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The Terai Arc Landscape Project: Rhinos, Tigers, Elephants, and People in the Foothills of the Himalaya by Dr. Ghana Gurung
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The Terai Arc Landscape Project: Rhinos, Tigers, Elephants, and People in the Foothills of the Himalaya by Dr. Ghana Gurung

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Dr. Ghana Gurung, Conservation Program Director with WWF-Nepal, spoke during the Wednesday (11 November) WILD9 plenary session on Global Connectivity.

Dr. Ghana Gurung, Conservation Program Director with WWF-Nepal, spoke during the Wednesday (11 November) WILD9 plenary session on Global Connectivity.

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  • The TAL concept originated at a December 1999 regional biodiversity workshop, which recommended a landscape level conservation approach to conserve biodiversity — the new paradigm proposed by conservationists -- in the Terai region to benefit both wildlife and people. The vision of the TAL is to create “a globally unique landscape where biodiversity is conserved, ecological integrity is safeguarded, and sustainable livelihoods of its people are secured” The concept is to link existing protected areas with forested corridors — using forestry practices that will provide benefits to the local people, the national economy, while allowing biodiversity conservation.

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  • 1. Tigers, Rhinos, Elephants and People in the Foothills of the Himalaya Ghana S. Gurung WWF Nepal 11 November 2009 TERAI ARC LANDSCAPE - NEPAL
  • 2. CONTENT
    • Contexts
    • Achievements
    • Struggles
    • Lessons Learnt
    • Outlook
  • 3. Terai Arc Landscape Eastern Himalaya Ecoregion Complex
  • 4. SOHELWA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY PILVIT FOREST DIVISION LAGGABAGGHA
    • Links 11 (+2!) trans-boundary Protected Areas
    • Bagmati river of Nepal in the east to Yamuna river, India to the west
    • TAL landscape covering 49,500 sq. km
    TERAI ARC LANDSCAPE (TAL) CONSERVATION BEYOND BOUNDARIES SOHAGI BARWA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  • 5. TAL Nepal
    • Linking 4 protected areas covers 23,000 sq. km
  • 6. CONSERVATION IN CONFLICT
    • Peace accord signed on Nov. 21, 2006 ending the armed insurgency and Declaring Democratic Republic of Nepal in 2008
    April 2008: Constituent Assembly
  • 7. Key Biological Features
    • 120 elephants
    • 435 rhinos
    • 87 rhinos trans-located
    • 121 breeding adults
    75 percent of Terai forest
  • 8. Socio-economic Features
    • 6.7 million people
    • 4.5 million cattle
    • 50% population below poverty line
    • Average annual income NRs 7,000 (US$ 90) - agriculture
    • 60% own < 1 ha of land
  • 9.
    • The Vision: A globally unique landscape where biodiversity is conserved, ecological integrity is safeguarded, and sustainable livelihoods of its people are secured.
    • Goal: To conserve the biodiversity, forests, soils and watersheds of the Terai and Churia Hills in order to ensure the ecological, economic, and socio-cultural integrity of the region .
    TERAI ARC LANDSCAPE (TAL) “ Conservation with Human Face”
  • 10. KEY ACHIEVEMENTS: Turning the Vision into Reality
  • 11. 1. Common Vision
    • Government and stakeholders ownership
    • People’s trust & commitment
    • Marketing and branding
  • 12.
    • Created community based organizations - existing foundation
    • Established institutional rules and regulations - complied
    2. Institutions and its Mechanisms
  • 13. 3.1 Forest Restorations THEN AND NOW: Deuki CF, Lamahi - Restored corridors and bottlenecks - 27,000 hac critical corridor forests managed by community 2001 2007
  • 14. LAMAHI Bottleneck IMAGE 2007 IMAGE 2001 3.2 Corridor Restoration Elephant Route 5900 7783 Degraded Forest 2005 (ha) 2001 (ha) Year
  • 15. 2006 Pugmark (2005) 2006 2005 2007 2007 3.3 Functioning Wildlife Condor Resident tiger and rhino In Khata Corridor
  • 16. 3.4 Rhino Translocations
  • 17.
    • Gold Standard Biogas Project (VER) with 7,500 Biogas plants generate USD 800,000
    • 5,500 plants - Saving about 22,000 tons of fuel-wood and sequestrating 21,000 tons of CO 2 annually
    3.5 Sustainable Livelihoods for Conservation
  • 18.
    • 23 Cooperatives in TAL with capacity of USD 470,000
    Wild fruit juice Essential oil 3.6 Linking Conservation with Livelihoods
  • 19. STRUGGLES: Challenges ahead
  • 20. Wildlife Habitat Encroachments Basanta Corridor
  • 21. Control Tiger and Rhino Poaching and Trade
  • 22. LESSONS LEARNT: Source of Energy for Winning War
  • 23.
    • Participatory patrolling is effective and trade control is must
    • Community contribution creates a sense of ownership
    • Socio-political environment impacts conservation outcomes
    Conservation outcomes through Integrated conservation and livelihood approach
  • 24.
    • Need complete and balanced communications for social mobilization
    • Build and transform the existing institutions (good governance, financial and operational mechanisms) to ensure sustainability
    • Working in partnership ensures people’s trust and acceptance
    • Concerted and persistent efforts can change people’s attitude and behavioral towards conservation
    People Centered and Process Oriented Conservation Efforts
  • 25. OUTLOOK THE WAY FORWARD TAL NEXT PHASE
  • 26. National Wildlife Authority with Local Institutions MOU with China and India, Regional Crime Control
  • 27. Restoration and Management of Connectivity Voluntary Re-settlement No Go Zones
  • 28.
    • REDD based functional and equitable carbon financing programme in place, which benefits poor communities and biodiversity conservation
    • National REDD Implementation Policy
    • Baseline for REDD at National Level
    • Carbon Monitoring by Community
    REDD Implementation
  • 29. The next generation shall remember us for the opportunities we created for them – “a living plant”, not for what we destroyed.