UNDP to launch wetland conservation project

Kathmandu, March 15:

The government of Nepal and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed an agreement to launch a wetland conservation project in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Sunsari and its buffer zone districts and the Ghodaghodi Lake Complex of Kailali district.

With the outlay of $40,00,000, the project aims to ensure conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

Ghulam Isaczai, the UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, said the UNDP hopes to develop the project as a model for sustainable wetland management in Nepal, according to a press release.

With this new initiative, communities themselves will be involved in the management planning process and identifying practical and sustainable alternatives for harvesting and collecting wetland resources and forest products, the release added.

The new project will build the institutional capacity of the communities to conserve the wetlands, which are being threatened by several activities such as poaching, cattle grazing, over-fishing, uncontrolled drainage, pollution and deforestation, the release stated.

“The communities will also be able to influence local development policies supportive to wetlands, develop incentives for community-based eco-tourism activities, and promote sustainable utilisation of resources”.

The local partners of the project will be the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), Department of Forest (DoF), District Development Committees (DDCs) and Village Development Committees.

The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Nepal are the implementing partners.