The Government has signed a “landmark agreement” with the World Bank, unlocking up to $45 million (£32m) to support Nepal to decrease carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through 2025.
The Emissions Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) is expected to help reduce nine million tons of carbon emissions in the Terai Arc Landscape.
Nepal’s Emission Reductions Programme in the Terai lowlands aims to lower rates of deforestation and forest degradation across 2.4 million hectares of land rich in natural resources, including 20% of the country’s forest cover.
The Terai region supports some of the most productive forests, richest biodiversity and most significant protected areas in Nepal and has the highest population growth, urbanisation and economic development, especially agriculture.
As a result, natural resources in the Terai face significant threats that the emission reduction programme helps address.
The new initiative will also focus on improving community-based forest management, transferring user rights for national forests to local communities, improving integrated land use planning, promoting alternative sources of energy and strengthening capacity for protected area management.
Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka said: “Nepal’s Emission Reductions Programme builds on more than three decades of successful community forestry.
“The emissions reduction purchase is one pillar of a strategic programme on forest landscapes and climate action in Nepal. This innovative financing agreement will address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, helping incentivise further community action across the country.”