This project provide a chance to have impact in a country that severely lacks resources for sustainable development and conservation. This coupled with the devastation of the 2015 earthquake, make it crucial that the project attracts investors. In the early stages of the project, thousands of villagers were engaged through the village forest user groups, and many people consider Rupantaran, working from Kathmandu, to be well placed to lead the world in this kind of community forestry. It is currently working in 4 administrative ‘districts’ of Nepal.
The project is about empowering communities to improve their relationship with the forests making it sustainable. The communities are very well organised and facilitated by Rupantaran, a social enterprise that consolidated the experience of a team that has worked for the last decade on community forestry in Nepal.
- Through restoration of the Great Himalayan Forest, carbon credits have been issued under the Plan Vivo Standard.
- The Forests protect the watershed for millions down stream from the Himalayas in South Asia, so natural regeneration of the forests will reduce flood risk and reduce seasonal droughts.
- The high forests are home to key species including Bears, Leopards and a massive wealth of floral biodiversity which is being supported by the project as pressure is reduced on the remaining natural ecosystems and wildlife habitat.
- The project villages are vulnerable with limited incomes. The communities live and work with the forests relying on them for wood for cooking and construction, and for fodder for animals. Stabilising these resources for the long term benefits thousands of villagers on the edge of the forests.
- This project is certified under Plan Vivo Standard and has been operational since 2016.
“they have taken community forestry to a new level, if you ask anyone in the world where the best community forestry is practiced it’s in Nepal” Willie McGhee, Plan Vivo project development consultant