Mainstreaming Environmental Rights and Principles of Good Governance for Natural Resource Management in Nepal
To improve governance and equitable benefit sharing at the watershed level through multistakeholder dialogue, watershed level conservation planning and policy advocacy at the national level
Background and activities
Nepalese forest communities have historically had limited access to state-controlled natural resources. Although there is now legal recognition of the importance of community forests and irrigation and water user groups, forest resource dependent communities are encouraged by IUCN and partners to substantially participate in management discussions and policy-making. This sub-project addresses community governance issues at the watershed level and helps to advocate for the integration of environmental rights and benefit-sharing mechanisms into the new constitution (promulgated in May 2010).
By approaching their community-based work at the watershed level, specifically in the Sardu region, and engaging with national political actors, IUCN and partners aim to increase dialogue for improved conservation planning and policy advocacy. Multi-stakeholder Forums (MSF) have been established as platforms for such discussion to produce a participatory watershed conservation plan and shape policy. This sub-project works to ensure that the results from MSFs are included in the government's annual plan.
Initiatives also focus on developing benefit-sharing mechanisms for upstream and downstream resource users. It provides training and information dissemination and supports outreach techniques to reach members of the Nepali Constituent Assembly, political parties, local government and community forest user groups. This increased understanding of the need for benefit-sharing and good governance at multiple levels will help in implementing long-term solutions to conflict over resources.
Through this sub-project, it is expected that Constituent Assembly Members will have better knowledge of good governance mechanisms and environmental rights and integrate these into constitutional amendments. This will be strengthened by active feedback loops and network building between local people and political actors.
As a tangible result of participatory initiatives, a watershed conservation plan that integrates principles of good governance will be developed.
IUCN-Nepal in Kathmandu acts as a facilitator and coordinator, providing technical support, mentoring and monitoring to ensure the effective implementation and successful outcome of initiatives.
Other partners include: the Dharan Municipality; the Federation for Community Forest Users Group (FECOFUN); the Forum for Justice (FFJ); the Association for Protection of Environment and Culture (APEC); the National Rhododendron Conservation Management Committee;the Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists; and The East Foundation.
With support from IUCN Nepal, under the project ‘Improving Natural Resource Governance for Rural Poverty Reduction’, funded by DFID, a month long Bicycle Rally from Mahakali to Mechi was successfully completed on 22 December 2010. With the main objective of creating awareness about Climate Change, Bio-diversity Conservation and Environmental Governance at the local level, two students from Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal, started their awareness campaign from Gaddachouki of Kanchanpur (Far West) on 26 November 2010 and completed the rally at Mechi Bridge in Eastern Nepal. …