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Watershed management in Nepal: Recent experiences and lessons

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: B. Acharya, Ph.D.

This report reviews soil conservation and watershed management projects in Nepal. In 1974, the government of Nepal initiated soil conservation and watershed management programs to combat erosion and degradation in agricultural/forest areas. For the Ninth Five Year Plan period (1997-2002), the main objectives of the forestry sector were the create domestic forest resources to meet timber and fuelwood demands, to create income and employment opportunities for poor and marginal families, to mobilize participation, and to establish proper land-use plans. The program includes: the Resource Conservation and Utilization Project, Rapti Development Project, Begnas Tal Rupa Tal Watershed Management Project, Nepal-Denmark Watershed Management Project, Community Development and Forest/Watershed Conservation Project, and Inter-Regional Project for Upland Conservation and Development. The author argues that although the government has embraced the paradigm of integrated watershed management, operational and institutional capacities are still in early stages of development. Human and financial constraints in government agencies pose an important impediment to achieving watershed management and soil conservation goals. Community forestry and income generation programs were the key programs as an entry point whatever the primary objective of watershed management. Participatory and integrated watershed management programs seemed to be more successful if a demand-driven approach was followed.

Author(s): B. Acharya, Ph.D.

Publication Date: 2000

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