The REDD+ team from ICIMOD conducted a field visit to Chitwan district from 9-12 February 2017. The purpose of the visit was to provide further orientation of the District REDD+ Action Plan (DRAP), and to discuss the preparation of an agro-forestry plan with local cooperative members.
A DRAP is a sub-national plan designed to help implement the national REDD strategy by addressing local drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in a given district, and finding opportunities for carbon enhancement at the local landscape level through a multi-stakeholder consultative process.
Under the technical assistance of UN-REDD/FAO, ICIMOD has been working towards implementing the DRAP for Chitwan in Nepal, which was developed and endorsed in 2016. As part of this arrangement, one of the objectives is to propose a detailed work plan for agroforestry cooperative network establishment in Chitwan district. ICIMOD intends to support selected cooperatives from Chitwan district develop an agro-forestry implementation plan. A baseline study of the cooperatives was first conducted in January 2017.
As of now, eight hotspots have been identified for the implementation of Chitwan’s DRAP. Four hotspots, namely Shaktikhaur, Padampur, Piple and Korak, have been selected. Each hotspot will have one cooperative promoting and preparing an agro-forestry plan. For this purpose, a baseline study was conducted in the four hotspots. Cooperatives from each hotspot were visited, and baseline information of the cooperatives were discussed and collected. The second phase of the programme was an orientation activity which aimed to sensitize the members of the selected cooperative about the importance of agroforestry and the need for a business plan to implement agroforestry in their activities.
The orientation programme – which was attended by 15-20 members from each cooperative – was moderated by Bishwa Raj Karki. Trishna Singh Bhandari from ICIMOD introduced the concept of REDD and DRAP to the participants, and spoke about the incorporation of the agroforestry plan for the betterment of forest areas in the four hotspots. Karki, on the other hand, briefed the participants about the process of making a business plan for cooperatives and the importance of the same.
The programme helped sensitize cooperative members on the importance of agroforestry, and the need of a business plan in initiating agroforestry related activities through their respective cooperatives. The visit also helped list out five participants from each cooperative for the facilitators’ workshop which is to be held by the end of February. The participants were very interested in moving forward with their business plans and incorporating agroforestry as one of the objectives of their cooperatives. The facilitators’ workshop will assist participants prepare agroforestry plans which they will themselves implement in the future.