Diversified sustainable and inclusive enterprise development for greater community development
About the Implementing organization
Name: Patle Community Forest User Group
Year of establishment: 2007
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Community enterprise or business / Ethnic minority group or association
It is not unusual for a rural community to develop one enterprise with NGO assistance that complements their subsistence agriculture. But a portfolio of nature-based enterprises that are diversified by forest species, seasonality, and local and international markets and tied to sustainable forest management is rare. The revenue streams are diverse, from the briquette users in Kathmandu, essentials oils being sold internationally, farmed produce sold locally and in surrounding areas. The collapse of one market will not destroy the local economy. Combine this with the broad inclusive nature across gender, ethnic groups, and age of the enterprises and Patle has moved way beyond "business-as-usual" practices. The innovation could have stopped with inclusive livelihoods, but it did not. Instead Patle CFUG used their skills to tackle their most pressing community development challenges - education and water security (a full water system developed, installed and now managed by the community) and other infrastructure development such as small investments of labour and funds to repair village roads as well as construction and repair of trails around the community.
Forests / Mountains / Rivers / Wildlife
Type of Action
Protection / Sustainable use / Mainstreaming into sectors / Access and benefit sharing / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security / Disaster risk reduction / Peace and security / Health / Renewable energy
The village of Sikre is located in a very steep and mountainous mixed forest and agriculture area. Land degradation from over grazing, forest clearing for timber and agriculture, and over harvesting of forest products meant the environment was becoming more fragile and less able to support the village. By Patle CFUG working together to gain tenure, devise a forest management plan and develop enterprises that are sustainable and support conservation and restoration of the forests the village is more secure economically, socially and environmentally. The development of the fuel efficient and cleaner burning briquette product is produced from clearing of invasive species and is a renewable green energy source for the urban populations of Nepal who purchase it for heating and cooking. The area and Patle enterprises have also earned Wildlife Friendly Certification since as the forests are recovering so is the wildlife including several endangered species.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Patle CFUG has promoted social, environmental and economic sustainability. Social Sustainability - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – Examples include equal access to water in the communities which greatly to decrease conflict. Equitable revenue earning potential and increased community discussions to solve problems. A community building with a space for various community gatherings was also built. Environmental Sustainability - The local revenue now depends on the health of the forests. Forest management plans conserve local biodiversity and have earned the enterprises Wildlife Friendly certification helping to protect leopards, grey wolves to pangolins. Ecosystem services that provide water and soil health are also safeguarded. Economic Sustainability: The ties to local and international businesses and markets means Patle has diversified income to support it social initiatives in education and water that are sustainable due to community demand and support.
This program is scaleable in the local surrounding communities and communities across Nepal particularly due to the work with local NGO’s and businesses. There is local and international market demand for essential oils, and locally for the briquettes which are made from clearing of invasive species. The local NGO, ANSAB, and the business linkages along with Patle CFUG members sharing their lessons has already helped to develop additional programs, enterprises and community development that promotes social and revenue inclusive programs. the model is compatible with Nepal's unique biodiversity in that it allows communities to conserve the forest and protect ecosystem functions while sustainably using and developing a balanced set of livelihoods that includes all community members. Nepal needs economic development models that allow rural communities to thrive economically without compromising the environment and this action demonstrates this and can be expanded to a national scale.
While the inclusive enterprise model is replicable, it is the disaster relief element that is the most promising for replication. Disaster relief is a challenge for communities to have their voices heard. The Patle CFUG believes that their earthquake recovery and interaction with international donors can set standards for the rapid delivery of quality shelter, food and medicine. A major community meeting in partnership with ANSAB and Relief International guided the rebuilding and types of semi-permanent housing. The community even decided to relocate the community to a safer area, away from potential landslides. Every household now has a semi-permanent quality residence, with custom made insulation, access to food and water and local business have been rebuilt. All material was of the highest quality and the costs kept very reasonable using local construction methods informed by earthquake standards, with aid money being used to its full extent.
Share this solution: