Most of the communities in Nepal are highly dependent on natural resources and have a rich experience of natural resources management, including sustainable land management (SLM). Land users and SLM experts and technicians spend most of their time on the land and develop considerable knowledge of land management, water management, watershed management, soil fertility improvement, and protection of soil resources in the course of their daily activities. However, most of this valuable knowledge is not documented or shared, and the knowledge remains a local and individual resource. The NEPCAT (Nepal Conservation Approaches and Technologies) fact sheets are being published to help document this knowledge and fill knowledge gaps on SLM. A loose and open network has been established to tap the experience of land users, technicians, and SLM experts from all over the country. The main aim of the NEPCAT network is to compile case studies on sustainable land management (SLM) and soil and water conservation (SWC), to feed them into the global World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) database, and to make them easily available to users across the country and in the wider Himalayan region in the form of factsheets. The ultimate aim is to offer a complete basket of options with technologies and approaches covering the wide range of geographic areas, land forms, and agro-ecological zones in Nepal to land users, managers, and decision makers so that they can choose appropriate technological packages and practices to address issues of soil erosion, land degradation, water scarcity, poor soil fertility, food security, and environmental and climate change.
The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) is a global network of soil and water conservation (SWC) specialists that facilitates the sharing of knowledge on soil and water management and the efficient use of existing know-how. The Himalayan Conservation Approaches and Technologies (HIMCAT) network is an offspring of the global WOCAT initiative – a virtual platform set up to enable its members and other SWC specialists from across Asia to share their information and knowledge on soil and water management. Nepal Conservation Approaches and Technologies (NEPCAT) was set up under HIMCAT in 2006 specifically as a platform for sharing experiences from Nepal on soil and water management and natural resource management in general. Contributors’ experiences are documented using the WOCAT tool, a format for recording information in a consistent and comparable manner for easy reference and understanding.