Establishment of the National Network of Ramsar Sites and Other Wetlands in Nepal

1. Background
Nepal signed Ramsar Convention in 1971 and ratified it in 1988. Recognizing 5% of wetlands for diversity and prosperity, Nepal holds 10 wetlands of global significance, the Ramsar site that are essentially the strategic resource, pivot of the Water tower of Asia supporting many biodiversity hotspots and food basket to the billions of downstream communities, wildlife and livestock even beyond Nepal. These Sites take a stake of contributing 0.025% to the global target of Ramsar.
The 4th Strategy Plan provides a framework that guides the Party to effectively conserve and manage the Ramsar Site and maintain ecological character, and wisely using all wetlands through integrated resource management at the appropriate scale. All Sites in Nepal has either management or site plans but some outdated and needs revision or replacement. Mainstreaming contemporary issues of climate change; C-sequestration, green economy, disaster/risk, COVID responsive and so on, in contrast to earlier water-centric to basin level integrated approach is essential viewing wetlands at the glass of economics and development since Nepal now practicing federalism. Such change has induced a priority-shift, sectoral agencies are pursuing outer assistance for spending in priority wetlands. So, Ramsar Administrative Authority mobilized partners for preparing basin level site plan of a few Ramsar sites such as Rara Lake, Lake Cluster Pokhara Valley and Shey Phoksundo lake in recent past. There are some sites still seeking such aid for their outdated plans updated, replaced and implemented. Therefore, NWF call is realized essential to meet fund gap for such purpose, and Ramsar Administrative Authority and CODFUND, through meetings, jointly explore Gosaikunda and Associated Lakes (GLA), the next top priority site.
Designated at the Ramsar site in 2007, GAL is a high altitude wetlands nested within the Langtang National Park, which shares territory among three districts. GLA has >40,000 (7,000 HHs), mainly ethnic communities, the direct beneficiaries. The 1st site plan for GLA was prepared in 2008, but its implementation status has not been assessed yet. By 2022, as said above, many perspectives are new and changed. The beneficiaries have no mechanism to communicate their problems/issues about GLA at the steps of emerging environment, technology and new practices. So, CODEFUND submits this proposal entitles ‘Preparation of Basin Level Integrated Site Plan of Gosainkunda and Associated Lakes (Ramsar Site No. 1693). This endeavor will follow global standard tools referred by Ramsar and ILEC/Japan to assess extent/situation, and deliver two outputs from 2 objectives and 9 activities: 1) Basin Level Integrated Site Plan of GLA, and 2) Wetlands Platform-GLA with protocol.
This proposal will significantly increase implementation capacity by harmonizing Goal 2 and Target 5, and Goal 3 and Target 9 of the 4th Strategic Plan (2016-2024), and 3.3.1, 5.1 and 5.2 of the NWP, and key action 2.2 under the Strategy 1 of the NRSAP.
Total cost of this project is USD 21,907 but request to NWF is USD 17,821 in 8-month project period.
CODFUND will continue supporting to execute this new plan, and link wetlands platform with National Network of Ramsar.

2. Objective
General Objectives:
o To prepare Basin Level Integrated Site Plan of Gosainkunda and Associated Lakes (Goal 2, Target 5, Ramsar)
o To establish a Wetlands Platform for the sustainability of GLA (Goal 3, Target 9 of Ramsar, 2nd column indicator)
Specific Objectives:
o Conduct consultative meeting in Kathmandu and Province,
o Review of all available secondary sources of information of GLA,
o Conduct participatory assessment of GAL and its environment, and organize planning workshop,
o Assess for an informal Wetlands Platform for the sustainability of GLA

3. Time Frame
February 1, 2022 to July 31, 2022 (6 months) (Time period extended up to December 2022)

4. Client
Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA), 2nd Floor, Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center, 47 Gukgajeongwon 1ho-gil, Suncheon City, Republic of Korea

5. Fund
NRs 9,808.3 USD

6. Team Composition
Shailendra Pokharel (Team Leader/Wetland Expert), Bhuvan Keshar Sharma Dr. (Resource Management Expert)

7. Team Leader
Name: Mr. Shailendra Kumar Pokharel
Telephone: +977 9841698227