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Phase II (2011 – 2013)
Nepal Tourism, Outdoor & Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) Phase II (2011 – 2013)

NETIF has been implementing Nepal Tourism, Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) with the support from Suman Latu : Finnish Outdoor Recreation Association with the aim of developing Better Environment for better tourism .In the NTOEDP Phase I (2009-2010), NETIF developed the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT).The trail starts from Sundarijal via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, passing through Mulkharka, Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha,Balthali and ending in Panauti.

The main problem of the project area is that there are not enough environmental considerations in tourism sector and among the local communities resulting a lack of community involvement in tourism and less people benefiting from tourism. The direct objective of the present project is that more people in rural and semi-rural communities could benefit from tourism. This objective can be achieved by developing community-focused tourism through trekking trail development, community-based tourism centres, trainings in product development, promotional activities and establishing linkages between private sector and communities.

After the successful implementation of NTOEDP Phase I (2009-2010), the project was extended to Phase II (2011-2013). The Phase II of NTOEDP aimed to extend the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail route covering the western side of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, starting through Budhanilkanta (Pani Mohan), Nagi Gompa, Shivapuri peak, to Chisapani, adopting the same principles and methodologies as Phase I(2009-2011). While it is still continuing to supervise and monitor the activities of Phase I, as well as mediating with different national and international boards and institutions.

Additionally, the project also continued to work with tourism entrepreneurs (lodge & hoteliers, travel and trekking agencies, and restaurants) and communities to actively integrate tourism, environment and livelihood, in such a way that the benefits from the tourism are a trickled down to the host communities with plans to further develop the following:

• Community and social Involvement,
• responsible tourism certification initiatives,
• capacity building training programmes,
• procurement policies, local business promotion,
• pollution, waste management, and recycling schemes,
• energy management,
• water conservation and tree planting initiatives,
• Assist in the start up of community lodges and home stay enterprises to empower sustainable community income generation.

Launching of second phase project (NTOEDP II) year 2011

The second phase project started in the beginning of 2011. A residential workshop was conducted in Dhulikhel inviting all the institutions members to prepare and plan for three consecutive years. A SWOT analysis of the organisation was carried to prepare the “Activity implementation strategy". The reporting of the physical condition of the trail and evaluation of different tasks performed during 2010 were reviewed with suggestions for next steps.

As per strategy, NETIF renewed the strong working relationship with all the working partners through regular meetings, telephone communications, workshops as well as guidelines for educating the local partners on the goals, objectives and results of the projects. Similarly, local communities were regularly informed and motivated in implementing the activities. The field staffs were also regularly given orientation and coaching on the implementation of the second phase of the project NTOEDP.

The expected outputs of the project are

1. Construction of micro infrastructure (tourist shelters, public toilets, route markings, route upgrading) along the trail.
2. Enhanced capacity of the local people in tourism and environment through trainings.
3. Product upgrading and promotion.
4. Improved networking and communication with other actors of tourism to enable better environment for better tourism.

Concerning Output 1: The numerous activities such as construction of community buildings, rest houses, incinerators, landslide protection walls were constructed. Similarly, waste rings were placed along the trail after a short orientation and cleanup campaigns. Trail was also upgraded in various locations. Others were the construction of 2 Community buildings, 8 Tourists rest houses, 10 incinerators, 3 landslide protection walls, 1 entrance gate and 1 public toilet along the trail. Likewise, 210 waste rings and 120 wooden signage were placed along the trial. Likewise, 6000 meter trail was also upgraded and partial financial support was provided for instillation of wind turbine and improved cooking stoves along the trail. At least 5000 saplings were planted along the trail particularly in Dhulikhel and Panauti area. Similarly in 2010, placement of additional wooden signage, awareness boards, construction of additional tourists rest houses, public toilets were continued.

In 2011, four additional tourist shelters were completed in different places in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Nagarkot, and (near Kali temple) in Dhulikhel. Similarly, regular trail maintenance was carried out in Sundarijal, Borlyang, etc. More waste bins made of bamboo were placed throughout the trail. Support on construction of a cottage house was provided to the Community based organic farmhouse in Nagarkot. The maintenance of the community houses in Mulkharka, Nagarkot and roofing of some of the tourist shelters were also carried out as the shelters which were constructed in 2009 needed maintenance support. Nagarkot Naldum Tourism promotion committee house which was constructed with the help of the project during 2009 and 2010, additional support was provided to purchase office furniture in it. All the activities were completed with the joint cooperation of community people and the project. Necessary new trekking trails were developed and old routes were regularly maintained. Tree saplings were planted along the trekking route of Nagarkot, Dhulikhel and Chisapani. The signages which were washed off by the effect of weather were repainted with fresh colours and at least 300 metal arrows were developed and placed in the extended trekking trail. Wooden signages aren’t appropriate as most gets lost. 80 pieces of environment awareness hording boards in poetic language were placed along the trail in different locations.

