Report of Ecosystem and Community Forestry Management through Rural and Indigenous Women’s Leadership

Reporting Period: 01/01/2020- 31/07/2021

Submitted To: Siemenpuu Foundation
Lintulahdenkatu 10, 00500 Helsinki, Finland

Submitted By: Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH)
572/45 Ram Mandir Marga, Battis Putali, GPO Box 11321,
Kathmandu, Nepal

SIEMENPUU FOUNDATION NARRATIVE FINAL REPORT FORM

Name of the organisation: Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH)
Name of the contact person of the organisation: Manisha Chhetri
Address: 572/45 Ram Mandir Marga, Battis Putali, GPO Box 11321,
Kathmandu, Nepal
Email: watchftp@watch.org.np or m.manishachhetri@gmail.com
Tel.: 977 1 4592644
Skype ID: nkajis
Project code: 19058AAS

Project title: Ecosystem and Community Forestry Management through Rural and Indigenous Women’s Leadership
Amount granted for the project in euros: 31002
Duration of the project activities: Originally planned Start [01/01/2020] End [04/2021] after Extension Start [01/01/2020] End [07 /2021]

1. Please give a description of the project activities. Please write a brief summary of the project and fill out the tables below.
Please consider the FULL CYCLE of the project and not just since the last time you reported.

Summary (up to 2500 characters):

Two sites Devdaha Municipality from Terai Region and Tinau Rural Municipality of Palpa was visited which has 86 Community Forestry User Groups (CFUG). It has Indigenous group mainly Magar and Gurung and Devdaha has mainly Tharu, Musher, Kumal, Gurung etc. Inception workshop was conducted with representatives of local government, stakeholders and local people. Team building planning was held at Bangali WATCH office with eight participants. Conceptual orientation training for the staffs was held for two days. Project Management Team (PMT) was formed of six members. Until now 1165 people in 53 groups have taken part in the conceptual orientation training in both the areas.

Training for Ecosystem Management Plan was held from 8th to 12th October via webinar (Google Meet app), 4/4 people from both areas participated who gained very good skills and knowledge in this sector. 10/10 small scale (group level) Ecosystem Management Plans are prepared in both the areas with participation of 316 community people (174 male and 142 female) at Palpa Dovhan and 327 (158 male and 169 female) at Rupandehi Devdaha. 643 people were made aware about Bio cultural rights, climate change, Ecosystem services and vulnerability. Those 10/10 group level Ecosystem Management prepared plans were compiled and consolidated. The Consolidated Ecosystem Management plans were presented to, held discussions with, and took feedback from representatives of local government and local people in both the areas and handed over 1/1 copy of updated Consolidated plan to the local Government. The representative of Local Government also appreciated plans prepared by local CF users and committed to give a priority in next budgeting.

In an original proposal, the project is supposed to help 10 CFUGs each from Devadaha and Dovan to develop management plans considering Forestry Act and Regulation of three levels of government. The forestry act from the central level is published but regulation has not come yet. Provincial level forestry acts and regulations are not ready and are not in the priorities. So WATCH invited ten CFUGs each from both areas and conducted three days interaction program in four places (2 in Devdaha and 2 in Dovhan) to make them aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF principles, processes. Also, CF users developed a action plan of their Community Forestry. After this program, WATCH decided to draft a Municipality Level Forest Act for both the areas in consultation with users’ representatives virtually. After finalization of the draft of CF policy, CF users’ representatives of Devdaha and MJSS have submitted the draft policy to the municipalities.

Indicators from original project plan measuring outputs and outcomes Situation at beginning of the project (reference/baseline) Target from original project plan Situation at the end of this reporting period How the change (indicator) was measured?
Members of local communities, who have received information about their rights to bio-cultural heritage, natural resources, food sovereignty or sustainable energy
Some scant idea about the issues but not fully understood. 2000 of which 70-80% are women

1069 women and 96 men have participated in the conceptual change orientation
643 Local people were made aware of ecosystem management, disaster, climate change, bio cultural rights and natural resources.
198 people were aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF, principles, processes.
24 representatives of CFUGs and 18 representatives of MJSS participated in discussion on draft policy of CF virtually. From the attendance register of participants in the orientation.

Improved management systems on land areas currently designated for conservation or under ecologically sustainable use In Rupandehi, MJSS has organized Ecosystem Management orientation and four plans are developed To develop 10/10 Ecosystem Management Plan and 1/1 consolidated plan. 10/10 Ecosystem Management plans and 1/1 consolidated plans prepared

From 10/10 Ecosystem Management and 1/1 consolidated plans.

