Which tree, where in Nepal? Mapping for the national agroforestry policy
Researchers have used different geospatial datasets of land, soil, climate and topography to model, map and identify potentially suitable areas for trees in Nepal.
Farmers in Nepal grow trees in farming landscapes, considering them an integral part of the agricultural system, which is the mainstay of the Nepalese economy and, in addition to forestry, contributes about 27% of total gross domestic product. Agroforestry already plays a significant role in supporting the diversification of livelihoods and increasing socio-ecological resilience in various climate-change scenarios. The recently endorsed National Agroforestry Policy of Nepal has one of its goals as the development, expansion and commercialization of agroforestry systems to contribute to national prosperity. Yet, land is a finite resource and its productivity varies geographically, especially, in a small and mountainous country such as Nepal. Government planners, development agencies and scientists did not have enough information about which parts of the country were suitable for agroforestry in order to meet the objectives of the national policy. This was a challenge that researchers set out to meet.