World Bank, RRN Sign $4.5 Million Grant to Strengthen Forest-Dependent Indigenous Peoples' Role in Climate Action

Published on: 16 November 2022
by KnowESG
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To help Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) in Nepal's forest sector, the World Bank and Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) have inked a $4.5 million funding agreement.

The five-year Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Nepal project will help improve the ability of IPLCs to take part in Nepal's REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) processes at the local, national, and global levels for the sustainable management of forests.

The communities in the Madhesh and Lumbini Provinces that depend on the forest would benefit from more income-generating opportunities. The project's national implementing agency is Rural Reconstruction Nepal.

The agreement was signed by Lada Strelkova, the Operations Manager for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka at the World Bank, and Dr. Arjun Karki, the President of Rural Reconstruction Nepal.

Lada Strelkova, World Bank Operations Manager for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, said:

"This project helps Nepal's Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities through a dedicated funding mechanism that will promote and protect their customary institutions, which are important for the sustainable management of natural resources and climate resilience. The project makes a big difference in Nepal's transition to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) for sustainable recovery, growth, and jobs."

The DGM Nepal initiative intends to bring long-term advantages to IPLCs from sustainable forest use, such as increased product value and more active participation in Nepal's policy-making process.

“The project provides much-needed support to forest-dependent indigenous peoples and local communities to enhance their resilience and build livelihoods through small-scale forest and non-forest-based businesses and employment opportunities,” said Dr. Arjun K. Karki, President of Rural Reconstruction Nepal.

IPLCs benefit from the project while also being active proponents and participants. They will preside over the use of grant resources in Nepal through a National Steering Committee (NSC) to give strategic and leadership assistance to the RRN as the executing agency during implementation. The NSC is a 14-member committee of representative NGOs selected through a self-selection procedure, with an equal number of IPLC representatives serving as decision-making members.

“This project is an excellent example of the innovation and leadership of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Nepal,” said Meerim Shakirova, Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank. "Most importantly, it shows that they can plan and carry out development projects in a way that meets the needs of the communities they represent as well as those of the World Bank, donors, and partners," the report said.

The DGM Nepal project is funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Forest Investment Programme (FIP) implemented by the World Bank to enhance the role of IPLCs in protecting the forests they depend on.

“Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Nepal are a critical pillar for climate action. I believe that the project will improve their capacity and skills to have a greater role in forest-related decisions at the country and international levels,” said Ms. Bharati Pathak, Co-chair of the National Steering Committee.

“If forest-dependent indigenous peoples and local communities from Madhesh and Lumbini Provinces can generate income from forest-related activities and foster innovation through this project’s capacity building and competitive grants mechanism, it will encourage IPLCs to ensure that their traditional knowledge, norms, and values are recognised alongside with the customary law,” said Mr. Jagat Baram, Co-chair of the National Steering Committee.

Source: World Bank

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