Photo: Signage boards placed along the trail

Concerning output 2: The Tourism Development Committees and waste management funds created in 2009 were further strengthened in 2010 and 2011 through capacity building trainings and awareness campaigns. Other self initiatives such as donation boxes for environment and heritage support fund were distributed to the local communities along the trail. Local people were provided skill based trainings such as off seasonal vegetable, mushroom cultivation, corn husk doll making, small hotel and lodge management, cultural programme performance, local tourist guides, food and personal hygiene etc. Several committees and sub committees were formed to look after trail, environment, eco clubs, cultural program, handicrafts and home stay management.

Photo: Nature guide training organized  in 2011

All four partnering local committees of NETIF were registered with the government authority as to gain legal recognition and develop institutional values. Later on, understandings and the trust between the organisations and different institutes were further strengthened by undergoing Memorandum of Understanding which helps to execute project activities more effectively. Similarly, refreshing training course was carried out in order to help those trainees. Additional trainings were conducted in 2011 such as Nature Guide, briquette making, Herbal & organic farming, kitchen hygiene & food preparation and account management training. Advanced trainings were provided in Corn Husk Doll making, Partial supports were provided to purchase traditional costumes and musical instruments for Gaurishankar Cultural team in Dhulikhel.

Photo: Mushroom production and Briquette making training organized in Mulkharka in 2011

Environment conservation education classes were conducted in Shivapuri National Park School and 4 eco alert clubs were formed. Likewise other major activities conducted in 2011 were Community members who were capacitated in account management. Home stay programme was initiated in Okhreni and Mulkharka. As the trails from KVCTT has to be managed more professional way to give trekkers specific information about the physical condition, trail classification training has been provided to NETIF team by the expert from Finland. It has been adopted in KCCTT by NETIF localizing the concept as needed.

Concerning output 3, the project has been promoting Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking trails through the participation in national and international tourism festivals and marts since 2009. In 2010, the project participated in Third National Tourism Mart, developed a travel log, 1 travel log has been completed. Kathmandu Valley Cultural trekking Trail has been promoted through the media coverage and participation in Third National Tourism Mart 2010 and PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference & Mart 2010. Likewise, 1000 brochures and a Guidebook on trekking trail were published and website has been hosted and is regularly updated. Similarly, hording boards including tourism resource map has been developed and many familiarization trips have been completed. The brand name has been established in the market as the popular route called “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail”.

Photo: Hiking program organized in SNNP

Many activities were continued in 2011 as well. For promotion of domestic market various events were conducted such as hike and bike, bicycle rally, Rhododendron blossom hiking & Chisapani festival, Dhulikhel Momo festival, Blood donation program which has helped KVCTT to gain much popularity among Kathmandu valley inhabitants, diplomats and foreign Ex-pats & residents. Further promotion of KVCTT has been done through conducting various familiarization trip and publication through different media coverage in audio and visual including the article that was published in Medias from Finland that was written by Ms Sudeskna Sarkar concerning the Finnish project in Nepal. NETIF has developed numbers of promotional materials such as brochures, posters which were distributed to the individual trekking, travel companies, NGO/ INGO offices. NETIF website, face book and blog have been one of the important tools to disseminate information about the product as a whole. Similarly publications of news letters were developed and disseminated. Insertion of information on the product “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail" and the project activities were incorporated in International trekking guide books. In order to share NETIF information and the experiences among the tourism stakeholders, NETIF participating in PATA (Pacific Atlantic Travel Associations) International seminar held in Pokhara, a power point presentation was carried out on project NTOEDP in the forum which was considered to have gained good mileages. NETIF has acquired a membership at Nepal Tourism Board to create a platform to build network and share information based on experiences to other institutions, boards.

Concerning output 4, various awareness campaigns have been completed. At least 10 cleanup campaigns, celebration of wild life conservation week, world environment day, environment and conservation class’s workshops on waste management and organic farming, were conducted along the trail. Similarly, tree plantations, distribution of posters, recycle bag, blood donation, and organic products exhibition were carried out from 2009 to 2011.

The achievement made by project in the year 2011 is summarized below.

Highlights related to output 1: Construction of micro infrastructure ( tourist shelters, route marking , route upgrading ).

