Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 631–646 | Cite as

Linking Trees on Farms with Biodiversity Conservation in Subsistence Farming Systems in Nepal

  • Krishna Prasad AcharyaEmail author


The Kingdom of Nepal extends 800 km east to west along the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Because of its biogeographical position, Nepal contains biological elements of both the Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic realms. Beside the trees in forest ecosystems, a large number of tree species are maintained on farms as part of subsistence farming systems. The role of these trees in ensuring the sustainability of agricultural production and the importance of traditional farming systems for the conservation of crop diversity have been well documented. However, the status of farm trees and their role in biodiversity conservation are poorly documented. This paper presents a case study of two villages in the western middle hills of Nepal. It highlights the role of traditional agroforestry practices for the conservation of tree diversity and argues that farms can be considered biodiversity reservoirs. Farm trees help to reduce pressure on community and government forests and create a favorable environment for many plant and animal species. Farm trees also provide social functions in that households with many farm trees no longer exercise their communal rights to extract grass products from community forests, which in turn benefits poor and disadvantaged households. The paper discusses possibilities to improve the role of farm trees in biodiversity conservation. It argues for the development of mechanisms such as tax exemptions and conservation credits that provide benefits to rural communities as compensation for their local and global environmental services including biodiversity conservation.

Key words

Agroforestry Biodiversity Farm trees Nepal Subsistence agriculture 



Biodiversity Profile Project, Nepal


Central Bureau of Statistics




His Majesty's Government of Nepal


Land Resources Mapping Project


Livestock Unit


Nepal Biodiversity Strategy


Species Richness Index


Species Diversity Index


Village Development Committee


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Research and SurveyKathmanduNepal

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