Nepal—USAID Biodiversity (Jal Jangal)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Nepal

Solutions: Environment Climate

From the high altitude, snow-capped Himalayan mountains in the north, through the Churia midhill regions, to the Terai plains in the south, Nepal’s diverse landscapes provide habitat for iconic species, such as the snow leopard and river dolphin, and vital natural resources for the country’s inhabitants. Nepal’s freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems sustain the health, well-being, and economic prosperity of diverse ethnic groups, whose cultures are also inextricably linked to nature. The confluence of two rivers, for example, is frequently the site of Hindu temples with spiritual significance.

Despite the critical importance of Nepal’s ecosystems, exploitation and environmental degradation continues at an unrelenting rate. Sand mining in rivers degrades freshwater habitats and increases flood risk. Climate change exacerbates these threats, intensifying risks from floods and droughts while affecting food security, agricultural productivity, migration patterns, and disaster risk.

USAID Biodiversity (Jal Jangal) builds on past successes in Nepal’s forestry and freshwater sectors to support local communities and conservation practitioners, and to strengthen the capacity of local governments on biodiversity conservation, natural resource safeguarding and management, and climate change adaptation. The activity is reducing multiple threats to ecosystems and wildlife species to conserve nature, enhance human well-being, and safeguard the future. The activity focuses on improving ecosystem health, advancing environmental and social safeguards, promoting climate resilience, and addressing environmental crime in Nepal. The activity works with the Government of Nepal, civil society groups, local communities, and private sector actors to support Nepal’s green, inclusive, and resilient development.

Greater one horned rhino, mother and calf in Chitwan National Park, Nepal © Babu Ram Lamichhane 2 (1).JPGPhoto courtesy: Babu Ram Lamichhane.

Sample Activities

  • Strengthen natural resource governance capacity at municipal and provincial levels.
  • Improve community management of freshwater and forest resources.
  • Improve management and connectivity of conservation areas and reduce human-wildlife conflict.
  • Increase alternative income sources and conservation enterprises.
  • Improve enforcement and prosecution of environmental crime.
  • Support national climate change planning and implementation.
  • Engage the private sector to increase finance for adaptation.
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