Can Control of Invasive Vegetation Improve Water and Rural Livelihood Security in Nepal? (2018)

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Nepal’s predominantly rural population depends on the ecosystem services of heterogeneous mountainous landscapes that are degrading under changing climate and development pressures. Invasive alien plants (IAPs) compound threats to ecosystem services including water resource security from mid-hill springs, though implications for Nepal’s water resources are under-researched. South Africa’s Working for Water (WfW) programme addresses linked policy priorities related to IAP management including water, biodiversity and employability. We use the STEEP (Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic, Political) framework to explore success criteria behind WfW and their potential translation into the geographically, culturally and politically different Nepali context, including local considerations at three sites in Kavrepalanchok district. An adapted WfW approach could potentially contribute to water, food, biodiversity, forest, soil, gender equity, community development and security outcomes in Nepal, delivering national and international policy priorities. Evidence from study sites suggests four priority IAPs – Lantana camara, Ageratina adenophora, Chromolaena odorata and Pinus roxburghii – of differing characteristics, extents of invasion and perceived impacts at selected sites requiring control. These initial observations warrant trial management of IAPs in a test area with monitoring to evaluate outcomes for water, food and livelihood security, with potential for subsequent regional or national roll-out of a management programme.
Year: 2018
Language: English
In: Ecosystem Services, 32 : 125-133 p.

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