Strategic Pathways to Scale up Forest and Landscape Restoration: Insights from Nepal’s Tarai
2. Analytical Framework
3. Context of Nepal’s Tarai
4. Policy Discourse and Its Interaction with Forest Degradation and Restoration Outcomes: A Decadal Analysis
5. Pathways for Achieving FLR Outcomes
5.1. Pathways of Change
5.1.1. Restoring Forest Ecosystem Functions through Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Reclamation of Forest Systems
5.1.2. Enhancing Local Livelihood and Social Wellbeing
5.1.3. Sustaining the Existing Initiatives through a Horizontal and Vertical Coordination Mechanism Between Government and Non-Governmental Agencies
5.2. Strategies for Development
5.2.1. Integrate Forest Restoration Objectives in Land Use Planning and Implement These Plans as per Land Use Classification
5.2.2. Diversify Livelihood Options to Enhance Social Wellbeing
5.2.3. Increase Plantation in the Underutilized Public and Community Lands
5.2.4. Strengthen Horizontal and Vertical Cooperation Mechanisms to Implement and Monitor Restoration Activities
5.2.5. Adopt Standard Protocols and Procedures among Authorities
5.2.6. Establish Baseline Data to Monitor the Change in Ecosystem Function and Local Livelihood and Social Wellbeing
5.2.7. Create Awareness among Stakeholders
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Decade||National Policy/Legislation||Degradation Drivers||Impact||Restoration Response|
|1950s||Private Forest Nationalization Act 1957 ||Migration and resettlement|
Existing land tenure system (Birta) and Raikar.
|Conversion of private forest into farmland in Tarai.||Strict protection of forest from people by forming sanctuaries and using force .|
|1960s||Forest Act 1961|
Forest Protection Act 1967 with special provision
|Encroachment and extension of settlement .||Forest categorization.|
Forestry officials empowered, judicial power to forestry officials.
Law enforcement power reinforced.
|Protection and conservation of forests in hills (of less importance to Tarai) .|
|1970||National Forestry Plan 1976, Amendment in Forest Act 1977, Panchayat Forest and Panchayat Protected Forest Rules 1978||Resettlement|
Land use change
|Clearance of massive forest area in Tarai.||Establishment of national parks in Tarai.|
|1980s||Decentralization Act 1982|
Revision of PF and PPF Rules 1987
Master Plan for the Forestry Sector 1989
Unsustainable harvesting Grazing
|Theory of Himalayan proposed environmental crisis as a result of forest degradation in the hills, which caused flooding in the Tarai .|
Priority given to community forestry in the hills ignoring forest loss in Tarai. Government took control of Tarai forest.
|Forest handed over to local communities as community forest.|
|1990s||Forest Act 1993|
Forest Rules 1995
Revision of Forest Act 1999
|Illegal tree felling in national forest, CF being under protection in the hills|
Forest clearing for settlement and agriculture continued
|Degradation of Tarai forest continued. Government piloted and tested new forest management approach .||Replication of hill model of CF, but majority of community forest handed over was degraded forest. |
OFMP was prepared and implemented in Tarai
|2000s||Revised Forest Policy 2000|
Tarai Arc Landscape Program, which started in 12 Tarai districts covering 20% of Nepal’s forest (2001)
National Agriculture Policy 2004
National NTFP Policy 2004
Nepal endorsed REDD+ 2008
|Economic and infrastructure development |
|Established collaborative forest in Tarai .|
Increased productivity, production, and environmental services of the forest. Community, collaborative, leasehold, protection, buffer zone, and religious and private forests are identified as key tools of forest restoration.
National Agriculture Policy: marginal lands, pastures, degraded forests and waste public lands shall be handed over to target communities to support their livelihood and upgrade forests and other lands.
Biodiversity conserved, promoted, and utilized and the agroforestry system, developed in such a way as to improve the condition of degraded forests and natural reservoirs.
|Replication of CF model of hills for Tarai forests failed to show good results and was criticized for failure to address distant users and difficulty to control D&FD.|
Piloting of CFM in three districts, which was later extended to other districts [42,44].
Forestry promotion outside the forests, e.g., public land forestry, agroforestry initiated in some districts.
|2010s||Nepal started working on Aichi Targets|
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2014 
Readiness Preparation Proposal 2010
Nepal submitted ERPD 2018 
Land Use Policy 2015 
Forest Sector Strategy 2016–2025 
President Chure-Tarai Madhesh Conservation and Management Master Plan 2017
National REDD+ Strategy 2018
Unsustainable tree cutting
|By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems. |
The NBSAP contributes to Aichi Target 5 concerning loss of natural habitats and Aichi Target 7 concerning sustainable use of forest to ensure conservation of biodiversity.
ERPD: The Tarai ER Program sets an ambitious but achievable agenda to achieve 34.2 Mt CO2e in carbon benefits (combined emissions reduction and removal) over a 10-year period.
Land use policy: If forest area is to be used for national priority projects, afforestation equivalent to those areas in size should be mandatorily undertaken.
Private sector invited for forest restoration through partnership between state and local communities.
A reduction in deforestation rate by 0.05% is aimed for, with target rates of 0.44% and 0.18% in Tarai and Chure, respectively.
500,000 ha of forest will be managed in a 20-year period. By 2030, 300,000 ha of land will be managed as forest area.
Reduction of carbon emissions and enhanced carbon stocks and ecosystem resilience through mitigation and adaptation approaches by minimizing the causes and effects of the drivers of D&FD and promoting sustainable forest management across ecological regions.
|Extension of CFM.|
Plantation and forestry development outside the forest.
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Bhattarai, S.; Pant, B.; Laudari, H.K.; Rai, R.K.; Mukul, S.A. Strategic Pathways to Scale up Forest and Landscape Restoration: Insights from Nepal’s Tarai. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5237. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095237
Bhattarai S, Pant B, Laudari HK, Rai RK, Mukul SA. Strategic Pathways to Scale up Forest and Landscape Restoration: Insights from Nepal’s Tarai. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):5237. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095237Chicago/Turabian Style
Bhattarai, Sushma, Basant Pant, Hari Krishna Laudari, Rajesh Kumar Rai, and Sharif A. Mukul. 2021. "Strategic Pathways to Scale up Forest and Landscape Restoration: Insights from Nepal’s Tarai" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 5237. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095237