6.4.1 Nepal Trust Fund for Biodiversity
The proposed Nepal Trust Fund for Biodiversity, with capital from a number of sources (GEF, bilateral, multilateral, private sector and the Government), has been entrusted to the "Design Working Group", which is composed of representatives from the MFSC, the DNPWC, the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, The Mountain Institute, IUCN-Nepal, and WWF-Nepal. The Fund will be constituted as a legal, autonomous, and tax-free entity by a specific Act of Parliament. The Board of Directors will be independent from the Government and fully empowered to manage the Fund's capital and investment income.
The primary objective of the Fund will be to provide financial and technical support to government agencies, NGOs and other institutions involved in biodiversity conservation in Nepal to enable them to undertake appropriate activities and projects both within and outside of PAs. Priority will be given to existing biodiversity programmes of national and global significance that are under-funded. To this end, the Fund will support conservation education, training, applied research, sustainable income generation activities, poaching prevention and control, women-focused programmes, indigenous knowledge and practices, and policy development in accordance with national priorities (outlined in the NBS). The Fund will provide grants and raise funds, and will advocate for and promote biodiversity conservation.
The Board of Directors will consist of representatives from HMGN, local government, the private sector, national and international non-governmental conservation organisations, one donor agency, two independent biodiversity conservation experts, and one financial investment expert. The Board of Directors will be responsible for the overall management and direction of the Fund, and for setting Fund policy, electing the Chairperson, Executive Director, and Investment Manager, recommending amendments to the relevant Act, determining the Executive Director’s duties and powers, approving project activities and the annual budget, and monitoring and evaluating the extent to which the purpose and goals of the Fund are being met. The Board of Directors will call on experts for advice on technical, financial, fundraising, and legal matters.
The administration of the Fund will be entrusted to the Executive Director and a small administrative unit. An internationally qualified investment manager selected by the Board of Directors will assure the financial management of the Fund’s assets.
The Executive Director, in co-ordination with the Board of Directors, will regularly monitor and evaluate the activities funded by the Nepal Trust Fund for Biodiversity as well as the internal management of the Fund. Independent professional accountants will audit the Fund on an annual basis and, in addition to the annual programme review, external evaluators will conduct routine programme evaluations every year or two.
6.4.2 Other funding mechanisms
Management and operational expenses for PAs are covered by funds from various sources, including income generated from park entrance fees and from the DNPWC’s annual operating budget). Expenses for other ecosystems, such as forests, agricultural lands and wetlands, and for other conservation activities, are covered primarily by the regular Government budget. In order to generate more budgetary resources for conservation activities, biodiversity resource valuation studies will be undertaken. Income from these studies will be incorporated into the national income accounting system and will be used to justify increased budgetary allocations for the country’s conservation programmes.
Additional funding from external sources is also important. These sources will be tapped to support, in particular, conservation of ecosystems and species of global importance. In general, international donors are more inclined to extend funding assistance to biodiversity projects if they benefit not just to the country but a greater segment of the global community. One key element that enables Nepal to secure funding assistance from the international donor community is the fact that the country is signatory to several international conventions and agreements that provide mechanisms for funding assistance to countries in need of assistance in their conservation efforts. Examples include: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the World Heritage Convention.
Nepal is also strengthening its links with different funding institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Global Environment Facility.
6.5 MONITORING AND PROGRESS INDICATORS
The NBS is putting in place an effective monitoring and evaluation process, based on measurable indicators, to assess its progress. This will be done in a transparent and accountable manner.
Monitoring will enable management to assess the progress of implementation and take timely decisions to ensure that progress is maintained according to schedule. It is an internal activity and an integral part of day-to-day management. Evaluation assesses overall programme effectiveness and impact, both anticipated and unforeseen (Kanel 1999b). The strategic objective of monitoring and evaluation of activities under the NBS is to measure the extent to which the three principles of the CBD are being achieved, namely:
Conservation of biodiversity;
Sustainable use of its components; and
Fair and equitable sharing of benefits.
6.5.1 Biodiversity Monitoring
Biodiversity monitoring will include the following elements:
Monitoring of Habitats The Department of Forest Research and Survey will continue to periodically monitor changes in forest cover and density throughout the country. The outcome of the survey will be helpful in understanding the dynamics of habitat change in Nepal.
Monitoring of Ground Conditions Each PA will develop its own monitoring programme according to the guidelines provided by the DNPWC.
Monitoring of Indicator Species Some key species will be periodically monitored in forests, grasslands, agricultural lands, and wetlands. Surveys will be conducted by the Ministries of Forest and Soil Conservation, Agriculture, Water Resources, and Population and Environment in collaboration with relevant government and non-government organisations and academic institutions.
Monitoring of Benefit Sharing Periodic assessments will be carried out to find out the kinds of products and services used by various stakeholders. Individual projects will have a strong component on the monitoring of products/services and the actual benefits shared by different subgroups of stakeholders.
Monitoring of Management The effectiveness of the PA and conservation programme management regimes will be monitored ensure that natural resource use is sustainable. Each management plan will include a monitoring component whereby management procedures will be monitored and periodically evaluated.
Monitoring of Physical Parameters The Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management will monitor the level of soil and water erosion in the different agroclimatic zones of Nepal. The Ministry of Population and Environment will monitor indicators such as air pollution. Other departments and institutions will be involved in assessing parameters such as water pollution, and levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.