Economics of Forest Restoration in Chure region of Nepal

Economics of Forest Restoration in Chure region of Nepal

As a part of the Paris Agreement, Government of Nepal has submitted its revised NDCs(nationally determined contributions) for mitigating the climate change impacts, where forest restoration is one of the key areas. By 2030, the Government of Nepal plans to further increase its forest coverage, where restoring the forests of Chure region is one of the core aspect. However, there has been prevalence of issues such as economic aspects of past and present forest restoration programs including their environmental and social impacts, lack of understanding and existence of conflicting evidence regarding the restoration effects. There has been existing knowledge gap in the aspect of effectiveness, costs, and benefits of previous or existing tree-planting and forest restoration and amount of carbon sequestration. Additionally, there is a need for examination on regards of sustainability of forests, forest restoration incentives and impacts of restoration programs on livelihoods, employment generation, poverty, and gender equity between households and communities. Thus, the project aims to generate information and knowledge for designing and implementing effective nature-based climate solutions and access to financial resources to support forest restoration.

Project objectives

Overall objective

The research aims at generating information needed to design and implement effective nature-based climate solutions and access financial resources to support forest restoration. In particular the research intends to:

Specific objectives:

– Elucidate the economics of plantation forests on private land as a nature-based carbon mitigation option in Madhesh province of Nepal.

– Understand the institutional attributes that shape restoration outcomes.

– Mapping, and trend analysis of forest cover and forest carbon (both in the forest as a whole and restoration sites) and its relation to ES, policies and intervention.

– Capacity building of younger and emerging researchers to conduct relevant research on the topic.


Activities

Activity 1: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of private plantation forests for carbon mitigation in Madhesh province
Details: This research investigates the economic feasibility of private plantation forests in Madhesh province for carbon mitigation by analyzing the different intervention practices and cost-benefit analysis of the landowners. Quantitative method will be utilized to provide clear economic rationale and practical recommendations for promoting plantation forests as a viable carbon mitigation strategy.
Expected outcome: The activity will achieve a comprehensive understanding of the economic feasibility of establishing and sustaining private plantation forest to mitigate carbon emissions in Madhesh Province. It entails the development of a robust framework for evaluating the cost-benefit dynamics of future plantation projects, facilitating informed decision-making processes. Furthermore, there will be a publication in a peer-reviewed international journal, providing a comprehensive understanding of the economic viability of establishing and maintaining private plantation forests for carbon mitigation purposes.


Activity 2: Evaluate the influence of institutional frameworks on forest restoration outcomes
Details: An in-depth institutional analysis will be conducted to identify key factors influencing forest restoration outcomes in Madhesh province focusing on policies, regulations, and stakeholder roles. Case studies, KIIs and stakeholder workshops will be utilized to extract best practices and foster consensus on improving institutional frameworks for better restoration outcomes.
Expected outcome: This activity is expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of the institutional dynamics influencing forest restoration success in Madhesh province, encompassing policies, regulations, and stakeholder roles. By analyzing these factors, actionable recommendations will be formulated to enhance institutional frameworks, facilitating effective restoration initiatives in the region. The insights gleaned from this will be disseminated through publication in a peer-reviewed international journal, to inform strategies for improving the effectiveness of restoration efforts worldwide.


Activity 3: Analyze trends in forest cover and carbon, in relation to policies and interventions
Details: Conduct comprehensive mapping and trend analysis of forest cover and carbon stocks in Madhesh province using remote sensing and GIS data. Assess the relationship between these trends and ecosystem services, policies, and interventions to provide actionable insights and policy recommendations for optimizing forest management and carbon sequestration, with findings disseminated through reports, policy briefs, and stakeholder workshops.
Expected outcome: This activity will leverage remote sensing to analyze forest cover and biomass and carbon trends, and their relationship with policies and population information. The findings will be presented as informative maps and reports, offering valuable insights for managing forest resources and their associated benefits.


Activity 4: Develop research capacity of younger researchers on nature-based solutions for carbon mitigation
Details: Develop and implement a comprehensive capacity-building program to empower young and emerging researchers with essential skills and knowledge in forest economics and restoration through thesis grant.
Expected outcome: By fostering the next generation of researchers, this activity is expected to contribute to a future with several publications in relevant scientific journals.