The Ministry of Forests and Environment launched the Integrated Landscape Management to Secure Nepal’s Protected Areas and Critical Corridors (ILaM) at an event in Kathmandu. The $6.6 million project will be implemented in the Terai Arc Landscape for a period of five years.
With the aim to build national capacity and an enabling environment for cross-sectoral coordination to promote forest and landscape conservation, the project will facilitate integrated planning for protected area buffer zones and critical corridors, and support sustainable management of forests in the Terai Arc Landscape. A key focus in this endeavor will be placed on human and wildlife conflict mitigation and the adoption of social safeguards for indigenous and marginalized communities. The project is financed by the Global Environment Facility, with World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US) acting as the project implementation agency and WWF-Nepal as its local counterpart.
In his address at the event, Honourable Shakti Bahadur Basnet, the Minister of Forests and Environment for the Government of Nepal said, “We will bring similar projects in the Natural Resource Management Sector in the future to enhance the livelihood of local communities and in turn, the country.”
Dr. Bishwa Nath Oli, Secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment stated that, “This is a unique opportunity to apply the three-tiered government structure in sustainable conservation of biodiversity, serving as a precedent for future landscape level conservation approaches.”
GEF is one of the oldest funding mechanisms established by global communities to address environmental challenges and ensure global environmental benefits. Countries receiving GEF funds are expected to use the fund to implement actions identified under their national action plan for international conventions they are parties to. Furthermore, this fund will be used to implement several of the programs identified by international conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Nepal is party to.
“WWF is honored to partner with the Ministry of Forests and Environment and the Global Environment Facility to promote integrated landscape management across the Terai Arc to deliver forest, wildlife and livelihood benefits in the Bardia-Banke complex under the ILaM Project.”, said Ms. Renae Stenhouse, Director of the WWF GEF Agency. Dr. Ghana S. Gurung, Country Representative for WWF Nepal also expressed the honor of having gained the trust of the government to initiate the project based on learnings from former projects such as those approved during the GEF's Fifth Replenishment (GEF-5).
The launch event was attended by senior government officials including Dr. Sindhu Dhungana, Chief of Planning at the Monitoring and Coordination Division, Ministry of Forests and Environment, partner organizations, and representatives from NGOs, and the media.
This piece was originally published by WWF-Nepal.