Mountains and Markets: Biodiversity & Business in Northern Areas

What is the Project About

Spread across 175,000 square kilometre of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Western Himalayan mountain ranges, northern Pakistan is rich in global biodiversity. Although protected areas now cover some 11 percent of the mountains, and community co-managed conservancies a further 12 percent, threats remain to the region's unique biodiversity due to poverty and limited options for sustainable sources of livelihood. This project uses voluntary certification of non-timber forest products (NTFP) as a tool to promote biodiversity conservation and strengthen existing conservation efforts with innovative market-based mechanisms. The project develops community and institutional capacity for certified production of  biodiversity-friendly nontimber forest products in Northern Pakistan and stimulates market demand for these products thereby creating new economic incentives for conservation.

The project objective is the sustainable production of biodiversity goods and services through community ecosystem-based enterprises in demonstration conservancies in the northern mountains of Pakistan. The project builds on the achievements of the Mountain Area Conservancy Project and complements the Government's programme for mountain areas conservation which was recently discontinued.

Expected Results

  • Functional Business and Biodiversity Round Table will be established to integrate biodiversity considerations in the corporate social responsibility programs and adopt a voluntary code of conduct for 'good sourcing practices';
  • National and International demand for biodiversity-friendly non-timber forest products will be stimulated through voluntary certification schemes for non-timber forest products formed and value added products;
  • Enhanced business and technical capacity of local communities by establishing and managing 50 community biodiversity enterprises (CBE) with approved business plans;
  • Communitiy biodiversity enterprise conservation and Sustainable Resource Use Agreements developed and integrated with Valley Conservation Plans;
  • Access rights for local communities secured through collaborative forest and natural resource management arrangement;
  • Capacity developed of key institutions to support community based enterprise development and improved community access to technical, financial and market advisory services;
  • Project knowledge and lessons systematically analyzed, documented and shared with key stakeholders in northern Pakistan, both nationally and internationally.

Who Finances it?

Global Environment Facility

Delivery in Previous Year

The project recently started and is currently in mobilization stage.

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