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Research Report

The context of REDD+ in Nepal: Drivers, agents and institutions

Naya S. Paudel
Dil B. Khatri
Dil Raj Khanal
Rahul Karki
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 44
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. ix-x)

    This report of the study jointly carried out be CIFOR and ForestAction Nepal, provides an overview of Nepal’s initiatives on readiness for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), the political and socio-economic context in which they are taking place, and their implications for conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It examines the initial REDD+ readiness activities in the context of forest policy and governance, drivers of deforestation and the capacity of the government to reduce emissions through REDD+. It also analyses the prospects for and challenges to REDD+ implementation and...

  2. (pp. 1-8)

    Nepal has high geographical and ecological diversity. The country can be divided into three geographical regions (see Figure 1): the mountains (19 percent), hills (64 percent) and Terai (17 percent). It has over 118 ecosystem types and 35 forest types with associated flora and fauna (GoN 2002:3). According to the latest forest inventory (DFRS 1999), forests make up about 29 percent of Nepal’s total area and shrubland another 11 percent. Agricultural land makes up 21 percent, non-cultivated land 7 percent and grassland 12 percent. The remainder (20 percent) includes the Himalayas, barren rocks, rivers and roads (CBS 2008).

    Forest inventories...

  3. (pp. 9-12)

    Historically, Nepal’s forests have been owned and managed by the government. The Department of Forests and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation have been primarily responsible for managing the national forests and protected areas, respectively. The Department of Forests is responsible for protecting, managing, and regulating forests on public land and for regulating private forests. In principle, all forests should be managed on the basis of approved management plans, but exceptions are not rare. Government attempts to develop and implement management plans for large tracts of Terai forest (for example, the Bara Forest Management Plan of 1996) failed, due...

  4. (pp. 13-14)

    Nepal has a predominantly feudal agrarian subsistence economy, with heavy dependence on land and forests. The emerging urban economy relies heavily on remittances, tourism and foreign aid. A small ruling class has historically monopolised politics and the economy by controlling political or government institutions (Bhattarai 2003). Continued political turmoil and transition has eroded accountability among political and bureaucratic institutions. Consequently, corruption and impunity have been institutionalised at all levels in government institutions, the private sector and civil society (TIN 2010). Despite significant national political movements and regime change, there has been no fundamental progress towards a democratic and accountable political...

  5. (pp. 15-20)

    Nepal has recently been active in national and international climate change policy processes. As a least developed country, it does not require a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action plan. Instead it has developed a National Adaptation Programme of Action (approved in 2010), a framework for a Local Adaptation Programme of Action (approved in 2011) and a national climate change policy (approved in 2011). Some of these plans and policies are reflected in the periodic development plans and are being implemented. Many sectoral policies—for example, the Agriculture Development Strategy—have been revised to mainstream climate change. Discussion on establishing a Climate...

  6. (pp. 21-23)

    The governance and institutional context of Nepal’s forest sector may undermine the effectiveness of REDD+ implementation. The ongoing political transition and associated uncertainty have hampered long-term planning. The Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (HMG/N 1989) has expired, and the government has formed a multi-stakeholder task force to develop a new forest sector strategy. Meanwhile, there is no guiding document for long-term planning, and most short-term policy decisions are made on an ad hoc basis. Consequently, the forest sector has suffered from confusion and conflict. Most recent government policy decisions have been contested and challenged by CSOs, particularly FECOFUN—including...

  7. (pp. 24-24)

    Nepal has experienced substantial deforestation and forest degradation resulting in conversion of forest land into shrub and agricultural land. While obvious factors such as overharvesting, encroachment, fire and invasive species have exacerbated deforestation, it is also affected by deep-rooted issues such as poverty, inequality and the struggle for control over resources. Deforestation is embedded in a complex socio-political dynamic involving multiple actors, relations of power between them and a range of social-ecological factors. Proper documentation, regular monitoring and in-depth analysis of the drivers and dynamics of deforestation are lacking.

    Two major forest management regimes in Terai that are important in...