Ecosystem Restoration and Conservation for Resilient Livelihoods in the Rupa Lake Watershed of Nepal
This report by the United Nations Environment Programme – International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) presents the case study of the impact of two initiatives implemented over the recent past on local livelihoods in Rupa Lake watershed area, Nepal. The report focuses on the ‘Climate Change, Ecosystem and Livelihood (CEL)’ nexus, led by UNEP, and assesses the suitability of Rupa watershed experience for replication more widely.
The Rupa Lake watershed area was chosen as a demonstration site for the case study because this is an area where a number of organizations had implemented projects in the past with the overall objective of restoration, conservation and utilization of Rupa Lake ecosystem and agrobiodiversity towards resilient livelihoods. Analysis of livelihood capitals contained human capital, physical capital, social capital, nature capital, and financial capital. Off-farm employment and farming were the two main livelihood strategies investigated in this report. Analysis of livelihood outcomes for participant and non-participant households comprised looking into income and expenditures; energy use for cooking; agrobiodiversity; food intake; ecosystem health; and perception about climate change. The causes and underlying mechanisms for the impact of these projects on livelihoods were summarized to provide implications for other developing countries.