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The Evolving Landscape of Agricultural Biodiversity Conservation

Community-based Biodiversity Management (CBM): A landscape approach to the conservation of agricultural biodiversity cultivated on fifteen years of experiences in Begnas, Nepal



  • Indra Paudel
  • Sandesh Neupane



January 27, 2014

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Short Summary

This compelling case study captures the lessons of more than 15 years of work to restore and preserve the landscapes surrounding Rupa Lake in Nepal, while focusing on recent innovations using a landscape approach.


Earning from Nature to Pay for its Upkeep (रुप फेर्दै रुपा)

By Mahesh Shrestha, for LI-BIRD, this video beautifully tells the story of the landscape approach at work in Rupa Lake.

Watch the Video


Biodiversity as a means to livelihood improvement

Community-based Biodiversity Management (CBM) is an emerging landscape approach to agricultural biodiversity conservation. CBM seeks to encourage the custodianship of land and agricultural biodiversity as a means for improving livelihoods of local communities. Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), in collaboration with national and international research organizations, has been developing CBM through participatory action research projects in 15 districts in Nepal. One compelling example of CBM is the restoration of the Rupa lake watershed in Begnas, in the Lekhnath Municipality in Kaski district of Nepal.

Four Principles of CBM

  1. Empower local communities to take leadership in planning and decision making
  2. Build on local innovations, practices and resources
  3. Diversify biodiversity-based livelihood options
  4. Provide a platform for social learning and collective action

CBM is a landscape approach

The experiences from Begnas show that on farm conservation of agricultural biodiversity depends on integrated landscape management to restore and maintain the processes of land, ecosystem and biodiversity regeneration. In Begnas, this was achieved by a landscape-wide adoption of sustainable practices to reverse soil erosion and increase productivity through mutually reinforcing activities of reforestation, diversification, apiculture, agroforestry and organic crop production. Lake restoration and land use diversification have supported the conservation of crop genetic diversity including landraces and crop wild relatives, whose habitats are now protected.

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