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Participatory watershed management in eastern Nepal

Action research identifies critical community issues and solutions

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Based on long-term commitments through a joint action research project we undertook with the Dhankuta Municipality in eastern Nepal, the municipality recognized the need for planned investment in watershed management to sustain ecosystem services and to improve the well-being of people living in the watershed. In response, we together developed a watershed management plan in partnership with the Department of Forests and Soil Conservation and the Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Office in Dhankuta.

As the Nibuwa-Tankhuwa Watershed (NTW) encompasses parts of both the Dhankuta Municipality and the Chhatthar Jorpati Rural Municipality, there was a need for common understanding among the municipalities, and agreement on collaborative actions for watershed management. In 2021, we brought together all the stakeholders to share the plan, and to discuss and finalize the activities, budget, and roles of various stakeholders in its implementation. At the end of the workshop, the Dhankuta Municipality and Chhatthar Jorpati Rural Municipality took full ownership of the plan, marking a successful milestone in this shared work.

The Nibuwa-Tankhuwa Watershed Management Plan is a model for balancing conservation and development and ensuring focus on gender and social inclusion within watersheds

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