Socio-ecologically, Nepal’s wetlands are unique ecosystem of intriguing nature evolved and affixed at diverse topography. High Mountain (>3500m) often offering glacial wetlands with alluring beauty and paradise; Middle Mountain (1000 to 3500m) holding tectonic wetlands enriched with biological endemism and cultural/belief centers, and alluvial plain Terai (<500m) the basket of lowland wetlands contributing majorly to Nepal's GDP through agronomy and supports ethnicity like Tharu, Mushar, Dhangar, Bantar, Bote, Jhalari and so on. Over 10% of Nepal's ethnic groups are dependent to wetlands for livelihoods. Many high altitude wetlands are exposed to GLOF and expanding with increased water volume, for example Tsho Rolpa and Imja Tsho. Juxtapose to this, lowland wetlands are subjected to higher evapo-transpiration and quick drop in ground water table. A marginal increase in temperature may prolong dry-crop period in the Terai that may demand more water for irrigation at the cost of increased risk on wetlands conversion. Many highland wetlands have great religio-cultural values with economic values & tourism potential. Conserving these wetlands should not undermine emerging climate change issues which require wetlands awareness & education (Ramsar Strategic Plan 2016-2021; GOAL 3; Target 11). Wetlands provide a wide range of goods and services as well as income generating opportunities to these communities. Nepal shares 10 Ramsar sites which meet global target by 0.02% under Ramsar Site till 2016. Legal provisions for wetlands in Nepal are well dedicated; though, the reference governance in wetlands is vehemently loose & weak at all levels. Uncoordination governmental oversight contributes to wetlands degradation. GEF once supported to the GoN to strengthen wetlands governance through demo of Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Wetlands in Ghodaghodi Complex and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve from 2007 to 2012. This demo was quite instrumental, which also induced annual allocation of government budget for wetlands in 2012. Such government allocation continues but actions not well demonstrated. Still in many wetlands, resources are overused, ecological harmony disfranchised & melancholy established; and wetlands provisions often violated and culminated to the crux of conflict. The largest section of adjoining communities (wetlands), both rural and urban, is not well sentient of wetlands provisions. This situation visibly persists within government agencies even at the upper tier. Academia including National Academy for Science & Technology are assumed to generate, disseminate and prepare HR from formal education, they virtually are silent on wetlands except credit courses on limnology in universities. In addition, fluid politics is also recognized as one of the major divers to anomalous the dynamics of wetlands especially in policy twist leading to uncertified encroachment along wetlands shoreline, for example in Phewa lake, Kaski. Changing this context is urgent to stop degradation of wetlands in Nepal. Above stated situation requires urgent empowerment practices at all but major divers such as politicians; government personnel; communities and students, consistently and coherently. One of the remedies to fill this gap is the long-term provision Nepal shall seek to build knowledge making device 'Wetlands Academy’ which will strengthen knowledge system at all levels to better understand; envision; plan; coordinate and intervene on wetlands in sustained way. Once communities acquire knowledge on resource values/policies, they will adopt and pursue measures to safeguard their resources sustainably (Ramsar Goal 1; Target 1). Further, this provision also enables government personnel; politicians; village leaders and students through training, workshops and events in improving their understanding about wetlands. This intervention will establish a moderate structure with conference and research facilities at Rupa lakeshore. Curriculum (informal) based demand driven resources materials will be generated and target audiences will be trained. While doing this, the initiative will feed knowledge and information based on good practices and researches into planning framework of GoN to integrate wetlands as vital element of conservation development, and will eventually influence to government and political personnel to adjust their actions so that sustainability for wetlands is gradually committed and ensured. An emphasis will consistently be given to the local communities and students/teachers priority from the adjoining of Ramsar sites who will later act through Wetlands Network. Knowledge from researches will be disseminated through wetlands events and e-Journal. For this purpose, CODEFUND will collaborate with environmental institution like IUCN; WWF; sectoral ministries and local government. In globe, the Ramsar Secretariat/Switzerland & International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC)/Japan are also anticipated to collaborate. Following are instruments in compliance with Wetlands Academy Initiative: - WWF Nepal Strategic Plan (2012-2016): Freshwater Strategy 1.3; 1.4; 3.1; 3.2; 3.4 - National Wetlands Policy (2012) under aim 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3 - NBSAP (2014-2020) under Wetlands Biodiversity Strategy A: Improving understanding and management of wetlands biodiversity and Wetlands Biodiversity Strategy B: Effective conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands biodiversity - National Water Resource Strategy (2005) - National Water Plan (2005) - Ramsar Strategic Plan (2016-2021) Goal 1 & 3 - CBD (1990) - World Lake Vision (2007).
Project 'Profiling of Rare & Endangered Animals and Problematic Animals in Nepal' under the task of Department of National Parks and Wildlife is n
Project entrusted from National Lake Conservation Development Committee, MOCTCA (February 8, 2017) to explore potential feature towards designation of