New forest areas and other important ecosystems are formally included in regimes that maintain or improve their biological diversity and positive carbon balance Nothing was done before. While preparing the ecosystem management plan, there were discussions on climate change, ecosystem services and vulnerably, the activities to increase greenery and reducing the carbon are included in the management plan. From the Ecosystem management plans.
Community based groups and local civil society organisations develop their knowledge and skills related to the rights-based approach to ecologically
Sustainable well-being and organisational management. MJSS and CFCC are working on right based approach and decided to work to safeguard rights of users and communities in their local areas. 10 CF user Group
20 women groups The ecosystem management plan was done on right based approach in 10 different CF user groups at Palpa and the 10 management plan of the periphery area of one Community Forestry.

More than 20 women groups, Local NGO MJSS and Awake Nepali Rural Women were made aware organizationally.
From the attendance register of participants in the orientation.

Popular movements and civil society organisations formulate popular demands and policy initiatives to advance their rights to sustainable living
In Tinau, comments were given on the Local level draft Policy of CF through CFCC (Partner organization) and In Devdaha CFUGs and MJSS submitted the draft policy to the municipalities. From the decision made on draft policy discussion program.
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Planned activities
List the activities from the original project plan.
Implemented activities
Describe to what degree the activities have been implemented so far. Please list also any possible new activities which have been added to your project. Do include when and where the activities took place.
Outputs
List the outputs of the implemented activities, including all the materials produced.
Participants
List the participants and/or beneficiaries/ target groups of the project activities (differentiate by gender)

10 each group level ecosystem management plans and one each area level consolidated plans in two areas.
10/10 small scale Ecosystem Management Plans were prepared in both the areas with participation of 316 people (174 male and 142 female) at Palpa Dovhan and 327 (158 male and 169 female) at Rupandehi Devdaha.
And those Ecosystem Management plans were compiled and consolidated. The Consolidated Ecosystem Management plans were presented to the local government and handed over 1/1 copy of Consolidated plan to the local Government in both sites. In both the areas, 10/10 small scale Ecosystem Management plans and 1/1 area wise consolidated plans are prepared in the participation of local people. No. of female participants- 311
No. of male participants- 332

Five each community forestry management plans of the area
The project was designed to help 10 CFUGs each from both the sites to develop management plans considering Forestry Act and Regulation of three levels of government. The forestry act from the central level is published but regulation has not come yet. Provincial level forestry acts and regulations are not ready and are not in the priorities. So WATCH conducted ten CFUGs each from both areas and organized three days interaction and awareness program in four places (2 in Rupandehi and 2 in Palpa) to make them aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF, principles, processes. Also, CF users developed an action plan of their Community Forestry.

198 people were aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF, principles, processes. No. of female participants- 114
No. of male participants- 84

Coordination and cooperation with local governments for plans implementation
The Consolidated Ecosystem Management plans were presented to the local government in both the areas and handover a copy of Consolidated plan to the local Government.
After this CF program, WATCH decided to draft a Municipality Level Forest Act for both the areas in consultation with users’ representatives virtually. After making final of the draft of CF policy, CF users’ representatives of Devdaha and MJSS have submitted the draft policy to the municipalities together. And In Tinau, comments were given on the Local level draft Policy of CF through CFCC (Partner organization) The representative of Local Government also appreciated Eco system Management plan prepare and it was handover to them and they committed to give a priority and include in next planning.

Municipalities got the draft policy of CF.

Awareness of bio cultural rights, ecosystem and community forestry
Local people were made aware about bio cultural rights during the orientation of Ecosystem Management plan preparations but the prepared plan also dominant by dominant bio cultural rights, we felt there was lacking the content of deprived culture of ethnic groups. So, as a result, Bio cultural rights could not get as focused as it should be.

Three days CF interaction program was held in four places (2 in Devdaha and 2 in Dovhan) to make them aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF, principles, processes. 847 people were made aware about bio cultural rights, 643 people were made aware about ecosystem and 198 people were made aware about Community Forestry. No. of female participants- 429
No. of male participants- 418

No. of female participants- 311
No. of male participants- 332

No. of female participants- 114
No. of male participants- 84

Outcomes
List all the project outcomes mentioned in the original project plan
Progress
Did you reach the aimed for outcomes of the project? If not, what kind of progress has been made towards reaching them?
Was there any other possible outcomes (not planned) of the project?

Local level policy and plans formulation considering rural and indigenous people’s bicultural rights, and climate change and development induced disasters.

