© Spriha Shrestha/WWF Nepal
WWF Nepal practices a human rights based approach (HRBA) alongside various participatory approaches to ensure human wellbeing.
In 2015, WWF Nepal developed guidelines on implementing and integrating human rights based approaches into the program and project management cycle. 

Furthermore, WWF Nepal's inclusive conservation approach employs mechanisms that promote accountability, participation, and equitable governance mechanisms for sustainable management and governance of natural resources, including pro-poor conservation, inclusive decision making and gender equality and social inclusion (GESI).

WWF Nepal's Governance theme prioritizes four areas - inclusive conservation, sustainable green infrastructure, sustainable development goals, and policy engagement.  


The major challenge stifling long term conservation impact and sustainable development in Nepal has been weak governance and institutional mechanisms, inequality in access to natural resources-based benefit and decision making processes among right holders and duty bearers, and discrimination based on gender and ethnicity. Added to this are increasing population pressures, rampant poverty, and low awareness among local communities on sustainable management of natural resources which further decelerates conservation efforts.

© WWF Nepal/Hariyo Ban Program
WWF Nepal seeks to strengthen access to natural resource and support equitable benefit sharing mechanisms for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities by creating inclusive, transparent, accountable, and participatory governance mechanisms for sustainable management of natural resources.

Inclusive Conservation

WWF Nepal strives to empower vulnerable and indigenous communities to ensure meaningful participation in natural resources conservation and management. In the pursuit of these goals, WWF Nepal prioritizes Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Human Rights Based Approach, Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), and Environment and Social Safeguards across its projects at local, province and federal levels.

Sustainable Development Goals

In alignment with the global SDGs, WWF Nepal seeks to localize environmental SDG's (SDG 6, 7, 13 and 15) by engaging and building the capacity of state and non-state actors, duty bearers and civil society organizations to incorporate SDGs in development plans.

Sustainable Green Infrastructure

WWF Nepal engages with multiple stakeholders to develop ecologically sound, climate resilient and socially inclusive infrastructure, prioritizing policy advocacy, capacity development and integration of environmental assessments into local and national level infrastructure development plans.

Policy Engagement

Since Nepal's adoption of the federal structure, WWF Nepal has been committed towards developing and enabling environment for formulation of environment-friendly policies at the local, province, and federal levels. The impact is evident in the reflection of environment related issues in Environment Protection Acts, and regulations and guidelines at the national, provincial and local levels.

Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures

WWF Nepal is supporting the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal to develop a national plan for achieving or exceeding Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Target 3, "Ensure that at least 30 per cent globally of land areas and of sea areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative, and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes." 

With Nepal’s commitment to increasing forest coverage and achieving 30% of areas for conservation by 2030, Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) has a huge potential to achieve an inclusive and effective conservation of biodiversity and move beyond the expansion of protected areas. 
© Shayasta Tuladhar/WWF Nepal

WWF Nepal works with a range of conservation partners across all levels focusing on accountability of duty bearers and empowerment of right holders. However, limited human resources and institutional capacity among community based institutions has proven to be a major challenge.

In this regard, WWF Nepal though a variety of interventions, works towards improving environmental and institutional accountability among duty bearers towards right holders at the community-based organizations level. These right holders comprise primarily of poor and vulnerable groups and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, whereas interventions focus on access to conservation benefits and involvement in decision making, monitoring, and management.

A major challenge in WWF Nepal's initiatives to promote good governance has been the meaningful engagement of marginalized groups; including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and other vulnerable groups, in areas of natural resource planning, management, and decision making. WWF Nepal therefore consistently works to empower these communities across social, educational, cultural and economic areas to boost local capacities.



Mainstreaming cross cutting issues including biodiversity, climate change, environment, and gender and social inclusion into development and cross sectoral policies and plans requires close coordination amongst all these stakeholders at vertical; establishing connections among the three tiers of government, and horizontal levels; working with different ministries and stakeholders across all three tiers. 


© WWF Nepal


The Government of Nepal through its local governments have invested a significant proportion of their annual budgets in infrastructure development. Unfortunately, these development plans do not adequately include environmental factors. To align biodiversity and environmental agenda with development ones, it is imperative to develop close working relationships, and support capacity building at the newly formed local government levels. 
In this backdrop, and as stipulated under the Local Governance Operationalization Act, 2017, local governments are expected to implement various environment related activities, including watershed, biodiversity, disaster, climate change, among others. To facilitate implementation of these activities, WWF supports the various policies and legal framework processes as mentioned above, alongside providing support for capacity development training for effective execution of these legal instruments.