Decent Work: Healthy Environment

Decent Work: Healthy Environment (DWHE) is an ambitious project to strengthen the rights and safety of forest workers in trade unions and improve the ecological values of forests by educating the forest workers on sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Under the project, two biggest sectors in the forestry - the conservation and management sectors - have joined hands to ensure that conservation and social security are blended to foster sustainable forest management and put a stop to forest degradation and deforestation. The project promotes conservation education and awareness including the social safety of the workers who depend on the natural environment for their livelihoods.
The DWHE project is jointly managed by WWF Nepal, Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK) and Building and Wood Workers’ International Nepal Affiliate Committee (BWI-NAC). This three-year project (2012-2014) is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Under the project, WWF Nepal will provide programmatic expertise and input in implementing conservation activities while SASK through its implementing partner organization, BWI-NAC, will take the responsibility of trade union-related activities. DWHE will also engage the Government of Nepal and trade union national centers to ensure the project runs smoothly.

© wwf nepal


The DWHE project will be implemented in ten districts of Nepal – Kailali, Bardiya, Nawalparasi, Chitwan, Makwanpur, Bara, Kathmandu, Rasuwa, Sidhupalchowk and Kavrepalanchowk. A pilot project “Enhancing Conservation and Social Development in Nepal” was initially tested in three districts in the Terai Arc Landscape (Kailali, Bardiya and Nawalparasi).

Project Objectives

This DWHE project aims to bring together the conservation sector and forest-based trade unions to ensure the sustainable development of the forestry sector in Nepal. The specific objectives of the project are:

• To enhance the awareness and understanding of the forest-based trade unions on sustainable forest management

• To contribute to the strengthening/creation of forest-based trade unions through increased memberships, safe working conditions and better forest conservation capacity

• To improve the ecological conditions of the forests as a result of better management methods

•To improve the capacity of government agencies and trade unions as well as to advocate and lobby for policies that support sustainable forestry development

Expected Results

  • Improved capacity of related trade unions in sustainable forest management
  • Overall reduction in workplace accidents
  • Increase in forest-based trade union members and their networks
  • Improvement of forest condition in result to better forest management through
              -reduction in forest fires
              -reduction in illegal logging
              -increase in sustainable harvesting practices
  • Enhanced understanding of forest-based trade unions on the implications of climate change in the forestry sector
  • Strengthened government understanding of the crucial role trade unions can play in addressing sustainable forest management in the face of climate change
  • Development of a policy document highlighting the role of Nepal’s trade unions in sustainable forestry management
  • Improvement of forest sector workers’ rights through union memberships and by the services they provide