Since 1961, WWF has worked to conserve nature and ecological processes through a combination of actions on the ground, national and international advocacy work to establish appropriate policies, and international campaigns to highlight and demonstrate solutions to crucial environmental problems.
WWF started working in Nepal from 1967 when it launched a rhino conservation program in Chitwan. To keep up with the evolving face of conservation and the environmental movement, WWF’s focus evolved from its localized efforts in conservation of single species in the 1960s/1970s, integrated conservation and development approach in the 1980s, to a new horizon of landscape level conservation encompassing national, regional and global scales of complexity in the early 2000s.
WWF’s work in Nepal is focused in the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) and Sacred Himalayan Landscape (SHL), including Koshi River Basin, and Chiwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) under the USAID-funded Hariyo Ban Program. It is centered on four thematic goals – forests, wildlife, water and climate & energy – and two drivers – finance and governance. The effective delivery of conservation results under the above four thematic areas are supported by crosscutting programs on policy and advocacy, curbing illegal wildlife trade, sustainable livelihoods, and communications.
In Nepal, WWF works closely with the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forests, Ministry of Population and Environment, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Ministry of Land Reform and Management, Water and Energy Commission Secretariat and National Trust for Nature Conservation. Besides the national priority areas, WWF Nepal also works in conservation issues of regional and trans-boundary importance.
WWF Nepal envisions a prosperous Nepal with a society possessing an ethic of stewardship and responsibility towards nature.
By 2050 Nepal will have:
WWF Nepal’s mission is to stop the degradation of Nepal’s natural environment, and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving biological diversity, ensuring sustainable use of renewable resources, reducing pollution and wasteful consumption, and addressing sustainable livelihoods.
WWF’s work in Nepal is part of Living Himalayas – WWF’s global initiative, which aims to bring the three governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal together to effectively manage and conserve the natural resources in the face of climate change for the sake of their unique people, their exceptional wildlife and their breath-taking environment. Combining connectivity and regional solutions, the initiative views the eco-region as a single unit and not a series of fragmented landscapes in separate countries. Wildlife trade, landscape management and development issues will be treated regionally, bringing people, government and industry together in the three countries and developing plans that straddle borders and landscapes.
The tiger is iconic of Asia’s natural heritage and ecological integrity, and has wide cultural esteem. Unfortunately, due to extensive habitat loss and intensive poaching for their body parts, tiger populations across the range have shrunk alarmingly over the past five decades. Today tigers occupy a mere 7% of their historic range. WWF, recognizing that a wider paradigm shift is required if Asia’s top predator is to survive the next decade and beyond, is working to protect the tiger through its ambitious network-wide Tigers Alive Initiative (TAI). The TAI team proposes a bold plan to galvanize political will and take action to double the number of wild tigers by the year 2022, focusing on 13 tiger landscapes in the 13 tiger range countries. The Government of Nepal has shown exceptional commitment to TX2 and is working with WWF Nepal and its conservation partners to achieve the same.
Asian elephants and all four Asian rhino species are amongst the most endangered large mammals in the world and their numbers are falling at some of the critical biodiversity sites. WWF is doing its best to halt this trend and initiated a suite of conservation activities for these important species under a comprehensive program called AREAS (Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy) and based the regional HQ in WWF Nepal Program since the year 2000. The overall objective is that the WWF AREAS program is instrumental in achieving conservation results through interventions by WWF and interventions of partner organizations (governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders) so that Asian elephant and rhino populations are viable in adequate habitats in 2020. It will do so by enhancing institutional capacity of WWF and partners through technical and policy support to contribute to the survival of viable populations of Asian elephants, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos in the wild. The program will also monitor at the regional level to measure the impact of WWF investments for the conservation of these four species of Asian pachyderms. Nepal aims to establish two viable rhino populations in Chitwan and Western Complexes.
We cannot look forward without looking back.