• Construction: Tourist shelters :
   - Tourist shelter in ticket counter in Mulkharka near SNNP ticket counter
   - Tourist shelter beyond Borlang Bhanjyan inside SNNP .
   - Tourist Shelter in Nagarkot near Naldum village .
   - Tourist Shelter in Dhulikhel near Kali temple , 1000 steps stair .

Photo: Tourists resting in shelter along the KVCTT trail

• Trail and other Maintenances work:
   - Trail maintenance continued from Sundarijal to Borlyang inside SNNP.
   - Trail maintenance continued from Borlyang to Jarshing Pauwa inside SNNP.

• Community House Maintenance: Community house in Mulkharka has been renovated with new roof.

• Nagarkot Tourism committee office support: Nagarkot Tourism committee office received support for chairs, table and other furniture.

• Roof maintenance: Some of tourist shelter roofs were replaced by tin roof.

• Fresh paintings: White coatings done on the sign boards and direction sinages in the trekking trail .

• Metal made sinages: More than 300 pieces metal direction sinages have been placed along the KVCTT.

Environment awareness slogan boards: 80 nos new Environment awareness slogan boards are placed throughout the trekking route. (In a poetic version)

• Sign board development: 2 nos Information sign boards are made and placed in the trekking trail along KVCTT.

• Waste Management: Ongoing waste management task in Mulkharka , Chisapani Dhulikhel and Nagarkot has taken place resulting clean environment. Fresh paintings on all the waste bins placed in KVCTT. Several times of Clean up took place at Shivapuri National Park with the help of local, stakeholder and SNNP authorities. More than 6 times of clean up programs has been completed in a various destinations along the trail.

• Waste basket replacement : Some 350 nos of bamboo made waste collection bins have been placed in through out the trekking trail.

• Extension KVCTT from Kakani : A familiarization trip from Budhanilkanths to Chisapani to extend the area of KVCTT from Kakani . Trip was done in September 2011. Almost some 150 pieces of signages were also placed along this new trekking trail .

Highlights concerning output 2: Enhancing capacity of the local people in tourism and environment through trainings.

• 3 days long Training on Oyster mushroom culture In Chisapani . March 2011.

Photo: Oyster Mushroom culture training in Mulkharka 2011

• 5 days long Organic farming training course held in Mulkharga- August / Sept 2011.
• 5 days long Organic farming training course held in Nagarkot - August. 2011.
• 5 days long Kitchen Hygiene and vegetable/ fruits carving training course held in
o Dhulikhel - August 2011. Training provided by Chefs association- Kavre.

• 3 days long Kitchen Hygiene and basis food preparation training course held in
o Chisapani. Training provided by GATES College - August 2011.

• 1 day long Kitchen Hygiene training course held in Nagarkot - August. 2011
o Training provided by GATES College
• 5 days long advance course on Corn Husk Doll making training conducted for the women group from Dhulikhel – November ,2011

• 5 days long Nature Guide training course in Sundarijal jointly organized by NETIF and SNNP.
• Financial support worth of Rs25000 provided to purchase traditional custumes and musical instruments for Gaurishanker Cultural team in Dhulikhel.
• Support to construct Organic farm house cottage in Nagarkot.
• 1 day accounting training for CBOs by auditor Mr. Tejendra Shrestha
• Initiation of Home stay program by NETIF in Okhereni and Mulkharka Village: Necessary base line survey performed for alternative livelihood program in Sundaijal, Villages.
• Environment conservation education classes, Poem competition, art competition, small library development etc.

Highlights related to output 3: Product upgrading and promotion.

- Rhododendron blossom hiking program organized with participants from embassy, INGOs , locals and level of success 100 % .
- Organised Chisapani festival coinsiding with Rhododendron Blossom hiking event.
- Organised Momo festival jointly with Chef’s association for promotion of domestic tourism in Dhulikhel – December 2011.
- Organised Blood donation program jointly with Nagarkot Tourism Committee in Naagarkot.
- Dhulikhel To Balthali cycle rally: A support provided on a Cycle promotional event organized by
- Bicycle Association Kavre , Mr. Uday Bhushan – 27th August, 2011
- Participated with a PowerPoint presentation about NETIF in PATA International level seminar held in Pokhara in Feb, 2011. Presentation given by Jitendra Rana NETIF ’s consultant.

- Media Coverage: More than 10 different nation wide media coverages are made of the trekking trail in audio/ visual and printings including the artical written by Mrs Sudeskna Sarkar and published in Finland news papers and other news medias.

- Insertion of information on ”Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking trail” in a Tourist Guide book published by travel writer Alonzo Lyons from United State of America.

