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EbA 2 Project launches for environment conservation and livelihood improvement

Bhisma Raj Ojha, KATHMANDU: The project ‘Catalyzing Ecosystem Restoration for Climate Resilient Natural Capital and Rural Livelihoods in Degraded Forests and Rangelands of Nepal (EbA 2)’ has been launched in three districts of the country.
The project under the joint aegis of the Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Global Environment Fund is implemented in 11 local levels of Achham, Salyan and Dolakha districts, the areas most vulnerable to the climate change effects.
The four-year project has a fund of approximately Rs 550 million.
According to the Ministry, the project will contribute to the conservation of bio-diversity, restoration of ecosystem and support to livelihood, among others, through coordination nd collaboration with the local governments.
Speaking in the inception workshop of the project here today, Minister for Forests and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet said that the project will create employment at the local level and contribute to poverty reduction through livelihood support. He suggested planting saplings of economically profitable plants and trees while carrying out plantation under the project.
He said the government was in the process of making the required amendments to the laws to leverage the EIA legal process, stressing the need to maintain balance between the environment and development.
Secretary at the Ministry, Dr Bishwanath Oli opined that Nepal would be benefited from internationally-supported projects such as this one as a way of compensation in the context of Nepal-like countries having to duffer from climate change adverse effects though their contribution to global warming is nil.
He added that the project sites have been selected based on various studies and research, hoping the EbA 2 project would be of assistance in maintaining balance between environment and development.
Tree plantation would be carried out in more than 1,000 hectares area, 450 hectares rangeland would be managed and restored, 120 hectares of improved terraces would be developed, 400 hectares farmland would be improved, water springs improved, herbs farming would be encouraged and processing of ginger, cardamom and other spices promoted under the project.
Representative of the UN Environment, Ms Moon Shrestha described the EbA 2 project as focused on environment conservation and people-centric. She believed that the project will increase the direct participation of local government and community in environment conservation efforts. She suggested doing away with duplication in the forestry projects and making the project gender-inclusive.
Chief of the Ministry’s Climate Change Management Division, Dr Maheshwar Dhakal expressed the confidence the project’s activities implemented in the hilly and mountainous areas vulnerable to adverse impact of climate change, which are based on sustainable management of natural resources, would contribute to building up the capacity of local communities and governments. He suggested expanding the project in future learning from its best practices.
Coordinator of the project Ramhari Panth said The goal of the project is to reduce the climate vulnerability of local communities in Nepal through local and national institutional capacity development, policy and strategy strengthening, and demonstration interventions that increase adaptive capacity to climate change and restoration of natural capital.
He added that forest, pasture and agriculture would be integrated in conducting the project activities and the province and local level offices under the Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development would be involved in this.
A population of 59,172 from 12,072 households in the project area would be benefited. Seventeen percent of the project amount would be spend in the first year, 28 percent amount in the second year, 27 percent in the third year and 28 percent in the fourth year of the project, the Ministry stated. RSS

Published Date: Monday, March 11th, 2019 | 09:05 PM

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