Opportunities and barriers for wood-based infrastructure in urban Himalayas: A review of selected national policies of Nepal

Alark Saxena, William Cole Buettner, Loker Kestler, Yeon Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nepal is a landlocked developing nation in a fragile mountain landscape vulnerable to seismic activity. The 2015 Gorkha earthquake highlighted how systemic social issues, such as poverty, rural-to-urban migration, and weak governance, exacerbate devastating impacts of natural disasters. Building wood-based infrastructure (WBI) can increase rural livelihoods through sustainable forest management and reduce rural-to-urban migration, while improving resilience of building and other infrastructure through use of wood. WBI can help Nepal achieve disaster risk reduction (DRR) goals while also reducing greenhouse gas emission and increasing carbon sequestration. We reviewed Nepal's policy landscape to identify the opportunities and barriers for building WBI and increasing urban resilience. Nepal's major policies across wood supply chain from sources to end-products related to WBI were reviewed and analyzed. We found that policies aimed to address sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change support establishment of WBI while policies for forest conservation limiting forest harvesting, as well as lack of clarity in policies and their implementation, creates barriers. We argue that Nepal's policies for forest conservation should be revised to allow sustainable forest harvesting and create more employment opportunities and income for rural communities to take advantage of expanded opportunities made available through WBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100244
JournalTrees, Forests and People
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Earthquake resilience
  • Forest policy
  • Mountain landscapes
  • Rural livelihoods
  • Urbanization
  • Wood based infrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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