Nepal: Building Grassroots Capacity for REDD+
Project overview and updates in the country
REDD+ in Nepal
Nepal holds many opportunities for the development of participatory and equitable REDD+ projects, in part because the country has nearly three decades of experience in participatory forest management. Several national REDD+ pilot projects involving multiple stakeholders give examples of effective practices and lessons that can inform future programs.
Despite the various REDD+ activities taking place in the country, there is still a need to improve awareness and understanding of REDD+ at community, district, and national-government levels. There is also a need for more attention to be paid to how REDD+ can be used to improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent indigenous people and local communities.
Another challenge is increasing coordination among the numerous national REDD+ projects. Sharing the findings of these REDD+ pilot sites will contribute to developing an effective national REDD+ strategy and improving local livelihoods through new REDD+ projects.
Our In-Country Approach
Community forestry, well-established in large parts of Nepal, forms a solid basis for sharing information about forest projects. Thanks to this system, grassroots stakeholders already have a solid grasp of concepts required for forest management and a high interest in REDD+ programs. This context allowed for rapid project implementation in phase I of the project (August 2009 - July 2010).
For phase II (August 2010 - July 2013), we are building on the positive results of distributing information in Nepali language through capacity building and awareness raising events, radio programs, handouts, posters, brochures, street shows, case studies, and wider use of local print and electronic media. Nepal is continuing to initiate trainings on the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) approach and to include it in relevant REDD+ training materials. Additionally, we are integrating social inclusion issues by, for instance, taking different approaches to improve gender equality and to include indigenous peoples, Dalits, and other minority communities in REDD+ training and capacity building activities.
So far in Nepal, the Grassroots Capacity Building for REDD+ project has:
- Clarified stakeholder needs. An initial needs assessment showed that it is of high priority to identify, document, and share experiences among grassroots stakeholders, showcasing important aspects of REDD+.
- Trained approximately 350 trainers in climate change and REDD+. Equipped with knowledge and skills from our courses and workshops, most of our alumni have already held community-level trainings in 345 villages, reaching more than 8000 local men and 7000 local women - including 5500 indigenous people and 1300 Dalits.
- Shared lessons from Nepal throughout the region. Two Nepali-language manuals, designed to train new trainers in REDD+, were translated into English to share in the other three project countries and with other interested parties. One manual targets an audience of facilitators at the national and sub-national levels and the other addresses trainers at the community level.
- Engaged local print and electronic media in sharing information. The project supported a Nepali journalist to take part in an international media training on climate change and REDD+ organized by RECOFTC. With his support, a journalist fellowship initiative was established, getting a reputable media organization on board which moved this initiative forward by training 16 journalists in climate change and REDD+ issues and locally airing 12 radio episodes about climate change and REDD+. Among the trained journalists, ten published news and articles, including radio and TV programs. The initiative, including the initial media catalyst, is continuing this year as well, now already engaged with nearly 45 journalists.
- Partnered with local organizations. Through district level trainings, we implemented trainings with local-level organizations in order to build their capacity and increase the outreach and impact of the REDD+ training programs. Partner organizations include local non-government organizations, civil society organizations, women's organizations, people's federations and networks, and community-based organizations.
- Strengthened in-country networking. The project has closely coordinated with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to ensure that capacity-building materials and their design respond closely to the needs identified through national REDD+ readiness programs. We also work with the National REDD Forestry and Climate Change Cell to align the project activities with national policies and programs for REDD+.
- National and district-level FPIC in REDD+ trainings conducted. Based on the translated RECOFTC Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) guidebook in Nepali language, alumni facilitators from previous ToTs have been invited to strengthen their current REDD+ knowledge and skills, and learn more about FPIC. The training programs have been received very well and are generating a lot of interest among the target stakeholders. This enhanced knowledge is included in community level awareness events.
- Established feedback loops. An independent consultant team monitored and evaluated the success and impact of the project activities conducted until October 2011. The results were predominantly positive and recommendations are addressed in the current year. Furthermore, feedback received at each conducted event as well as at specific meetings, such as one on how to improve the training manuals, feeds into national refresher and reflection workshops. At these workshops further experience is shared and future activities planned accordingly, incorporating the suggestions for improvement.
- Gender integration in REDD+ training programs. A national partner organization focusing on strengthening women’s rights in natural resource management has so far conducted training events at the sub-national level with 23 women participants and at the community level in two districts, reaching nearly 900 participants with 700 women. Additionally, a national level event to share experience and create a discussion forum with a group of women policy makers at higher level, attended by 17 women and 5 men, was organized. All these events aim to raise awareness and continue discussions about how women’s rights in REDD+ can be strengthened.
Nepal Project Areas
We are focusing on following districts:
Mid-hills Region (Central Nepal)
Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN)
Himalayan Grassroots Women's Natural Resources Management Association (HIMAWANTI)
- Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB)
- Center for Integrated Community Development
- Community Forestry Supporter's Network Nepal (CoFSUN)
- Dalit Alliance for Natural Resources (DANAR)
- ECO Nepal
- Environmental Resources Institute (ERI)
- Federation of Irrigation Water Users
- Forest Action
- Freed-bonded Labor Society
- International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
- REDD Forestry and Climate Change Cell, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC), Government of Nepal
- Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities
- Nepal Forester Association