Local level CF act and regulations are still not made so until now it is not induced in policy but during the project run it was realised that Community Forestry users are still unaware of CF Processes, history, principles, and legitimacy. The CF activities are out of the CF principle and values but there is no such action plan against it. And after the awareness and discussion program CF user themselves realised it so it is also one of the outcomes of the project.
Inclusion of plans and programmes in the local government’s planning. The representative of Local Government also appreciated Eco system Management plan prepare and it was handover to Ward offices also and they also committed to give a priority and include in next planning and budgeting.
Municipalities got the draft policy of CF.
-please add more rows, if needed

Differences
List the changes and the reasons for possible differences between the original project plan and the implemented project, with regards to the
Activities, outputs, beneficiaries and target groups.

• Originally Project Management Team (PMT) was not proposed but later it was felt prudent to run in coordination modality due to which it was a necessity.
• The second review meeting/ planning was supposed to be held in June but it could not happen because of the lockdown
• Following Planning and Reporting format has been developed for proper monitoring.

 Daily Activities reporting format
 Monthly Reporting format
 Two weeks planning format
 Indicator monitoring format
 Staffs messenger group

• Ecosystem Management training for the Trainer (TOT) was supposed to be held physically but due to pandemic it was conducted virtually (via Google meet).

• The project was planned to assist 10 CFUGs to develop management plans considering Forestry Act and Regulation of three levels of government. But it could not happen as per plan because the forestry regulation of Central level and provincial level forestry acts and regulations was not ready. So WATCH invited ten CFUGs each area and conducted three days interaction and awareness program of CF in four places.

• Target from original project plan was participants of local communities would be 2000, where 70-80% would be female. At the end of the projects 2054 people participated where 1525 (74.26%) were women participants.

2. What were the impacts of the project? Were there any unintended impacts?
Please reflect here also on the desired impact from the original project plan.

In the conceptual Orientation Training 1165 people in 53 groups have taken part in both the areas. There are some positive changes among the participants, especially in Rupandehi and moving towards self reliant also started some women groups started entrepreneur work in group work to be self dependent.
Altogether 643 people were made aware about Bio cultural Rights and Ecosystem Management Plan and also prepared 10/10 Local level and 1/1 area wise consolidated Ecosystem Management plans. Consolidated plan was presented and handover to the local government.

Yes, there are unintended impacts also. The project was supposed to help 10 CFUGs to develop management plans considering Forestry Act and Regulation of three levels of government. The central level forestry regulation and the Provincial level forestry acts and regulations are not ready yet. So WATCH invited ten CFUGs each from both areas and conducted three days interaction program to make them aware about the Forest Act, concept of CF, principles, processes. Also, CF users developed an action plan of their Community Forestry.
Secondly, WATCH decided to draft a Municipality Level Forest Act for in consultation with users’ representatives virtually. After finalization of the draft, Acts, users’ representatives have submitted to the municipalities.
The next unintended impact is about the CF users. In CF, users are taken as sovereign but at present users are not aware of the process, principles, history and not even their rights on the Community Forestry.

3. Please describe how monitoring and evaluation was carried out.
Please attach the monitoring and/or evaluation report (s) to the report, if available. In the above sections you have already reported on the project indicators and how they were measured. What else can be said about the monitoring and evaluation methods? For instance, who participated in following the progress of the project?

The monitoring was done in both Qualitative and Quantitative methods. There were indicators for the project which is measured by each activity. Monitoring planning format was also developed and updated regularly. For Qualitative methods, the Project Management Team was formed which evaluated qualitatively in 3/3 months. The Project Director and Advisor visted the area almost almost every month and discussed with PMT members, partners and the participants as well as the local governments. Their feedback were taken seriously and tried to accommodate in the project activities.

4. Has your organisation or group changed (e.g. institutionally, financially, strategically, etc.) during the project? If yes, how?

Yes, there are changes in Organization during the project. WATCH has envisioned, initiated and supported Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN); HIMAWANTI, Community Forestry Supporters Network (COFSUN), National Federation of Irrigation Water Users Nepal (NFIWUAN) and hand over and left them to carry on to work on the CF , climate changes issues but during the Siemenpuu project WATCH felt strategically again to run this issues and continue by itself because it was realised that Community Forestry users are still unaware of their rights and CF policies and laws. The CF activities are out of the CF principle and values but there is no such action plan against it.
WATCH has formed different organization and handover to carry on the issues and also supported intellectually and financially in needed but this was the first experienced working in Partnership in Siemenpuu project. WATCH experienced some very good and also some substandard institutionally.

