Kathmandu, Nepal: WWF Nepal has received a Cooperative Agreement of $29,947,000 from USAID to implement a new program to reduce the impacts of climate change and threats to biodiversity in Nepal.
It is the largest grant WWF Nepal has ever received and will be a huge support to WWF’s ongoing work in the region.
The program, titled “Hariyo Ban Nepal ko Dhan” (Healthy Green Forests are the Wealth of Nepal) aims to achieve its goals through three linked areas of work: biodiversity conservation, sustainable landscapes, and climate adaptation.
The program will last for five years and will focus on two significant landscapes in Nepal – Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) in southern Nepal and the north-south Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) running from the high Himalayas to the Terai.
These landscapes are some of the most biologically important regions on earth and millions of people from diverse ethnic groups live in these two landscapes with many of them depending on forests and subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods.
Under the Hariyo Ban program, WWF Nepal will lead a consortium that consists of global humanitarian organization CARE as well as two important national NGOs, the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN). In addition to these core partners, WWF will also work with 24 organizations as resource partners.
The grant will be shared with WWF and its core and resource partners.
This award is yet another testimony to WWF’s strong conservation leadership in Nepal and recognition of the results we have delivered here since 1967.
WWF has been working in Nepal and the Himalayas for close to 50 years and through its Living Himalayas Initiative WWF continues to work closely with Himalayan governments to protect this pristine environment.
On November 19, 2011 Heads of State from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal will convene at the Climate Summit for a Living Himalayas, which aims to put an ambitious 10-year regional climate change adaptation plan in motion that will help ensure water, food and energy security while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services throughout the region.
Roof of the world
The Himalayas feed seven of Asia’s largest rivers and contain the largest store of freshwater outside the polar ice caps, resources on which the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people depend.
But climate change is causing many Himalayan glaciers to retreat at a rapid pace, which could contribute to water shortages and have a major impact on freshwater flows.
These changes would have a devastating impact on regional food security, the availability of energy resources and biodiversity. Known as the “roof of the world”, the Himalayas face numerous challenges in addition to climate change. As mountain glaciers melt, wildlife poachers are running rampant, and forests are being cut down for timber or the expansion of agriculture.
As many communities depend on the region’s natural resources to maintain their livelihoods and traditions, conservation is an important part of their lives.