19 June: Nepal’s first REDD payment made to local communities


On 19 June 2011, ICIMOD and its partners – the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources (ANSAB) disbursed over US$ 27,000 to local communities of Ludikhola watershed, Gorkha, as a Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) payment through Nepal’s pilot Forest Carbon Trust Fund. Of the three sites of the ICIMOD REDD+ project, Ludikhola watershed, Gorkha contains 31 community forestry user groups (CFUGs) representing 4100 households and covering 1888 ha of forests. Because of their efforts, carbon sequestration in Ludikhola forests increased by 36,600 tonnes in a year from 2010. 

The payment was made at a ceremony in Gorkha in the presence of district stakeholders, forest users, collaborators, and media people. REDD money received by the Ludikhola watershed from a central trust fund was allocated equitably by a district advisory committee to 31 CFUGs based on carbon saving performance, number of indigenous and poor households, and population of women. The payments to CFUGs ranged from NRs. 8400 to NRs. 200,000.

Mr Prem Dhoj Magar, Nepalese Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), Gorkha advisory committee member, said “the committee is an inclusive body that accommodated REDD+ key actors,” adding, “similar mechanisms should also be present in CFUGs to ensure benefits to the poor, women, and indigenous peoples.” Ms Sanu Maya Basnet, Chairperson of the Laxmi Women CFUG, said, “We had never thought someone would reward our forests management efforts. However, our efforts have now been recognised.” Regarding the fund, he said, “We will discuss with users and spend the fund focusing on women and the poor,” she promised.