NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Developing Low-Cost, Community-Based Innovative Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt with Climate Change while Creating Viable Local Business Solutions [NDF C3 D13]

Worker at a nursery in Chitwan. Photo: Wildlife Conservation Nepal
Preparation for restoration of degraded forests. Photo: Wildlife Conservation Nepal
Established nursery in Nawalparasi. Photo: Wildlife Conservation Nepal
Community mobiliser in Chitwan taking care of the nursery. Photo: Wildlife Conservation Nepal
6.10.2017
Nepal Developing Low-Cost, Community-Based Innovative Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt with Climate Change while Creating Viable Local Business Solutions Ref: NDF C3 D13
Nordic Partner: Danish Forestry Extension
Local Partner: Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN) and Choudhary Biosys Nepal Pvt Ltd (CBNL)
Other Partners: Biosynergy Ltd
Total Project Cost: EUR 451,715
NCF Financing: EUR 360,565
Agreement Signed: 5 March 2013
Project Classification: Mitigation/Adaptation
Duration: 44 Months (Completed)
 

Project Objective

The key objective was to support sustainable economic development of forest communities though climate adapting and carbon sequestrating interventions. Specific objectives included the engagement of local communities in climate resilient and carbon sequestrating ecosystem restoration practices, and the farming of non-timber forest products (NFTP). These have provided viable business opportunities through marketing and the application of appropriate value-adding processing technology through the formation of women group cooperatives.

Description

The project has promoted non-timber forest products, which contribute in building an ecosystem’s resilience against climate change in local communities. The project focused on the sound management of natural forest areas and developing agro-forestry in five community forestry user-groups in four districts. The project’s activities in the upland regions of Rasuwa and Makwanpur focused on the sound management of natural forest areas with the production of wintergreen among others. In Nawalparasi and Chitwan, the activities were more focused on developing agro-forestry with the cultivation of species like patchouli. The non-timber forest products are mostly processed into essential oils to be sold to the organic cosmetics industry. Since these products have a high value per volume, no sophisticated logistics were required to bring the products to the markets. Appropriate, low-cost production technology was transferred to communities and the producers were linked to a well-established market. All activities were accompanied by hands-on awareness programs on the impacts of climate change and the means of adaptation for local forest users, farmers, women’s groups and students.

The project has generated full-time employment opportunities for 10 individuals from local communities, while 205 individuals benefited from seasonal job opportunities generated by agro-forestry and forestry systems in the community forests. 65 women have been empowered via establishment of 6 women grower groups with democratic structures, to ensure women’s long-term involvement in income generating activities. Three distillation units were set up to distil aromatic oils (patchouli and wintergreen), enabling 105 households to generate an annual income of approximatively 3 million Nepalese Rupees (NPR), equivalent to approximatively 27,000 Euro per year in total or 260 Euro/HH per year on average. Awareness was raised, capacity enhanced and new skills acquired by 633 individuals who participated in the 23 trainings organized by the project. Furthermore, a wide environmental study programme was set up, reaching 6,000 students of the local schools.

Introduction of Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS) has been a positive intervention in the forest communities so that individual households can decrease pressure on forests for fuel and also decrease indoor pollution. This has an important impact on the widespread respiratory diseases found in the forest communities which still largely depend on firewood for cooking. ICS also help women to save time to do productive work by relieving them of time consuming aspect of firewood collection. The project has also opened doors to various forest-based alternative livelihood options such as briquette production, homestay programs promoting eco-tourism and possibilities of a jam industry. The project has focussed its efforts in different areas populated by ethnic communities like Tamang, Tharus, Chepangs and others who are marginalized from different social and developmental activities.

Relevance for Climate Change

Climate change may aggravate the impacts of poor land management, which has an intensifying impact on rural livelihoods. The project improved communities’ abilities to adapt against climate change by providing them with knowledge, skills and the means to adjust to emerging climate change realities. Tree planting supported the road infrastructure against erosion and landslides, while having a positive impact on watershed management with increased infiltration and improved groundwater availability.  The change in land management practices towards climate resilient ecosystems can make farming practices better adapted to extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, especially by increasing the water absorption and retention properties of the soil.

The project intended to meet the capacity of the agro-forestry and restoration to both raise the carbon stock and produce livelihood benefits. Out of total 900,000 plant saplings that have been propagated, 200,000 saplings were various high value species. The remaining 700,000 saplings were Patchouli, produced out of rooted cuttings of mother plants and thereafter planted in 25 ha of once barren land inside the community forest. A total of 185,000 different high value multipurpose tree species which are acting as carbon sinks in 5 different community forests, in total 1 400 ha, in 4 districts, were planted. This has successfully restored 180 ha of the once degraded, barren and water logged areas of the communities’ forests. The installation of 200 ICS in the project sites has helped reducing the consumption of fuel wood by 70% thereby reducing the forest pressure and greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the project is focusing on adaptation via the aforementioned activities, it is estimated that the project has sequestered/reduced about 7,100 CO2e over the implementation period. After the implementation, the project’s average mitigation potential is estimated at 6,450 tCO2e/a. The project has also conducted an extensive inventory and GPS-registered all sample plots, setting the carbon credits baseline, which can be useful later on.
 

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The innovativeness of the project consisted of combining the development of local business opportunities through high-value products with capacity building and increased ecosystem resilience. Results show that a sustainable exploitation of tree and bush species will add economic value to these species, which in turn will motivate the local population to further protection and sound management.

 

More information

Danish Forestry Extension
WCN
CBLN
Biosynergy
WCN Presentation