Nepal Terai 
Community Forest Restoration

Sponsors and Partners:

Elevate Nepal, Bara District Community Forest, Arbor Day Foundation

Project Duration: 2021 to Current

Project Overview

Nepal Terai

The Land:

In Nepal, our work focuses on restoration of community forests in the Terai ecosystem. The terai is a system at the base of the Himalayas, often inundated with water and full of colorful wetlands. Here, peacocks mingle with elephants, rhinos, tigers, and leopards – one of the most productive forests on Earth that supports a large diversity of huge herbivores. The landscape has been encroached for urban expansion, and the savannah-like forests logged over by colonial interests. Although a community forest system exists in Nepal, it is typically not well funded and so mostly goes unmanaged. 

The People:

The communities that manage the community forests are rural agriculturalists. Small home-gardens provide subsistence living. The community forest presents an opportunity to increase revenues to these communities through hybrid forestry programs that include fruit and timber production alongside conservation plantings to increase ecotourism in the region. 

The Restoration:

In 2023, we planted 18,000 trees in the Bara District community forest of southern Nepal. These trees were mostly for high value wood. Surveys conducted after the first planting suggested that communities are interested to have forests with a much high diversity. Diversity enhancement plantings are planned for the future. In fact, between December 2023 and February 2024, we have identified over 7 communities with over 3,000 hectares for reforestation in community forests. With collaboration with local Universities, local NGOs, and the Nepali government, we are poised to have a widespread positive impact on this region.