Utilization of Wetland Based Resources for Conservation and Livelihood Promotion Project
Jagadishpur Reservoir (JR) is currently the largest man-made reservoir in country with a core area of 157 ha, and with surrounding wetlands the area is approximately 225 ha including 60 ha of marsh and 7 ha of shrub lands. JR is the best example in Nepal that picturizes various dimensions of wetlands issues in terms of: i) wetlands importance as one of the Ramsar sites; ii) human-engineered reservoir created solely as government response to address against prolonged drought i.e., for irrigation, iii) high resource use value for livelihoods of marginal communities for cage fishery, reeds and NTFP; and iv) optional cultural connectivity accessible to the World Heritage Site - Lumbini and Tilaurakot. While created, the reservoir was for irrigation but two decades of ecological succession graduated in such a fashion that some part of reservoir and its peripheral areas rehabilitated into the swamp/marsh lands and wet-shore; and in total - reservoir environ switched-on suitable for fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds. JR is a perfect example of human impacts that altered reservoir habitat into a biodiversity rich wetlands habitat, globally recognized as Ramsar heritage in 2003. This reservoir is one in Nepal that has been offering huge benefits though direct through irrigation, fishery and collection of other major and minor wetlands' products to communities

The vegetation is mainly in a submerged succession stage with patches of floating species and reed swamp formation. Marsh meadows and extensive mudflat fringed by marsh lie in the site's northern part. The terrestrial vegetation is dominated by plantation of Sisso (Delbergia sisso) and Khair (Acacia catechu) along the dike. The wetland vegetation consists of Morning Glory (Ipomea carnea sp fistulosa) and cattail (Typha anustifolia). The aquatic vegetation is represented by extensive coverage of floating leafed species mainly lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) followed by wild rice (Hygrorhiza aristata) and Pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus). The free floating species include water velvet (Azolla imbricata) and duckweed (Lemna sp.). The abundant submerged species include water Nymph (Naja minor) Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum).

In lake, 12 fish species are recorded of 6 families and 3 orders including lowland Terai endemics (eg. Notopterus notopterus, Oxygaster bacaila) threatened (Puntius chola) and common species being prey for waders and water birds. The lake is serving as a buffer zone for birds' movement of 9 recorded species. The site provides important resistant, wintering and stopover habitats for waders, other water birds and small passerines. Noteworthy are the grebes, cormorants, herons and egrets (including the rare bittern Lxobrychus cinensis) storks, ducks and geese, terns and gulls, birds of prey, rails, coot and waterhens, Jacanas as well as cranes and kingfishers.

Jagadishpur lake also provides shelter for an assemblage of some rare, endangered species of birds like Indian Sarus Crane (Grus antigone antigone), stork species, Asian openbill (Amastomus oscitans), wolly-necked storkek (Ciconia episcopus) as well as the plants such as endangered Serpentine (Rauwolffia serpentine), rare pondweed (Pontamogeton lucens), threatened and religiously important Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), rare world rice (Hygrorhiza aristata) etc. All of these species have developed Gaidahawa Lake as the "Biological Supermarket". But, these rare and threatened species of birds and plants need to be protected due to their susceptibility to become further endangered and eventual extinction through anthropogenic impacts.

Total population of the Niglihawa VDC according to CBS (2001) is 12049 from 1898 households. The project site is composed of varying Terain castes and most of them are recognized as vulnerable due to poverty and other risks from social exclusion.

The previous SGP supported project NEP/SGP/OP4/CORE/Y3/10/03 was successful in streamlining the community engagement especially women members. They are successful in controlling illegal hunting of birds in the wetland, bridged the co-ordination gap between Department of irrigation and Department of forest and generated conducive environment for work by bringing consensus amidst the political parties. With their active participation, boating, provision of picnic and saving and credit activities have been initiated. This project has thus aimed to institutionalise the community led wetland management, develop the site as ecotourism site linking with Lumbini- the birth place of Gautam Buddha and one of the seven World Heritage sites of Nepal and improve their livelihood.
 

Project Snapshot

Grantee: Alliance for Integrated Development- Nepal
Country: Nepal
Area Of Work: International Waters
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 38,619.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 44,057.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 14,488.00
Project Number: NEP/SGP/OP5/Y2/CORE/12/08
Start Date: 11/2012
End Date: 12/2014
Status: Satisfactorily Completed

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Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Tharus and Muslim minorities are the main beneficiaries of the project.
Notable Community Participation
Local people will be involved in organic farming, agroforestry development and ecotourism activities. Thus their participation is ensured.
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 6
Biophysical
Hectares of globally significant international water body or marine and coastal protected area sustainably managed or protected by SGP project 157
Biophysical
Hectares of fishing grounds or marine protected areas sustainably managed by project 225
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 350

Grantee Contact

Mr. Ramesh Kumar Sharma
Email: maryal@crnamaste.wlink.com.np
 

Address

Bharatpur, Chitwan
Chitwan ,

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Gopal Raj Sherchan
Phone: (977-1) 500 0119/ 5523 200/ 552 3986
Fax: (977-1) 553 0269/ 552 3991/ 552 3986
Email: registry.np@undp.org, grsherchan@wlink.com.np
 
Mr. Vivek Dhar Sharma
Phone: 00977-1-5000119
Fax: 00977-1-5530269
Email: gefsgp_grsherchan@wlink.com.np
 

Address

UNDP, P.O. Box 107
Kathmandu
 

Country Website

http://www.sgp.org.np