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Conservation of forest landscape in Mai Valley

Forest Landscape Conservation Project

Mai Valley Forest Landscape, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in the north-eastern part of Nepal, Ilam District is known to habitat around 300 species of birds. The forest also homes globally threatened and restricted range bird species like Rufous-throated Wren Babbler Spelaeornis caudatus, Spiny Babbler Acanthoptila nipalensis, Hoary-throated Barwing Sibia nipalensis, Asian Fairy Bluebird Irena puella, Pale-headed Woodpecker Gecinulus granita and White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis. The assessment of the Mai Valley IBA reported intense pressures from high dependency on forests and forest products, forest fire, overgrazing and infrastructure development. This accelerator project funded by BirdLife International thus, aims to work with local government and community forest user groups in the landscape to benefit local communities through alternative livelihood enhancement, mainly NTFPs (tea and cardamom) cultivation and marketing. This project will also explore potentiality of entrepreneurship development for women, indigenous people and marginalized groups present in the landscape. Through this livelihood diversification, the project targets to reduce the ongoing pressure on forest and forest resources. This project ultimately would foster bird and biodiversity conservation through landscape conservation.