A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the SNV, Netherlands Development Organisation, Nepal and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Nepal to support the national development and poverty alleviation goals through the Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Renewable Energy (RE) sector development in general and more specifically by contributing to the enhancement of the biodiversity conservation and livelihood of rural people through the promotion of renewable energy technologies in and around the Protected Areas of Far Western and Central Mountains and Hilly districts of Nepal.
An MoU was signed on July 12, 2013 by the Country Director of SNV Nepal, Mr. Rem Neefjes and Country Representative of IUCN Nepal Dr. Yam Malla on behalf of their respective institutions.
The key programmatic area and activities of an MoU is to jointly seek and mobilise resources to design, develop and implement a programme package integrating sustainable Natural Resource Management (NRM) techniques and renewable energy promotion technologies, in and around Nepal’s major Protected Areas of selected districts. The work will organize in close collaboration with key government agencies including: Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Department of National Park and Wild Life Conservation, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Department of Forests, and District Development Committee among others. It also aims to reduce local communities’ dependence on forests for traditional energy sources such as firewood and reduce carbon emission by reducing firewood consumption and providing alternative renewable energy options especially of the protected areas.
Energy is one of the vital inputs to livelihood and pre-requisites for socio-economic development of Nepal. Over 85% of the rural population still depends on firewood for their basic energy needs such as cooking and heating. This has resulted in reduced forest cover, increased carbon emission and induced health hazards among the vulnerable groups of Nepalese society, especially the children and women. Government of Nepal has established 20 Protected Areas including ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, six conservation areas and one hunting reserve covering around 23.23% of the total land area of Nepal. In particular, there are buffer zones around 12 national parks and forest reserves. Out of 118 ecosystems identified in different physiographic zones in Nepal, 80 ecosystems are represented in the protected areas. Around 10 lakhs people are reported to live in and around the protected areas and directly depending on the forest and other natural resources for livelihood.