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Global Ideas

Nepal between reconstruction and conservation

The people of Nepal are still coping with the effects of the major April 2015 earthquake. Although reconciling reconstruction and environmental protection is challenging, forest committees are helping.

Watch video 06:58

Nepal: Reconstruction and forest protection

Project goal: Prepare Nepal to implement the REDD+ program
Project partners: Ministry of Forestry and Soil Conservation, REDD Forestry and Climate Change Cell (Nepal), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and German development agency, GIZ
Project budget: 4.23 million euros total for all participating countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, India) provided by the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Project duration: December 2013 to March 2019

Nepal is still struggling with the effects of a devastating earthquake that hit the country in April 2015. Reconstruction of the infrastructure, especially in remote areas, is progressing extremely slowly, as building materials are scarce or difficult to transport to the remote villages in need. As a result, people are using wood from nearby forests to build their homes. That's a problem because those forests should be protected.

To balance the different needs, the nongovernmental organization ICIMOD is working to show people in the villages how to use their forests without clearing them. The strategy includes careful selection of tree species allowed to be chopped down, allowing others get to continue growing. Residents decide together whether a tree will be cut down or not, and who is allowed to use the forest. The goal of these efforts is to also benefit from the United Nation's REDD+ program, which rewards those who successfully preserve the forest.

A film by Sascha Quaiser

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