for conservation by 2030, OECMs has a huge potential to achieve an inclusive and effective conservation of biodiversity and move beyond the expansion of protected areas.