Nepal Resource Identification and Management Society (RIMS) -
Integrating Population & Health into Forest Management Agendas (2006 – 2008)
RIMS is an Nepali NGO that specializes in the identification and sustainable management of local resources with a focus on building skills and capacity of women, the poor and Dalits. Its programs work to enable CFUG and other grassroots organizations to advocate for gender and social inclusion and to actively manage the forest, conserve agro-biodiversity, harvest and market Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) in a sustainable manner, and disseminate improved cooking stove technology. RIMS will participate with the WWF and will receive support in Reproductive Health and Family Planning by International NGO ADRA in this Project, the purpose of which is test the use of community forestry institutions to plan, implement, and monitor community-based and integrated PHE activities.
A recent assessment of USAID/Nepal’s assistance to community forestry confirmed that USAID-supported activities have strengthened the capacity of user groups to manage forest resources in a sustainable and democratic way and their efforts are helping to conserve biological diversity. Notable progress was also observed in the promotion of health-related technologies such as improved cooking stoves and biogas-latrine systems. In the same communities, high levels of unmet need for FP/ RH services are observed. Provision of FP/RH services is hampered by a lack of appropriate local institutions. Noting that User Groups are often the only viable local institutions in much of rural Nepal, the Project seeks to build the capacity of these user groups to respond to the FP/RH needs of their members and the environmental challenges posed by increasing population pressure in forest corridors and buffer zones.
With over 14,000 CFUG and federations operating nationwide, and the presence of large conservation projects covering several globally-significant protected areas, national forests and nature reserves in Nepal - the potential for rapid scale-up of successful PHE approaches on a district-wide or landscape-wide or ecoregion-wide basis is promising and unique in the developing world. RIMS/Nepal brings programming experience, partnerships with key Nepali government and local organizations, and an extensive existing programming platform to this PHE Project. The project will support RIMS to promote family planning and PHE concepts in the same 27 VDCs where Improved Cook Stove (ICS) promoters and Non-Forest Timber Products (NTFP) facilitators currently operate. RIMS will be a lead partner for modeling and testing mechanisms for promoting RH/FP within the context of sustainable livelihood and in conjunction with ICS and NTFP technologies. With Support from ADRA/Nepal RIMS will develop and apply IEC strategies that simultaneously create demand for FP/RH and ICS services and products at the community level.
The RIMS/Nepal will target VDCs and CFUGs in 27 villages in the Mid-hill district of Dhading, District. PHE outreach activities will include:
• Community-based distribution (CBD) of non-clinical FP methods.
• Interpersonal Peer-mediated behavior change communication (BCC)
• Literacy training courses that disseminate information about FP/RH, environment, etc,
• Public information campaigns using local media to increase community awareness of PHE
• Inputs to Community Forestry Operational Plans that integrate population and RH perspectives
• Meetings and dialogue between local CFUGs and health officers
• Program monitoring activities to track progress towards PHE objectives