- Printing and development of NETIF’s brochures on second phase project NTOEDP 2011-2013.
Presentation at STN forum: A power point presentation highlighting it’s model project NTOEDP to the members of STN (Sustainable tourism network) . Dated 26th May 011. NETIF has been appointed as a core member in STN Forum ( Sustainable Tourism Network ) of Nepal Tourism Board.
Tree Plantation at various destinations : Tree plantation program continued ( June/ july) in Nagarkot and Chiapani. Rhododendron tree plantation program in Chisapani and ornamental tree in Nagarkot road side . NETIf has initiated a joint program with DDC.

Highlights related to output 4 (Improved networking and communication with other actors of tourism to enable better environment for better tourism).

• World Environment Day (W.E.D) Celebration :
W.E.D celebrated with full enthusiasm in all four destinations of the NTOEDP project site. Clean up programs and tree plantation programs took place in all the places.

NETIF Dhulikhel celebrated W.E.D organized jointly with DDC – Kavre, Dhulikhel Chamber of Commerce , Sanjivani High Schools- Dhulikhel and different activities were performed. A rally took place around the streets of Dhulikhel by school students, DDC officers, Youths along with music and dance activities creating the awareness about importance of clean green environment.

Photo: World Environment Day Celebrated in 2011

- Plantation of 100 Tree saplings took place along the sides of streets on the way to Dhulikhekl Hospital and in front of CDO office- Kavre.
- Cotton Vegetables bags were distributed discouraging use of plastic bags.
- Mrs Sabita Aryal (NETIF board member) has given a presentation on the importance of environment .Certification program to the winners of Poem and essay writing competition on environment conservation issues.

Project Impacts 2011:

NETIF's self evaluation: After the three years of project intervention, significant visible changes can be observed in the project area. Now, more tourists’ shelters are available along the trail for the tourist to rest as well as observe the picturesque village and snow covered mountains. Similarly, due to placement of route marking, the tourists can trek independently to the destinations without being lost in the forest. The community building constructed at various village has become the means for connecting all the villagers for discussing the issues of development, tourism and environment awareness at local level. Similarly, the attitudes of local people have changed as the practice of utilizing waste bins and incinerators along the trail has increased. Management of waste has been minimized in the trekking route but non biodegradable waste has become unable to cope. The problem of solid wastes like plastic, tins, and bottles is serious. Construction of incinerators has been taken back as it has not been good way to manage solid waste as plastic were also burnt together.

The trained local people have been utilizing their learned skilled through the agro based micro schemes such as organic farming, mushrooms & vegetable production, lodge management, restaurant management which supporting gradually in the tourism industries in the areas of KVCTT. Gaurishanker Cultural group who were supported by NETIF have been performing cultural dance programs on a regular basis in different hotels in Dhulikhel and they are making good incomes. The locals who received tourist guide trainings in Dhulikhel have been employed in different hotels from Dhulikhel and Nagarkot. Trees planted in Dhulikhel and Nagarkot have grown bigger in size and some started bearing flowers beautifying the area. However briquettes and corn husk doll making training have not been successful due to lack of cost effectiveness in comparison to the production cost. This could have been because of the need to provide entrepreneurship development training to the trainees.

More tourists and stakeholders of tourism know about NETIF and Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail in comparison with 2008.The National park visitors data of 2011 shows the total number of tourist arrival are 80913 which is considered as average increase by 35% in comparison to the tourist arrivals data in 2010 . There has been an additional attraction created by the project as every year, Suomen Latu helps to arrange many groups out of their institute members come to Nepal for trekking in KVCTT. These groups get to experience of rural Nepal, culture, hospitality and nature through visiting the KVCTT and also helping the local communities by bringing valuable income directly.

The project impact seems to have raised concern in other trekking trails of Nepal since the authorities and local institutions from those areas are learning the techniques and trying to adopt in their areas. This kind of sharing of the knowledge has been possible during the interaction meetings program in Nepal tourism board at STN (Sustainable Tourism networking) forum. The level of awareness on tourism, environment and waste management has been significantly increased in the areas of KVCTT as well in Nepal.

After 3 years of project intervention, positive impact has been felt in the communities as the cooperation relationship amongst the locals, hoteliers, women self help groups, and youths have been developed into cordial relationship. The hoteliers have started to understand that without the good environment condition and welfare to the local society from their community, their business wouldn't be sustainable. Same way, the local people have started understanding that they could make the best use of the tourism industry to boost the local economy and their welfare if they support each other and look ways to benefit them. Also the relationship between the community members and National Park authority has been developing to betterment. Local governmental organizations such as DDCs (District Development Committees), Municipality and VDCs (Village Development Committees), National Park have taken a supportive role with NETIF in tourism planning, solving the waste problems and environment conservation activities.

