National sharing workshop on “Forest carbon stock assessment for REDD+ in the Chitwan Annapurna Landscape”

ANSAB organized a national sharing workshop on “Forest carbon stock assessment for REDD+ in the Chitwan Annapurna Landscape” on July 25, 2014. The main objective of the workshop was to share and get feedback on findings of the forest carbon stock assessment; geospatial analysis; and assessing land use economics to identify potential for REDD+ in Nepal. There were total of 38 participants representing WWF Nepal, CARE Nepal, ICIMOD, UNIQUE Forestry and Land use GmbH, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Department of Forest, Department of Environment, Department of Plant Resources, Department of Soil and Watershed Conservation, Department of Forest Research and Survey, Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Community Forest Division, REDD-Forestry and Climate Change Cell, Embassy of Finland, Himawanti-Nepal, Resource Identification and Management Society (RIMS) Nepal, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Forest Action, Nepal Foresters’ Association, IUCN, Winrock International Nepal, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Practical Solution, Community-based Forestry Supporters’ Network (COFSUN) Nepal, Dalit Alliance for Natural Resources (DANAR) Nepal, National Forum for Advocacy Nepal (NAFAN), Tribhuvan University, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), Rupantaran Nepal and Kathmandu Forestry College (KAFCOL).

ANSAB’s Manager-Biodiversity, Ecosystem Service and Climate Change (BESCC), Dr. Kalyan Gauli, briefed on emerging concept of REDD+, study background and objectives. Dr. Nabin Raj Joshi, Research Officer at ANSAB, shared the findings of the forest carbon assessment for REDD+ in CHAL area. He focused on the carbon data and the potential carbon stock calculated. Likewise, Mr. Hammad Gilani, Remote Sensing Analyst at ICIMOD, presented on forest stratification, sampling methods, land used cover and forest cover changes in CHAL area. Mr. Kai Windhorst from UNIQUE Forestry & Land Use GmbH shared about assessing land use economics to identify potentials for REDD+ in CHAL area.

During the discussion session, participants acknowledged their views on how the ongoing REDD+ initiatives in CHAL can provide a strong support to ongoing national and international REDD+ activities. Chief-Foreign Aid Division, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Dr. Annapurna Nanda Das, stated that recently developed ER Pin should be considered as a standard bench mark. He further recommended on identifying the limitations on the ongoing REDD+ strategy formulation procedures and also suggested all the institutions to generate a standard methodology for the forest carbon assessment on national level highlighting Hariyo Ban to take a lead. Dr. Abhoy Das, Chairperson-Nepal Forester’s Association, asked to compare the methodology of the recent study with the methodology used by FRA for estimating the carbon stock in Terai forest. Dr. Yadav Kandel, Program Officer-Forest Carbon at WWF Nepal, made a remark that government should promote REDD+ as a non business mechanism then only the implementation of REDD+ can be proved successful as communities would make more and more benefits in terms of forest management. Ms. Judy Oglethorpe, Chief of Party, Hariyo Ban Program at WWF Nepal, said that along with the total forest carbon stock and the potentiality of the REDD+ in the CHAL area, benefit sharing mechanism is also one of the important aspects in this study and urged all the participants to think about the adverse effect of climate change and the mitigation measure in the CHAL area.

The participants also discussed about the knowledge gap in the high mountain areas and how the community living in the higher mountain region could be empowered was discussed. The closing remark was given by ANSAB’s Executive Director, Dr. Bhishma P. Subedi, thanking the partners and the donor organizations and further asking all the concerned bodies and organizations to continue their effort for making the REDD+ more effective and beneficial on national level.