EHN working with Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN)
In early 2014 EHN teamed up with Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN) in order to help support their quest in repopulating trees across the community forest areas of Nepal. Because Nepal has seen a massive amount of deforestation over the years and as a result we have seen many more landslides as well large areas of national park being badly affected. So over the last few years WCN have been growing native trees which need to be planted (where EHN comes in)and protected in areas set aside for reforestation.
These trees provide a valuable resource to the local people as they are used for animal feed, building and cooking not to mention the positive impact on the local environment. In other areas the trees provide protection form landslides in the monsoon season as the trees roots play a big part in holding the soil on the valley sides.
How EHN volunteers are involved?
As with most EHN projects the volunteers will be staying with local people in their homes while working on the project. The volunteer will work alongside the Village Community Forest User Group who will be helping to plant the trees and will be the main beneficiaries of the tree planting project. Your money will go towards the fencing needed to protect the trees from animals until they are big enough to survive. After that we pay the home stay family for your accommodation and food and the rest is used to run EHN and fund future projects.
The first joint project
Our first joint project was run several months later when both organisations worked together to successfully conducted a forest restoration program at Padampur Community Forest, located at Padampur VDC, about 2.5 km east of Bharatpur, Chitwan. The total area of the community forest is 283 ha of which 2 ha (3 bigha in Nepali) was under restoration program. A total of 3000+ different tree saplings were planted with the support of 29 EHN volunteers from the Hong Kong Rotaract and the WCN team. Different high value species such as Bamboo, Sugandha kokila (Cinnamomum glaucescens), Masala, Bakaino (Melia azadarach), Tejpat (Cinnamomum tamala) and Ipil were planted. Each plant has been planted at a distance of 1 to 1.5 m. For the protection and better growth of the plant, the area has been fenced with barbed wires and artificial water was provided. The student volunteers also conducted an education and awareness program at Shree Bhimodaya Higher Secondary School in the plantation site where they taught children about water filtration, hygiene and sanitation. The students were also involved in the painting of the school. This program has not only benefitted the forest and school but has also supported in home stay program conducted by the local women community.
The follow up of the project has been.
Weeding is a continuous process which are conducting every once in two months by the CFUG members under WCN’s Support a monitoring and evaluation conducted by WCN on October 2014 found that more than 80 % of the tree species have survived. Regular sightings of chital (deer) have also been observed.
After all of the EHN volunteers were successfully placed in homestay placements in the local community there has been an increase in the interest of running homestay programmes in the Tharu community.
The latest report back in November was the trees are doing well and have reached the height of 1.5-2.0 metres high and can very soon have the protective fencing taken away.
And most importantly on the last visit by WCN team members they found fresh animal spoor indicating that with the re populating of the forest has started to attract wildlife back to the area.
After the success of planting the first 3000 EHN are looking at putting together another group interested in planting the next section in Padampur Community Forest which we hope will go ahead in 2015. We are activivly looking for volunteers interested in getting involved in this project so if you are interested please email Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org