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Natural Resource and Disaster Risk Management

Inclusive Resource Management Initiative (IRMI)

Project Locations 
Geta, Beladevipur, Sreepur, Ratanpur and Hasulia VDCs
Naubasta, Rajhena, Kohalpur, Manikapur and Hirminiya VDCs
June 2013 to June 2015
Climate, Natural Resource and Disaster Risk Management
Neulapur, Baganaha, Dhodhari, Motipur and Mainapokhar VDCs
Halwar, Pawannagar, Shantinagar, Panchakule and Purandhara VDCs
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
43,033 people

Natural resources are an integral part of any society, as sources of income, industry, and identity. It is estimated that half of the world’s population remains directly tied to local natural resources; many rural communities depend upon agriculture, fisheries, minerals and timber as their main sources of income. Developing countries like Nepal tends to be more dependent on natural resources as their primary source of income, and many individuals depend on these resources for their livelihoods. Among them, forest is an important renewable natural resource for economic development, reducing the impact of climate change and increasing sustainability of the resource base. Both scarcity and resource abundance could lead to natural resource conflict. Whatever may be the cause, natural resource conflicts have the potential to jeopardize the economy, livelihoods, governance, general stability and other resources of a country. Therefore, timely and appropriate conflict management is crucial for sustainable use, conservation and management of natural resources and the livelihoods and economies tied to them. The picture gets much more complicated when access to these natural resources become the reason for a conflict or, much more frequently, are used to fuel a conflict. This forms the foundation upon which IRMI is built and thus seeks to address some of these resource-based conflicts in the Terai region of Nepal.

About the Program
To support Nepal’s transition to a more peaceful, equitable society, Mercy Corps Nepal is implementing a two-year USAID-funded Inclusive Resource Management Initiative (IRMI) program. The program aims to enhance stability through natural resource conflict resolution and inclusive natural resource management and use in four districts. The program strategy is to intervene through a holistic and people-to-people approach that:

Method and Approach

IRMI is implementing a holistic, people-to-people program that promotes integration and builds cooperative relationships between divided communities. Using a system-wide multi-community approach, the program brings together the affected populations. Throughout implementation, the program team models techniques for promoting inclusivity, including participatory facilitation, listening, and gender sensitivity. The program follows best practices in minimizing the risk that program activities will exacerbate existing tensions, including training staff in conflict sensitivity; conducting a ‘Do No Harm’ analysis at program start and biannual intervals; implementing program activities transparently and without bias; and maintaining open dialogue with stakeholders to identify and address emerging issues.

Theories of Change

Natural Resource Conflict Mapping at Naubasta VDC, Banke

The program focuses on strengthening inclusive processes related to natural resource management and public decision-making, rather than promoting the interests or increasing representation of any particular group.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, IRMI is working with existing group/structures, i.e. Community Forest User Groups (CFUG). The program facilitates groups to analyze their existing capacity and strengthen those capacities accordingly, and thus designs an extension education program in close coordination/support with the government line agencies and stakeholders.

The program educates people on sound environmental conservation tenets, current government laws/policies and community rights and responsibilities. Mercy Corps supports participatory activities at all levels to ensure community ownership of all initiatives. Volunteerism and sustainability of community-endorsed activities are promoted and practiced throughout the program. Economic and environmental initiatives are implemented as per the community’s immediate needs, capacities and practicability.

Program Partnership
Mercy Corps and partners conduct consultations with likeminded organizations and line agencies to solicit support and avoid duplication in four districts. IRMI also coordinates with the district leadership through information sharing and a series of consultative meetings. IRMI continues to work closely with the District Development Committees, District Forest Office, National Park Office, Local Peace Committees, Village Development Committees and likeminded organizations/networks at the district and local levels.

CFUG Tree Plantation in Pawannagar, Dang District

Our Mission
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering; poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

What We Do
Mercy Corps helps people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve. Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world’s toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team in 41 countries is improving the lives of 19 million people.

Project Locations
Kailali: Geta, Beladevipur, Sreepur, Ratanpur and Hasulia VDCs
Bardiya: Neulapur, Baganaha, Dhodhari, Motipur and Mainapokhar VDCs

IRMI project is extended until September 2, 2016 and the updated budget is USD 1,654,645. The project covers a total of 46,592 beneficiaries (23,490 men and 22,102 women).