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Community / Land projects / Enhancing capacity for sustainable management of forests, land and biodiversity in the Eastern Hills (ECSM FoL

Enhancing capacity for sustainable management of forests, land and biodiversity in the Eastern Hills (ECSM FoL


10/21 - 10/21


This project is part of


Globally significant biodiversity outside protected areas are conserved and the flow of ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods improved in the Eastern Hills of Nepal.


Note: Disbursement data provided is cumulative and covers disbursement made by the project Agency.

Target Groups

10. BenefitsThe project will contribute to the following outcomes of the GEF:· BD-1-1 - Mainstream biodiversity across sectors as well as landscapes and seascapes through biodiversity mainstreaming in priority sectors; and·LD-1-3 - Maintain or improve flows of ecosystem services, including sustaining livelihoods of forest-dependent people through Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) through efforts targeted at policy and planning, knowledge generation and management and strengthening conservation-based livelihoods opportunities.Project intervention will help provincial government in improved land use planning at landscape level covering 3575 area. In addition, all 34 local levels will have their land use plan ready which further guides them in judicial allocation of public finances for ecosystem restoration, degraded land rehabilitation and natural resource-based community enterprise development.Project support to the establishment and operation of knowledge management portal at province and federal level with access to data, information, maps and best practices ensures that budget allocation and implementation of land use plan follows informed decision making.Targeted CFUGs and households will benefit from incentive mechanisms that will strengthen community resilience to shocks and stresses, such as the COVID-19, through a) Improved food security resulting from sustainable and resilient production of agricultural and livestock products, and b) Enhanced livelihoods through participation in income generating activities based on increased and sustainable flows of ecosystem goods and services.Livelihood enhancement of targeted communities is one of the important aspects of the project intervention. Under this, support will be provided to 10 biodiversity enhancing pro-poor business services that will focus poorer section of community members and help 1000 entrepreneurs benefit from sustainable value chain intervention.As indicated in the project’s theory of change, implementation of biodiversity-sensitive landscape policies and land use plans will enhance stakeholder capacity to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. In the long run, this contributes to ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation and achieving land degradation neutrality. Resilient ecosystems will help ensure a sustained flow of ecosystem services and contribute to improved livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.At project area level, landscape policy and land use plans supported by a knowledge management system, community-based ecosystem restoration and land management initiatives will demonstrate environmental and socio-economic benefits on the ground and facilitate scaling up. Economic benefits generated through the promotion of product- and service-based value chains engaging women, poorer sections of the community and private sector will incentivize communities to adopt biodiversity conservation friendly forestry and farming practices beyond the project duration.At province and national level, governments will benefit from enabling policy environment for integrated land management based on land use plans. In addition, enhanced capacities of the governments to manage data and information system for effective planning will have positive impact in other sectors as well for biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management.Through these changes at local, provincial, and national level, the project will contribute to achieve global environmental benefits in mainstreaming biodiversity and forest landscape restoration generating socio-economic benefits that strengthens resilience of communities to impacts of COVID-19.Specifically, the project supports the following (through component one and two):· Field level reaffirmation of newly enacted policies and legal frameworks and their implications for enhancing capacity for sustainable management of forests, lands, and biodiversity.· The application of new policies and regulations under the new governance structure will enable government institutions to identify policy practice gaps which will eventually facilitate policy reform and help to improve effectiveness on the ground.· An analysis of existing policies and regulations in relation to institutional capacity, and resource need (human and financial) for effective policy implementation.· Enable all three spheres of government to readjust institutional arrangements and make them compatible with the provisions of current policies and regulations.· Support Local levels to identify the elements necessary for effective local policy and law formulation, including data needs, decision support systems and knowledge management (the exclusive power of local level), that are based on the real needs and aspiration of the people.Component 3 focuses on the implementation of community-based conservation and sustainable production, management and restoration practices at community and household level which strengthens biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of forest landscapes.Project interventions that focus on biodiversity enhancing activities by involving poorer sections of society in livelihood improvement opportunities through value chains and market linkages will help to sustainably increase incomes. The Project has accorded high priority to support women, poor and marginalized groups in value chains.Components 1 and 2 lay the foundation to creating an enabling environment at policy and programme level and Component 3 makes investment in enterprise promotion. These interventions together help to derive environmental as well as socioeconomic benefits by ensuring productive employment and decent work at local level.Decent Rural EmploymentIn rural Nepal, decent work is predominantly associated with livelihoods based on agriculture, livestock, and forests.Decent work can be considered to include “opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.”[1] The project has a strong focus on improving rural livelihoods through community forestry and agriculture by generating and distributing livelihood benefits through commercial activity and linking smallholders to financial institutions and markets which will incentivize local communities to manage forests and other natural resources sustainably and improve community-level resilience.Table 12 provides a summary of how the project will support decent rural employment, based on the four pillars described in FAO’s guidance material.[2]Table 12 Project Support to Decent Rural EmploymentPrioritized Groups- Small-scale farm and forest producers, including contributing family workers.- Small-scale processors and aggregators of farm and forest products- Women and youth within the above categories- Specific vulnerable groups (e.g., land poor and landless people, disabled people, elderly people, and single-adult households)Pillar 1: Employment-creation and enterprise-development- Participatory analyses with vulnerable groups on specific rural employment issues related to farms and forests.- Consider the impact of technology options on the number and quality of jobs created.- Ensure that relevant groups within the targeted rural areas are involved effectively in consultations.- Women and men small-scale farm and forest producers supported in accessing fair markets and sustainable value chains.- Women and men small-scale farm and forest producers and supported in accessing training, financial services, and other productive assets, with priority to rural businesses owned by women and youth.- Provide Market Analysis and Development training on how to develop viable market options for forest and farm products.- Implement training for government agencies and project partners to enable them to undertake participatory approaches with local target communities and CFUGsPillar 2: Social protection- Asses, document and disseminate institutional innovations and good practices of organized collective action, including through CFUGs, with strong impacts on social protectionPillar 3: Standards and rights at work- Socially responsible agricultural and forest production supported, specifically to reduce gender and age-based discrimination.- Promote compliance with national labour legislation in the rural areas.- Address the constraints of women, youth, and other specific groups workers in getting organized, notably through community forestryPillar 4: Governance and social dialogue- Promote the inclusive participation of local people, particularly women.- Support local communities in strengthening democratic organizations and networks of producers and workers, particularly in the informal food and forest economy.- Build capacity of Province and Local Levels to empower forest and farm producers to organize into legalized associations and women to undertake leading positions.- Undertake knowledge exchange events to refine and endorse the most promising approaches for climate-resilient forest and agricultural landscape management.[1][2] FAO, 2010. Rural Employment, Guidance Material #1: Guidance on How to Address Decent Rural Employment in FAO Country Activities (2nd ed.).