Exploratory Visit of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry to REDD+ Site

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As part of the centre’s initiative to engage the private sector, ICIMOD organized a field visit to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) project site from 8 to 9 February for a team from the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) led by Mr Suraj Vaidya, FNCCI President. The main objective of the visit was to brief the FNCCI team on the feasibility of REDD+ at the community level and to explore the potential for their sustained engagement in climate change mitigation activities. Invited on the trip were four media representatives from television and print media. Together with the ICIMOD team, the participants visited Charnawati in Dolakha to observe REDD+ activities. 

Charnawati is one of the three watersheds in the REDD project being implemented by ICIMOD in collaboration with Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN) and the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB). Of the total 105 forest user groups in three project sites, 58 belong to Charnawati and are spread over nearly 6,000 hectares. Last year, forest groups of Charnawati received 320,000 Nepalese rupees (NPR) through a pilot Carbon Trust Fund. 

Members of FNCCI and the media interacted with key representatives of the REDD Watershed Network, Carbon Trust Fund Advisory Committee, and Monitoring Committee. The District Forest Officer of the Advisory Committee advised that regular bimonthly meetings were held to review the payment process and discuss its utilization by forest groups with community stakeholders. Dhana Tamang, the REDD Watershed Network Coordinator, highlighted the activities undertaken by the network in the field. Ms Sita KC, Chairperson of FECOFUN-Dolakha, said that around NPR 1 million (30% of the total REDD money received) had been leveraged by groups in Charnawati for livelihood activities. The FNCCI President was impressed by the remarkable amount of work undertaken by ICIMOD and its partners on innovative REDD activities on the ground. He also promised to find ways to collaborate with forest users in REDD+ through collaboration with ICIMOD. The visit was covered by the local media.