University Students Evaluation:
Various surveys and studies were conducted to identify the medium term impact of the project. The total of 22 trekkers interviewed was observed to be satisfied with the hospitality available along the trek and 14 of them consider KVCTT as a good trail and their expectations were met. The trails are kept fairly clean and locals show their great hospitality. The hotel tourism facilities on the trek were rated as good. However, room’s sanitation, cleanliness as well as the hot water facilities got an average rating of good to satisfactory. The trail facilities concerning the sign posts, garbage bins and the trail condition were all rated between very good and good, or just good. However, the tourists rated the toilet facilities on the track as satisfactory and the shelters as good to satisfactory. Other facilities such as communication, safety and hospitality were all rated very good or good but the medical facilities need to be improved as 13 people rated them as satisfactory and 8 of them rated as poor. However, most trekkers did not know about the project being carried out to meet the sustainable tourism for which more information should be provided to tourist so that they could as well participate along fulfilling their part of responsibility. The survey report conducted through the interview to the community members such as living in the periphery of KVCTT who are directly connected to tourism, such as hoteliers, shopkeepers and those who are not directly connected to tourism such as farmers, women and other occupations. It was were observed that most of them are connected directly with tourism and they have been regularly participating with NETIF activities such as attending meetings, trainings, joining cleanup campaigns, promotional campaigns and tree planting programs. Upon asking them on their opinion about various project activities conducted, it is stated that the overall rating of the project is quite good, especially about the financial benefits, infrastructure improvements, and environment protection initiatives and overall satisfaction with the activities. The main suggestion given by the community members was about the need for advanced trainings and most of them are hoping for long term cooperation with NETIF. Also in the survey has suggested that community members need to share more information on NETIF and also encourage people to think more about alternative energy as means to protect ecology. In answering the question to environmental problem such as deforestation in their community forest or national park and waste problem, it has been stated that it is mostly due to over population resulting lack of fuel and poverty.
The interview to the 4 village coordinators of NETIF and other workers thinks that 25 to 50 percent of the tourism income stays within their communities and that about half of the project's money is reinvested in environmental conservation. Hence, it is stated that NETIF workers are satisfied with the project; they think that NETIF is contributing to environmental protection as well increasing the awareness.

In the trekking trail it has been observed that, around 63% self employed have received training from NETIF. Similarly, it has also been observed that 28 out of 38 hotels buy products on the local markets but most of them still purchase their provision items from Kathmandu. The services qualities of the trekking trail have been upgraded and number of beds also has been increased due to the growing demands of domestic and international tourists travelling in the area. Many numbers of lodges, hotels have been built in areas of KVCTT, at least 2 lodges in Mulkharga, 4 lodges in Chisapani, 7 hotels in Nagarkot and 3 hotels in Dhulikhel. Many job opportunities were created at the same ratio in tourism industry from the area.

About 76% of all interviewed accommodations providers mentioned that they got a proper waste management system. It has been observed that in Chisapani all accommodations have a proper waste management system. Almost all the accommodation (94%) interviewed stated that, they support and willing to support any environment conservation activities in their community such as aforestation (86%), cleaning campaigns and tree plantation. Around 70% of all accommodations were observed to be involved in NETIF's collective waste management task in their community, almost everyone in Chisapani, Mulkharka.

The trends of purchasing locally produced goods and services have increased. It has been observed that everyone encourages their customers to buy local goods (except from Chisapani because there are no local goods/souvenirs). It has been observed that the local culture has been valued and promoted in Nagarkot (90%) and in Dhulikel (75%).

Social responsibility is high in the region as many accommodations are supporting some kind of charity in their community, especially schools and local clubs. The main achievement of the project is to make an entry though the local institutions which are supposed to take over the project activities after phasing out. Most of the villagers seem to be happy and satisfied with the project as well as the work of NETIF and most of them are hopeful for long-term co operations. The overall impression of the project is stated as a positive one a step towards a sustainable tourism management in the area of Kathmandu Valley Cultural trekking Trail. It is stated that NETIF’s most important part of the activities are livelihood generating trainings which were organised in villages. It gives people the opportunity to learn in order to get a job. According to the three pillars of ecotourism the following achievements of NETIF can be stated:- Economical benefit to the community members through promotion of trekking trail and also creation of four local institutions.-Social benefits of the community members through trainings -Ecological benefit through cleaning campaigns and promotion of organic farming. All these actions lead to empowerment of local people and to more self governance in the communities.


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