5. How do you see the future of the activities started and the outcomes accomplished during the project? How will you continue addressing these issues in the future?

Mainly, there were three main activities in the project. Conceptual Change Training, Ecosystem management plan preparation and community forestry management plans. In Conceptual Change, people at Rupandehi has got changes in their behaviour but at Palpa it is seems that the training should again conduct while in some program.
In Ecosystem Management plan Preparation, local people participated actively. Those plans were highly appreciated by ward chair and also committed to include the plan in local level planning.
After awareness and interaction program of CF, User groups are aware of their decision making rights. So while preparing new charter and operational plan they will ensure their decision making rights by including these things in it.

6. What advice would you give to organisations wishing to undertake a similar kind of project?
E.g.: From your perspective, what have been the main strengths of the project? What would you do differently? What obstacles or challenges did you face?

Every project has its own strength, weaknesses, and challenges. There are some strengths of the Siemenpuu project that we felt during the project period.
1) The main strength of the Siemenpuu project is flexibility in work: Due to Pandemic and other scenario, WATCH had to change and reform some of the activities. In such situation WATCH had always planned alternative ways to adapt to situation and proposed to the Contact person. We found that was appreciated and no interfere but with some good suggestions.
2) Partnership & Collaboration: The partnership of WATCH & Siemenpuu, WATCH & two other local NGOs is one of the strengths part of the project. The good part of the partnership with local NGOs is, local NGOs have very good relation with local people and local Government so that we can easily approach for the project activities in sites.
3) Project Management Team (PMT): (already mentioned above)

WATCH would choose a partner before developing a project so that it would be more committed and gives some rights and responsibilities of the Financial and project activities to the partner organization. Before selecting the partner organization, it needs to do organizational assessment and keep provision for partner organization capacity building in the project.

The obstacles and challenges that we felt during the Siemenpuu project are; 1) pandemic: Due to pandemic, project could not achieve the expected outcomes and some activities also it could not complete on time. 2) Behaviour of Local Government: Local Government cooperation with NGOs is crucial but in some extent they take NGO as a competitor and fear that NGO might find their weaknesses.

7. What advice or feedback would you like to give to Siemenpuu in terms of its cooperation?
E.g.: You may wish to comment on the application or reporting process (the forms), the communication with Siemenpuu, the web site or on Siemenpuu’s approach in general.

During the project period WATCH got very good cooperation from Siemenpuu. WATCH has got flexibility and did not face any kind of interference and obstacles to make changes or revise programs due to Pandemic and the other circumstances.

8. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

It would be much better (if possible) if Siemenpuu organizes a Lesson Sharing workshop with the Siemenpuu partners within the likeminded organization so that they can be connected with each other and share their achievement, challenges and way forward. CF program was one of the very successful programs in Nepal because it was all based on CF principles and process. In the current situation, CFUGs are unaware of the principle, process and history of the CF so they are unaware of their rights on forest, on land and on water. CF awareness and campaign have stopped so far so new generation is not aware of it so CF groups are almost defunct and committees or chairmen are taking CF as their own property. The main victims, however, are indigenous poor, dalits, and women. To reform CF in Nepal, project should developed for reformulation process in CF.

9. Annexes attached:

Please attach copies of the publications and other materials produced in the project. We will also be happy to receive any additional materials, for example research and survey results, newspaper clippings, reports concerning project issues and photos of the activities.

Annex 1- Planning and reporting format
Annex 2- List of the project activities, implemented activities, and their outputs
Annex 3- Siemenpuu News
Annex 4- List of materials bought by Siemenpuu
Annex 5(c) – Final Narrative Report
Annex 5(d)- Final Financial Report
Annex 6 (a)- Translated Lesson Learning Report
Annex 6 (b)- Nepali Lesson Learning Report
Annex 7- Name list of Project Staff
Annex 8- Control ledger up to July 31
Annex 9-Siemenpuu Project Audit

Signature of the authorised person(s) of the implementing organisation

I hereby confirm that the information given in this project report is correct and request for the final payment when this report is approved by the Siemenpuu Foundation.
Name: Manisha Chhetri
Position: Deputy Director/ Project Director
Date: 2021-09-02
Place: Kathmandu, Nepal
Signature:

Please send the signed final narrative report by email (with electronic signature or a scanned copy of the signed report) or by postal mail to the address of your Siemenpuu Foundation contact person.

SIEMENPUU FOUNDATION
– The name of your contact person –
LINTULAHDENKATU 10
00500 HELSINKI
FINLAND