Forest Landscape Restoration: Conservation outcomes and lessons from Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal

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Ananta Ram Bhandari

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Nepal has adopted landscape an approach of conservation, establishing the Terai Arc Landscape in 2004. Tropical and subtropical broadleaved forests, riverine forests, grasslands, and floodplains of the Terai Arc Landscape harbor meta-populations of tigers, elephants, and rhinoceros. WWF Nepal initiated the Terai Arc Landscape Program in partnership with the Government of Nepal to mobilize local communities and stakeholders for effective management and restoration of critical corridors and bottlenecks within the landscape to create and maintain ecological connectivity linking protected areas with community forests, plantations, and other conservation-friendly land-uses. A total of 22,791 ha of degraded forest and degraded land has been restored in critical corridors during last 15 years. Moreover, 237,050 families have been managing 162,818 hectares of forests as community forests that increase access to forest resources to local communities. Forest restoration and community-based forest management resulted in an increase in tiger and rhino populations. The tiger population has nearly doubled in the last ten years from 121 in 2009 to 235 in 2018, whereas the rhino population increased from 372 in 2005 to 645 in 2015. Water springs have reappeared in the restored areas within the landscape. Local communities have benefited from economic opportunities through forest and farm based green enterprises and ecotourism. It is recognized that government ownership and community stewardship could bring significant positive results in forest and landscape restoration and in increasing populations of targeted wildlife species.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration