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Nepal Tourism Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) - Activities of 2009 - 2010

The desire to reinvigorate Nepal’s economy through tourism and sustain its lifeline – a pristine, vibrant natural environment – gave rise to Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF). NETIF is a non-profit, non political and non religious, national level organisation committed to environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable tourism development in Nepal.

Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF) is a non profit making NGO working in the field of Environment and Tourism. We work towards an economically winning combination of tourism and pristine environment with the idea that a beautiful environment will attract tourism which in turn will stimulate the local economy as well as safe guard the environment.

NETIF was founded in 2006 by a group of dedicated environmentalists and tourism entrepreneurs. We registered as an NGO in 2008 and established bases in Kathmandu and Dhulikhel; both economic and tourism centre in Nepal. The organization works towards an economically winning combination of tourism and environment. Complementing each other for better and sustainable tourism enterprises, particularly aiming to achieve the well being of local communities by training and encouraging them to utilize the opportunities that environmental tourism offers and to sustain the surrounding environment that attracts tourists to the region. NETIF facilitates the transition of rural tourism sectors towards dynamic Environmental considerations.

How NETIF work

NETIF primarily acts as a bridge between the local hospitality entrepreneurs and communities, using the environment as a catalyst for both groups to collaborate together to provide services for the visiting tourists and livelihoods for the local communities with the objective to create a ‘Better Environment for Better Tourism’.
How does NETIF plan to achieve its goals?
Nepal Tourism, Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) is the working arm of NETIF, with the view to enable stakeholders to create a destination without pollution and waste, where nature and wildlife areas are protected, where friendships prevail among tourists, local communities and entrepreneurs, and a destination where tourists will have a memorable holiday, entrepreneurs will have enough business and security, and local people will have enough food, shelter and dignity. The project is developing the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT), which starts from Sundarijal via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, passing through Mulkharka, Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha, Balthali, and ending in Panauti.

Presently NETIF is running Project supported by Finnish INGO-SOUMEN LATU and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland called-Nepal Tourism Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP). Under the project, NETIF has been developing Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT) since the beginning of 2008. The project objective was introducing community based tourism through the development of tourism product called Kathmandu Valley Cultural trekking Trail The trekking trail starts from Sundarijal via Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park, Mulkharka, Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha and ends at PanutiThe area covers two municipalities, 16 Village Development Committees (VDCs) of Kathmandu, Kavrepalanchoak, Nuwakot and Bhaktpur Districts of Nepal. Importantly Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park (SNNP) is one of the most prominent of KVCTT.

The project formally started in the beginning of 2009. The first three months of the project was preparatory phase when new project staff were recruited and oriented. A SWOT analysis of the organisation was done to prepare an activity implementation strategy. As per strategy , in the first phase NETIF built a strong working relationship with the working partners through regular meetings, telephone communications, workshops and working guidelines through which local partner were educated about the goals, objectives results of the projects. Secondly, bimonthly plan was developed by breaking project into small activities to make them manageable. The activity implementation was started from simple and small activities and was ended to complex activities. For example the activities started from distribution of waste bins and ended with the construction of community houses and capacity building trainings. Likewise, the activity implemented were started from the communities with more positive social assets and further elaborated to up with the communities having less positive social assets .Similarly, the local communities were regularly informed and motivated for the activity implementation. The Field staff were regularly oriented and coached on activity implementation.

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.

The project aims to facilitate the transition of rural tourism sectors towards dynamic environmental considerations complementing each other for better and sustainable tourism enterprises, particularly aiming to achieve the well being of local communities by training and encouraging them to utilize the opportunities that environmental tourism offers and to sustain the surrounding environment that attracts tourists to the region.

The first phase ran until 2011 in which NETIF successfully achieved the following: setting up of four local institutions, construction of tourist shelters, Multi-purposed community houses, public toilets and installations of trash bins and incinerators ; conducted livelihood trainings on organic and mushroom farming, briquette making, handicraft making, corn husk doll making and local guide courses; and promotional activities carried out like mountain biking, and publishing of brochures and guidebooks.

The second phase has started from 2011 till 2013 and features the following main activities: extension of cultural trail, incorporating responsible tourism principles through capacity building, waste management, water conservation and tree plantation, eco toilet program for awareness building.

Nepal Tourism Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) - Activities of 2009 - 2010

Nepal Tourism, Outdoor and Environment Development Project (NTOEDP) is the working arm of NETIF, with the view to enable stakeholders to create a destination without pollution and waste, where nature and wildlife areas are protected, where friendships prevail among tourists, local communities and entrepreneurs, and a destination where tourists will have a memorable holiday, entrepreneurs will have enough business and security, and local people will have enough food, shelter and dignity. The project is developing the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT), which starts from Sundarijal via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, passing through Mulkharka, Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namobuddha, Balthali, and ending in Panauti.

NTOEDP objectives

1. To promote community focused eco-tourism and enhance the environment for better tourism
2. To harmonize the local communities and tourism entrepreneurs and build networking channels for them
3. To develop and promote locally made products, such as organic produce and handicrafts.
4. To enhance the local capacity to manage better tourism

NTOEDP Phase I (2009 – 2010)

During the first phase, NETIF focused on implementing three major elements of the NTOEDP plan to incorporate community participation, awareness raising and social mobilization through local institutions with a bottom up approach.

Education - to all stakeholders involved about the importance of our natural environment and how to sustain it; how caring for the surrounding environment will attract interested tourists, improve the quality of life for the local communities as well as creating a sustainable income for all.

Plan of action - using participatory community and private public partnership (PPP) methodologies, bringing together both the private and public sectors to understand, support, and finance the plan of action, ensuring a cohesive involvement for successful implementation.

Advocacy - supporting and facilitating the different initiatives and schemes of the project.

Target Groups

The target groups of the project are:

1. Local communities on and around the trail
2. Tourism based entrepreneurs (hoteliers, restaurant owners, teashop owners, handicraft producers etc)
3. Local Tourism Development Committees
4. Schools, eco clubs and waste management committees
5. Women self-help groups on and around the trail
6. Leading farmers groups on and around the trail

International Partner

SUOMEN LATU: Central Association for Recreational Sports and Outdoor Activities, Helsinki, Finland

National Level Networking

Nepal Tourism Board,
Govt. of Nepal Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation,
Kathmandu University,
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park,
Government line agencies related to tourism, environment, and local development,
Hotel Association Nepal (HAN),
Resort and Hotel Association of Nepal (RAHAN).

NETIF is working closely with government agencies on a MoU to develop plans and projects and to gain authority and permissions to act where and when action is most needed.

Local Level Networking

District Development Committees (DDCs): Kathmandu, Kavre, and Bhaktapur
Dhulikhel Municipality
Dhulikhel Chamber of Commerce
Tourism Information Centre Dhulikhel
Nagarkot-Naldum Tourism Development Committee
Tourism Development Committees on the trekking trail,
Dhulikhel Environment and Tourism Promotion Committee
Chisapani Environment and Tourism Development Forum
Mulkherka Environment and Tourism Development Society
Sundarijal Environment Conservation Committee
Dhulikhel Chef Association
School Management Committee in Sundarijal (four different schools)
Nepal Scout- Sundarijal Troops
Women Self Help Groups and Leading Farmers’ Groups along the trekking trails.

Major Areas of Project Intervention

1. Awareness raising and Local Institutional development
2. Small scale community infrastructure
3. Local capacity development
4. Model destination development in rural tourism
5. Networking and alliance building in tourism and environment management
6. Conservation and alternative energy
7. Promotional activities
8. Research/Survey

Project’s Main Activities (From 2009 - 2010)

The NTOEDP Phase I ( 2009 -2010) project’s activities were focused on promoting quality tourism by collaborating together with local stakeholders, which in-return provided employment and income generating opportunities for the local communities, economic benefits for tourism entrepreneurs and satisfaction for visitors. The activities were focused on developing and branding “Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT)”along the rim of Kathmandu valley and its surroundings.

The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail:
The Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail is the perfect short trek for those who do not have the time to venture further into the Himalayas. Pack light and head into the forest hills surrounding the valley rim for this culturally rich trek.

The trail displays the best of Nepal’s rural culture, biodiversity and stunning Himalayan views that can be enjoyed with simple preparation and minimal equipment. The trail begins from Sundarijal, the entrance to Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, a watershed only 30 minutes drive from the centre of Kathmandu. Along the way you will be treated to pristine wilderness and diverse ethnic groups living in the unspoiled rural areas, encompassing Nepal’s most popular hill stations: Chisapani, Nagarkot, and Dhulikhel, where various categories of lodges and hotels are available.

The trail is a moderate no fuss trek, with distances lasting six to seven hours each day on mainly undulating terrain with a few long climbs. This is a low altitude trek which does not elevate to more than 2,500m and therefore should not create any problems with altitude related illnesses. You will need a good level of fitness and stamina to complete the full distance. The daily treks can be easily done in individual parts, a day or two at a time with the section(s) of your choice, or as a five day trek. The KVCTT trek can be attempted with or without a guide, as all you need is the itinerary and a good map. However, if you do not want to trek alone you can arrange for a guide or a trekking package from one of Kathmandu’s many registered trekking agencies.

