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ANSAB and Division Forest Office-Nawalpur jointly organized district wide forest fire prevention and control campaign in Nawalpur district to make people aware of the threats of forest fire and adopt various measures to combat its negative impact. With the number of seasonal forest fires increasing during the dry season, and the negative impacts they have made to the forests, biodiversity and people, the campaign including mass awareness, field demonstration, development of fire awareness and control networks, formation of local fire brigades, and provision of relevant firefighting tools and equipments was carried out throughout the months of March, April and May of 2022 in Kawasoti Municipality, Madhyabindu Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality of Nawalpur district. The awareness campaign was organized in collaboration and close coordination with the Sub-division Forest Offices (Kawasoti, Hupsekot, Chormara and Arunkhola), local governments, Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Community Forest Users’ Group (CFUGs) and other relevant stakeholders.
A mass awareness campaign was organized in Kawasoti Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality. Mass street rallies with slogan, banners, street miking and audio information with message of necessity and importance to protect forests from the wildfires were carried out. A public service announcement, radio jungle on forest fire prevention and control, was disseminated through local FM station with wide coverage. This awareness campaign aimed to reach the local communities to ensure the grass-root participation. A series of activities like meetings and workshops were also carried out in coordination with Divisional Forest Office, Sub-division Forest Offices and CFUGs. Awareness campaigns were also organized in Janakalyan High School, Shahid Smriti School and Hupsekot Technical School, where the students were oriented on forest fires, their causes, impact, prevention and control. Besides, two field demonstration events were organized on forest fire prevention and control in Kawasoti Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality, that included the members and representatives of selected 9 CFUGs, highlighting the measures and precautions to be taken during the forest fire control.
3 forest fire awareness networks, each in Kawasoti Municipality, Madhyabindu Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality have been created to coordinate awareness activities. Similarly, 3 forest fire control network committees have been formed covering 12 CFUGs in Kawasoti Municipality, Madhyabindu Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality for rapid response and information flow within CFUGs on the incidence of forest fire. Two local fire brigades are formed, each in Kawasoti Municipality and Hupsekot Rural Municipality in coordination with 9 CFUGs. 17 CFUGs including the local fire brigades were supported with rakes and watersprays.
A total of 26 CFUGs and 531 individuals (214 Women and 317 Men) including 208 school students have been benefited with this campaign.
This activity is a part of ‘Nature Conservation and Agroforestry Production in Rural Communities’ project implemented in Nawalpur district by ANSAB and Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung for Nature and Environment with generous support by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Germany.