The program finds its inspiration from the popular saying ‘Hariyo Ban Nepal KoDhan (Healthy green forests are the wealth of Nepal) which emphasizes the links between people and forests. The first phase of the Hariyo Ban Program was launched in August 2011 and concluded till December 2016. It aimed to reduce adverse impacts of climate change and threats to biodiversity in Nepal. Significant progress was made in achieving the Program goal.
The second phase of the Program started in July 2016 and will run for another five years. It builds on the accomplishments and learning of the first phase in addressing biodiversity threats and climate vulnerability. The goal of the new phase is to increase ecological and community resilience in biodiverse landscapes – Chitwan- Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) and the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL). This goal will be achieved through two objectives (a) improving conservation and management of TAL and CHAL landscapes; and (b) reducing climate change vulnerability in the landscapes.
It works on two core interwoven components – biodiversity conservation including livelihoods, and climate change adaptation. Governance and gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) are cross-cutting themes. This five-year phase has been made possible with a generous award of USD 18 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program is implemented by a consortium of four organizations — World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) — with WWF as lead.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE FIRST PHASE
Total number of people benefiting – 284,548
Number of community based anti-poaching units (CBAPUs) formed – 201
Hectares of biodiverse area demonstrating improved biophysical condition – 75,376
Number of people benefitting from alternative energy – 173,860
Number of adaptation plans supported for implementation – 398
Numberofpeopleemployedthroughcashfor work -16,651
Number of forest-dependent people benefitting from livelihood interventions – 79,830
The Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape covers all the Gandaki river basin in Nepal, ranging from the dry deserts of Mustang and high Himalayan peaks down through the mid-hills and Churia range to the Terai. The Terai Arc Landscape in Nepal lies in the southern lowland, running from the Bagmati River in the east to the Indian border in the west; it is a trans-boundary landscape shared with India. Both landscapes have ten-year Strategies and Action Plans under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation. Building on first phase results, the second phase of Hariyo Ban will work at multiple levels in TAL and CHAL to support implementation of the Strategies, from site and landscape to national level, with a strategic focus on specific corridors, protected areas and sub-river basins to pilot, scale up and leverage change in the landscapes. The Program has prioritized the following complexes in TAL.
(i) Shuklaphanta National Park – Brahmadev Corridor; (ii) Bardia National Park – Karnali Corridor; (iii) Banke National Park – Kamdi Corridor; and (iv) Chitwan National Park – Barandabhar Corridor.
In CHAL, activities will be implemented in three priority sub-basins: (i) Seti, (ii) Marshyandi, and (iii) Daraundi. These areas include all or part of fifteen districts in the two landscapes: Dadheldhura, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Bardia, Banke, Dang, Nawalpur, Chitwan, Kaski, Tanahun, Syangja, Manang, Mustang, Lamjung and Gorkha. Out of these 15 district, FECOFUN implement its program only in 12 districts except Dadeldhura, Manang and Mustang.
The second phase of Hariyo Ban will scale up successful approaches to address key threats to biodiversity conservation such as unsustainable harvesting of forest products, human-wildlife conflict (HWC), invasive species, climate-induced droughts and forest fire, as well as emerging threats with significant impacts which were not adequately addressed earlier – illegal wildlife trade, and poorly designed and managed infrastructure.
To combat these threats, the Program will implement strategic interventions embedded in the TAL and CHAL Strategies, supporting focal species and habitat management including research and monitoring; species translocation; climate smarting and implementing conservation area management and species conservation action plans; management of important biodiversity areas; mobilization of local and national level HWC relief funds; capacity building of government agencies and communities on legal wildlife trade; engagement with stakeholders who are involved in infrastructure development.
Reducing community dependency on unsustainable extraction of forest resources by creating alternatives livelihood opportunities will be a major focus of the program. The livelihood interventions initiated in the first phase will be geared towards market based green enterprise development with greater involvement of the private sector. Small scale enterprise support will focus on forest dependent ultra-poor people, women and youths by enhancing entrepreneurial skill that are designed to reduce forest pressure, linking them with markets and other input service providers. Medium and large scale, climate smart enterprises will focus in areas where climate vulnerability is high or where there is a high potential for sustainable resource management and development.
Expected Results of Biodiversity Conservation
• Threat to target species reduced
• Threat to target landscape reduced
• Market based livelihood alternatives developed and promoted benefiting both people and biodiversity
Climate Change Adaptation
The first phase of the program made significant achievement in reduction the vulnerability of people and ecosystem to climate hazards such as more intensive drought, flood landslides, riverbank cutting, drying of water sources, disease in agriculture crops, and health issues for people. The second phase of the program will scale up community level achievement and practices by taking them to a higher level: corridor, watershed, sub-river basin and landscape as appropriate.
Mainstreaming community adaptation plans of action (CAPAs) and local adaptation plans of action (LAPAs) in the regular development planning process of government and stakeholders at local and sectorial level will be one of the main strategic approaches. In addition, the program will support integration of LAPAs with local disaster risk management plans and their implementation, promoting sound GISI and governance practices. Hariyo Ban Program Phase II will also support implantation of selected CAPAs and LAPAs that were developed in the first phase by maximizing resource leverage from other stakeholders such as collaboration with the Environment Friendly Local Governance (EFLG) program, incorporating the EFLG Framework in adaptation and DRR plans. Preparation and implementation of integrated sub-watershed management plans (IWSMPs); adaptation disaster risk reduction integration; scaling up payments for ecosystem services schemes initiated in the first phase; and introduction of time and energy saving technologies for agriculture and domestic use are other priorities under this component in order to promote climate adaptation, build ecosystem resilience and sustain ecosystem services for human wellbeing.
Expected Results of Climate Change Adaptation
• Climate resilience built and adaptation achieved through mainstreaming participatory approaches in local, district, and national planning process.
• Climate related risks to people and ecosystem reduced through disaster risk reduction and management efforts
Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) and Governance
The first phase played an important role in promoting better natural resource management (NRM) governance and GESI in biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation in order to improve the lives of poor and marginalized people and women, enhancing their contribution to biodiversity conservation and adaptation to climate impacts. However, due to limited scope of GESI and Governance as cross cutting themes in the first phase, their overall contribution in achieving the program goal was not very visible. This has been rectified in the second phase with addition of explicit result areas.
Strategic interventions will target empowerment of women, Dalit ethnic and other marginalized groups including economic empowerment; engaging men and decision makers as GESI champions; and challenging stereotyped gender roles. At organization level, the focus will be on improving internal GESI and governance policies, standards and governance practiced by user groups, ensuring equitable access to and benefit sharing from natural resources for women and marginalized groups; enhancing participation of women, youth, ad marginalized people as effective leaders in decision making and advocacy; and building capacity of user groups and other stakeholders including crating an enabling environment to leverage and mobilize resources.
Expected Results of GESI
• Improved GESI internal polies, standards, and governance practiced by users groups
• More women, youth and marginalized people performing effective leadership, decision making and advocacy
• More equitable access to and benefit sharing from natural resources for women and marginalized groups
Expected Results of Governance
• Improved institutional capacity of users groups
• Improved capacity of groups to leverage and mobilize resources
• Improved technical capacity of users groups to advance local solutions on biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation issues.
• Improved policy and enabling environment for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation