Uprating Community Forest management in Nepal: enhancing biodiversity and livelihoods

Uprating Community Forest management in Nepal: enhancing biodiversity and livelihoods

Jalthal Biodiversity project is a Darwin Initiative UK supported project implemented by ForestAction Nepal in collaboration with Royal Botanic Garden Edinburg, UK (RBGE), Kathmandu Forestry College (KAFCOL), Federation of Community Forest User Groups Nepal (FECOFUN, Jhapa). The project aimed to conserve biodiversity in community forests of Nepal through field actions and capacity building of key stakeholders i. e. community forest user groups (CFUGs). Jalthal forest has been the primary site to demonstrate practical models of biodiversity conservation and forest restoration. Jalthal forest, paradoxically, shows diversity and degradation simultaneously.

The project was designed to conserve the rich biodiversity and mitigate drivers of forest degradation. During the period of its implementation (July 2019 to March 2023) the project has identified key features of biodiversity and highlighted the extraordinary socio-ecological significance of the forest. Through biodiversity profile, the project has demonstrated that community forests have high biodiversity, which is often overlooked, and deserve conservation attention. The project has developed a simple yet effective models of degraded forest restoration through integrated site management. The project has piloted a new approach for invasive species management for better economic and ecological outputs. The project has also successfully piloted agroforestry approach of  forest restoration for the benefit of both nature and people.