The past fiscal year marks a decade since WWF Nepal embarked on its journey onward under a new leadership, heavy with the loss of our conservation stalwarts from the tragic helicopter accident of 23 September 2006. This was also the time when Nepal was just coming out of the Maoist insurgency, which had fueled insecurity for the nation and years of conservation effort.
But onward we went. And in these changing times, if there was one constant that the WWF Nepal Program held on to, it was hope – hope and a spirit that will not allow us to give up on what we started.
We close a decade with the past fiscal year, which has further helped us build on our conservation promise. We are working towards creating a second viable population of rhinos in the western complex of the Terai Arc Landscape through a successful resumption of rhino translocations from Chitwan National Park. We were successful in celebrating two consecutive years of zero poaching of rhinos for the first time in Nepal, and probably in the world. Nepal’s forest cover has increased by 5%; successful forest restoration and protection programs, including the country’s far-reaching community forestry program, are the primary reasons behind this conservation impact with over 3,600ha of additional forests handed over to local communities in the last fiscal year alone. The government endorsement of the new landscape level strategies for the Terai Arc Landscape and Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape builds on our conservation ambition and will provide new impetus to conservation over the next ten-year period, while its commitment to ratify the Paris Agreement will help pave the roadmap for Nepal’s to further engage to build adaptive capacities of communities and ecosystems and enhance low carbon development. And we continued our work with the local communities, building resilience to the impacts of climate change while improving access to water resources, and strengthening capacity in natural resource management and undertaking conservation research while helping establish sustainable communities for conservation.
The coming fiscal year marks the start of our new strategic direction to guide our goals for the next five years with our key focus on building the WWF Nepal program as a centre of excellence and a sustainable office all made possible through the power of partnerships. I thank the government of Nepal for considering us a trusted partner in conservation, and deeply acknowledge the support from the WWF Network, local communities and conservation partners.
Here’s to hope and our indefatigable conservation spirit!
|1. Terai Arc Landscape Program||106,996,711||156,548,072||129,133,909||145,478,981||186,522,386|
|2. Sacred Himalayan Landscape Program||75,813,866||104,587,917||122,259,127||81,658,331||107,452,235|
|3. Other Priority Programs||282,256,987||441,150,941||659,155,467||897,425,878||891,225,190|
|4. Administrative Expenditure||16,689,465||17,129,622||8,540,378||7,633,621||13,092,348|
|Total Expenditure [1+2+3+4]
Figures in NRs
WWF Nepal acknowledges with gratitude the support received from the following partners, donors and supporters:
WWF Nepal would like to express special thanks to: Community Based Organizations; Media; Community Forest Coordination Committees; Community Forest User Groups, Buffer Zone User Groups; Buffer Zone User Committees; Buffer Zone Management Committees; Community-Based Anti-Poaching Units; Eco Clubs; Ghodaghodi Area Conservation and Awareness Forum; Kangchenjunga Conservation Area Management Council and user committees; Integrated Resource Management Committees; Mothers’ Groups; Youth Clubs; District Development Committees; District Forest Offices; Village Development Committees; Women Awareness Groups and local communities.
Climate adaptation interventions were supported through the formulation and implementation of Community Adaptation Plans of Action (CAPA) in vulnerable sites and Local Adaptation Plan for Action (LAPA) at the Village Development Committee level. An estimated 3,500 households benefitted from key adaptation interventions comprising of farmers’ schools, off-season cash crop farming, small irrigation support, construction of conservation ponds and water source protection to improve water availability for household use and irrigation. Plantations, check dams and bio-engineering for slope stabilization around vulnerable sites further helped protect forests and agricultural lands from inundation, landslides and river-bank cutting.
A total of 2,500 biogas units were installed during this fiscal year contributing to the target of 20,000 units under the second phase of the Gold Standard Biogas Verification Emission Reduction (VER) Project (2013-2020) with 8,750 installed since its start. WWF Nepal completed its first Gold Standard Biogas VER project in the Terai Arc Landscape in 2015. The first vantage of carbon credits from the first phase generated €2 million. This is being channeled back to the local communities for building additional biogas units as well as funding community development programs. Biogas as an alternate energy source is helping replace household demand for firewood particularly in the Terai. This is reducing pressure on forest resources and contributing to the health of local communities through a smoke-free and cleaner energy alternative.
