Environment as a Basis for Development Case Studies Overview of the Case Study/Project and Context (include objectives

of the project, partnerships) Max 300 words

WWF’s conservation projects are located in remote areas of developing countries where biodiversity is intact. People who live in these areas are key guardians of this biodiversity and WWF’s partners in conservation. Yet, these people are among the poorest in their countries, lack access to basic services, such as health care, and as a result, suffer from a host of mostly preventable diseases and conditions. In most countries, even health development organizations do not reach them with services. To bridge this gap, WWF secures donor funding to bring health organizations to the areas where it works to implement what is known as Population-Health-Environment or “PHE” projects. PHE projects address health needs and more: they help change people’s behaviors towards conservation by linking environmental health with human health. In the Terai of Nepal, PHE aims to reduce the high rates of malnutrition and respiratory illness, especially among children, and human pressures on the forest habitat of endangered tigers, black rhinos and elephants. Traditionally, Terai households rely on forests for their livelihoods. They graze their cattle in the forests, a practice that severely damages them, and they use wood for fuel. As populations have grown, these practices become increasingly less sustainable. WWF’s efforts to reduce human pressure on the forests include removing the cattle and finding alternative fuels to wood. It is addressing the issue of cattle by offering people an improved breed in exchange for their existing animals. The new breed produces more milk and can be stall-fed rather than grazed. The milk boosts both household nutrition and income from its sale. WWF is decreasing use of wood for fuel by replacing it with methane-burning stoves. These stoves are fed by bio-digesters that convert dung and human waste (from attached latrines) to this odorless, smoke free fuel. Used indoors, these stoves are linked to reduced rates of respiratory infections among women and children. Overall in the PHE project area, use of these stoves saved almost 2,000 metric tons of firewood.

Who are the program participants? WWF , Nepal, Terai Arc Landscape conservation program staff and livelihoods program staff. Indigenous Community Forest User Groups: community organizations, recognized by the Gov. of Nepal, formed to manage specific acres of forests for conservation, and income generation.

How is the project being measured? Baseline (2009) and End-line (mid-2011) household surveys, plus annual monitoring data (2009-2011).

What barriers/challenges did the project encounter? How were they addressed?

Frequent bahnds or strikes which prohibit travel by car or bus. Start up costs for the bio-digester. Members of the Community Forest User Groups have access to a low interest loan from a WWF-supported micro-finance arrangement, to finance construction costs. A minimum number of cows/people are required to generate the volume of waste necessary to produce methane gas for the indoor cook stove. Households join with one another to produce this volume, but then sharing the clean burning stove could be problematic, since it is located in only one household. Behavioral barriers: If food is needed for a large number of people, women may build a wood burning stove in the house to add to the capacity of the methane fueled stove. To what do you attribute the success of the project? Application of a problem solving framework that combines conservation of biodiversity and sustainability of human health and livelihoods. Implementation of project activities through a local, Nepalese organization that WWF, Nepal has supported for years in the Terai: the Community Forest User Groups and their umbrella organization: the Community Forest Coordinating Committee. Consistent grant funding for 8-9 years.