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  Nepal - Asia  

Nepal is one of the least developed countries in the world with many communities depending on the natural environment for food, shelter, and income. Today less than 30% of Nepal’s forests remain and the consequences of this environmental degradation are devastating for local populations and wildlife.

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The Jodhipur planting site comprises of 1480 hectares of tropical forest, situated along the Babai River in west Nepal's Bardiya District.

The Babai River is an important wildlife corridor connecting the forest-dominated Bardiya National Park to the lowland plains of the Terai ecological zone. The national park is home to spectacular wildlife, including wild elephants, greater one-horned rhinoceros and Bengal tigers.

The landscape surrounding the national park is a patchwork of agricultural fields with scattered natural forest fragments. Residents rely on the remaining forested areas for household needs such as fuelwood, livestock fodder, and medicinal and edible plants.

Deforestation of this area has led to a host of environmental issues, including increased risk of flooding as well as socio-economic impacts to local communities due to topsoil erosion, low agricultural productivity, and in some cases, complete farm failure.

The nearby municipalities of Baganaha, Baniyabhar, and Dhodhari have a combined population of 31,622, including many indigenous Tharu people who have faced discrimination and economic hardship. Indigenous rights and community participation in natural resources management is central to the success of Nepal's robust community forestry program, which combats forest degradation while improving the livelihoods of rural communities.

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REFORESTATION - Site Name: Jodhipur, Nepal

  The Importance of Reforestation in Nepal

  Tree Species Planted  

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ORCHID TREE – Bauhinia Purpurea 

is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. When used for medicinal purposes, it is most commonly in the form of medicinal tea to treat fever and stomach ailments. The dried flowers are also believed to possess medicinal properties that can also help treat cancer, strengthen the immune system, and improve eyesight, as well as in making poultices for treating swelling, bruises, boils, and ulcers. It is also a food plant: the leaves, flower buds, flowers, and young seedpods can be cooked and eaten. The flower buds are often pickled and used in curries.

Nepal Reforestation Updates 

REFORESTATION IN NEPAL
Tree Species
Reforestation Updates
History & Location

OCTOBER 2023

In two years, May 2021 to 2023, our reforestation partners have planted 710,000 trees in the Jodhipur region, they have employed an average of 17 people per month, creating 21 working days per part-time employee per month. The local communities manage and govern the community forests, hence participating in decision-making processes that have led to the empowerment and development of local leadership teams of women which is a core principle and goal for this project.

The target planting density is 2,500 trees per hectare, with a plantable area of 495 hectares. Planting will continue in Jodhipur to reach the site’s estimated capacity of 1,237,500 trees needed to restore the area. Throughout this project, the team will actively protect the site and replant losses to ensure the native tropical riverine forest and sal forest ecosystem reaches its full potential. Ultimately, many of these trees will mature, producing their own seeds and helping the forest return to a point of natural equilibrium.

The planting season in Nepal is from May to September which is the rainy season.

The team is utilizing a variety of planting methods including:

• Bare Root transfer from nursery

• Bare Root transfer from wilding

• Direct Seeding

• Seed Balls

Traditional seedling nursery is the process of germinating seeds in a nursery, temporarily moving them to a bag or pot until they reach maturity. When the rainy season begins the saplings are then planted in the fields - in just a few years a sustainable forest emerges.

 

In addition to growing seedlings in nursery planting tubes, many nurseries also include seedbeds. Seedbeds are produced in raised soil located within the nursery and populated with an abundance of seeds. After the seeds germinate, the seedlings are efficiently harvested from the beds and quickly transferred to the planting site.

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Bare Root: At the onset of the rainy season, wild seedlings are harvested from healthy or remnant forests, which typically see a large influx of small seedling growth beneath the canopy.

 

Bare root (wild) involves the gentle collection of these seedlings and quickly replanting them at an adjacent deforested area. Transferring the seedlings does not harm the healthy forest, as overcrowding and excessive shade from the canopy means only a tiny percentage of the seedlings would have survived. This planting method strategically leverages nature’s abundance.

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During dry seasons the team collect native seeds & prepare them in the nurseries. 

 

A seed ball is a marble-sized ball made of clay, compost, soil, and seeds. Our planting partners ensure that the seed inserted into the centre of the ball is a fast-growing pioneer species with a high germination percentage. The field teams produce millions of seed balls every month, resulting in the replanting of large areas where the natural flora was formerly destroyed.

 

The seed balls are prepared at the end of the dry season, a month or two prior to the monsoon season. The method begins with local villagers collecting native species seeds which are then sorted and separated. Next, soil for the seed balls is mixed, which includes compost, soil, and clay. One to two seeds are embedded inside the soil mixture and rolled into marble-sized balls. The seed balls are then dried and stored until the onset of the rainy season, when the seed balls are then placed in small holes that have been dug and lightly covered with soil. Within a few days, germination takes place, and trees begin to grow.

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HIMALAYAN CYPRESS Cupressus Torulosa

is an evergreen conifer tree species found on limestone terrain at 300–2,800 metres, growing to a height of 45m with a trunk diameter sometimes exceeding 2m. Cypresses have very important roles in the wild, since they tend to grow along rivers and in wetlands where they are excellent at soaking up floodwaters and preventing erosion. They also trap pollutants, preventing them from spreading too. Frogs, toads, and salamanders use bald cypress swamps as breeding grounds. The branch, cone, and oil are also used for medicine, to treat coughs, the common cold, prostate conditions and is also used to heal wounds and infections.

WHITE SIRIS - Albizia Lebbeck

is a moderate to large deciduous tree that reaches 30m in height in rain forests. Its dense shade-producing crown can be as large as 30m in diameter too. The tree develops a straight bole when grown in dense forests, but is spreading and low branching in the open. The tree is loaded with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making a great species for medicinal purposes. The paste prepared from the leaves of this plant can be applied externally on the skin in case of wounds and other skin diseases. It helps improve skin complexion and detoxifies the skin.

CUTCH TREE - Acacia Catechu

is a deciduous, thorny tree which grows up to 15m in height. The bark of this plant is a strong antioxidant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal 

in nature. The extract of this plant is used to treat sore throats and diarrhoea, also useful in high blood pressure, dysentery, colitis, gastric problems, bronchial asthma, cough, leucorrhoea and leprosy. It is used as mouthwash for mouth, gum, sore throat, gingivitis, dental and oral infections.

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OCTOBER 2022

Our reforestation partners only hire locals to plant and care for the trees, this alleviates extreme poverty, giving an economic incentive to impacted communities to ensure the wellbeing and longevity of the restoration site. Over time these trees become a source of sustainable income for these communities. The focus is always on long-term strategies to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises and support livelihoods. The preparations for planting are under way, including the set up of the nursery, then during the rainy season in 2023 the trees will be transferred to the reforestation site.

 

The leadership team on this site is comprised entirely of women. Before joining the reforestation projects many Nepalese women would stay at home, solely dependent on their husband's income. Many women were also married at a very young age, unable to complete a formal education. Over half of the Nepalese workforce in this reforestation program are now women, and for many, it is their first opportunity for consistent employment, helping to overcome gender inequality. By becoming nursery managers for example, they develop leadership skills and earn consistent income allowing them to support themselves and their family's necessities.

The Nepal reforestation project supports nine of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, helping to resolve many of the challenges and to achieve a better, more sustainable future for all. 

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