The TAL Nepal Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2025) was endorsed by the government of Nepal to guide the implementation of the TAL vision for the next ten-year period. WWF Nepal provided technical support for the preparation of the strategy and action plan. The new plan included an extension of about 4,518km2 area of important climate refugia in the northern part of TAL. Its precursor, the TAL Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan (2004-14), had identified thematic areas and major interventions, and a business plan for the conservation of the landscape and sustainable livelihoods of local communities. The government’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation and WWF Nepal are jointly implementing two projects – Corridors and Bottlenecks Restoration Project and Protected Area and Buffer Zone Support Project – based on the strategic direction of these seminal documents.
The 2015 earthquake in Nepal tragically resulted in many fatalities, destruction of property, and environmental damage. WWF Nepal supported the government to undertake a rapid environmental assessment looking at direct damage and risk of environmental impacts from recovery and reconstruction, including the effects of rebuilding half a million houses. WWF was invited to contribute to the Post Disaster Need Assessment and development of a Post Disaster Recovery Framework. New partnerships with the Department of Urban Development and National Reconstruction Authority were initiated for green recovery and reconstruction. WWF Nepal also supported emergency relief followed by recovery work including settlement re-planning, livelihood restoration activities, and reconstruction of trails, water supplies and alternative energy. Training in environmentally sound reconstruction was also provided to government engineers and architects, mason trainers, NGOs, politicians, and community radio stations to reduce adverse impacts by other sectors, helping build back better, safer and greener for greater resilience.
WWF Nepal supported the government to establish a new landscape in the Gandaki River basin – the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL). CHAL stretches from the dry, high-altitude area of upper Mustang and the 8,000m high Himalayan range, down through the mid-hills to the low-lying Terai. CHAL has huge conservation importance, including snow leopard and red panda populations. Many of the 4.6 million human inhabitants are dependent on subsistence farming and forest products. The landscape’s economic activities include agriculture, tourism and hydropower. Major biodiversity threats include overharvesting of forests, uncontrolled fire, and poorly designed infrastructure development. Climate change exacerbates many threats. The new CHAL strategy will tackle these threats over the next ten years, taking an integrated river basin approach.
With tigers as the muse and Global Tiger Day a platform, WWF Nepal’s The Generation Green campaign brought together more than 1,000 young minds through a variety of events to bring out their interpretations of tigers and their protection. In the lead up to 29 July, youth participated in four different events centered on tigers. These included an inter-college debating league and art challenge, a creative writing contest, and a social media-driven creative slogan challenge. On Global Tiger Day, an open mic event was organized to add to the celebrations giving the young participants a three-minute window to perform for tigers. From beatboxing to contemporary dance, a special song penned for tigers and a magic show dedicated to the iconic species, the creativity of Nepal’s youth soared with their roar…all for the sake of the endangered tiger.
A total of 55,000 youth signed up to WWF Nepal’s The Generation Green (TGG) campaign. The campaign, which seeks to build youth voice and action for the environment and Nepal’s sustainable development, has a target of creating 500,000 youth members. The mentorship program, one of the flagship projects of TGG campaign engaged 14 leading Nepali citizens as mentors and 77 selected TGG members who conceptualized and implemented a total of 14 projects focusing on open space management, recycling arts and crafts products, conservation research and environment education. Seed Your Future (SYF), yet another key initiative under the campaign, was launched with ten schools as a pilot where students undertook small-scale organic farming within their schools. Market linkages were established to showcase their first monsoon harvest in a local farmer’s market. The campaign aims to make a continuous effort in educating and empowering youth with various engaging platforms and inculcating the concept of sustainable living in Nepal’s future youth leaders.