ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari
Spread over 30 hectares of land given to ICIMOD by the Government of Nepal in the early 1990s the ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari attracts 5,000-plus visitors per year from all walks of life to learn about new technologies and practices for sustainable land use and natural resource management in hill areas of the greater Himalayan region. Typical visitors to the park include students, farmers, government officials, development practitioners, researchers, and entrepreneurs. However, everybody is welcome to visit. The park operates on the concept that ‘seeing is believing’. Accordingly, it has been designed as an open space for demonstrating renewable energy technologies, water management, vegetation management, soil management, income generation (vegetables, fruits, livestock, fish, beekeeping, etc.), biodiversity conservation, ecotourism, and research and support for replication and/or upscaling by visitors and partners alike. The technologies, approaches, and practices showcased in the park can be described as climate friendly, ‘green’, or low carbon. ICIMOD promotes their use through demonstration, hands-on training, and information sharing so that hill communities of the region can use them to not only to adapt to climate change, but also to move towards a greener economy. A carbon monitoring plot in the park, for instance, demonstrates the greenhouse gas-mitigating potential of forests, thereby paving the way for carbon payment under initiatives for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). Situated on the north-facing slope of the Pulchowki watershed in Godavari at an elevation of 1,540–1,800 metres, the park comprises mostly mixed deciduous and evergreen broadleaved forests which provide a sanctuary to an estimated 694 floral species, including 35 varieties of orchids, and 231 faunal species, including 97 species of butterflies and 88 species of birds. Rich in ecosystem services, it boasts four mini watersheds and 12 mini sub-catchments within the main Phulchowki watershed. The climate is subtropical to warm temperate, and the mean annual rainfall is 2,004 mm, with 80 per cent of total annual precipitation occurring between June and September. The park houses an Information Centre where visitors can learn about ICIMOD’s Regional Programmes and Thematic Areas through publications and videos. It also hosts a Green Shop where visitors can buy organic vegetables, fruits, fish and other products, depending on the season.