KVCTT Itinerary – (for a detailed itinerary download this PDF)

Day 1

Sundarijal to Chisapani
uphill via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park entrance gate, Kolthupa, Mulkharka, Daurail, & Borlang Bhanjyang (2,500 m)
Trekking Time: 6 hours Distance: 16 km

Day 2

Chisapani to Nagarkot
via Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Dhap (wetlands area), Jhulay, Chauki Bhanjyang, Jarsingpouwa, & Naldum
Trekking Time: 7 hours Distance: 18 km

Day 3

Nagarkot to Dhulikhel
via Rohini Bhanjyang, Jal Jalay, Sashi Pani, Kashi Bhanjyang, Opi
Trekking Time: 7 hours Distance: 18 km

Day 4

Dhulikhel to Balthali
via Devisthan, Kavre Bhanjyang, Namobuddha, Balthali
Trekking Time: 7 hours Distance: 18 km

Day 5

Balthali to Panauti
Trekking Time: 3 hours Distance: 6 km
via Khopasi, and drive back to Kathmandu from Panauti

 FIG 1: Map of Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail (KVCTT)

The main strategies adopted and activities undertaken during the project period are as follows.

1. Addressing the Wishes of the Tourists through the Improvement of the basic facilities

NETIF has been trying its best to promote sustainable tourism keeping in mind the wishes of the tourists. Many activities have been done for the improvement of the basic facilities in the KVCTT.

• Upgrading and maintaining the old paths and route marking of the trekking route
The project reconstructed of the degraded parts of the track along the trail by mobilizing local communities. 7,000 metres of trail has been upgraded. Similarly information boards, signs and maps were also placed along the trail so that the trekkers could visit the area independently without the support of the guide. About 250 wooden signage were carved and 325 Metal signs have been placed along the trail.

Photo: Trail upgrading and signs and information boards placed in the trail.

• Constructing tourist shelter/ houses and resting places:

Public Toilets: So far, NETIF has constructed five public toilets in vital places along the KVCTT. The toilets are there for trekkers and hikers and help to consolidate raw waste and keep it out of the water ways and help to prevent pollution of such kind along the trail. At present, NETIF has constructed toilet facilities in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, at the entrance gate just above Sundarijal and also at Namobuddha, with plans to add more along the trekking trail in the future. The toilets also employ a local caretaker/cleaner who keeps them maintained in return of donations left by users.

Tourist Rest Shelters and Viewing Platforms: One of the biggest construction jobs on NETIF’s agenda was the construction of 18 rest shelters along the KVCTT. Given the long distances between resting points and the limited availability of resting places, the project has built several resting places where tourist can rest and relax. These resting places are also the view pints for the panoramic views of surrounding areas. The shelters are located in prime positions along the trail and double as viewing platforms for the majestic Himalaya, rolling green valleys, pristine Jungle and bird and wildlife. The rest shelters are the best places for trekkers and hikers to kick of their shoes, sit back and enjoy the impressive views, maybe spot some wildlife or bird life. Some of the featured shelters are in Bhorlang Bhanjyang with encompassing views of the snow capped mountains, the Dhaps (Wetlands) below Chisapani, the perfect place for bird watching and chilling out.The shelters also have another attraction; they are located in suitable places where enterprising villagers can set up small tea and snack shops to refuel trekkers. This helps to benefit the local economy and also the local shop keepers will be responsible for waste management around the shelters and viewing platforms.

Constructing Entry Gate: NETIF played the leading role in designing and constructing the main entry gate to the KVCTT. The purpose of the gate is to establish the name of the ‘Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail’ with all who pass here and to help promote NETIF’s product, the environment, tourism and local communities. The entrance gate is located just below the army check post above Sundarijal. Here you will also find the ticket counter where you need to pay the entrance fee to the National Park.
Photo: Entry gate constructed in Shivapuri National park

Community Houses: NETIF has established two multipurpose community houses along the trekking trail. The community house concept was implemented by NETIF as a way to bring together the communities along the trekking trail and give them a place for development meetings, women’s groups, youth groups and training programs. The initial construction was completed and then the community houses where gifted to two communities, Mulkharka and Nagarkot. The community house in Mulkharka is a central place for villages to hold meetings and gatherings and is also home to the local women’s group where they participate in skills training and women’s empowerment activities. Nagarkot has a much larger facility which consists of two levels. The first being a vital tourist information centre to help promote local activities and tourism in the area, the top floor is shared by the Nagarkot Naldum Tourist Development Committee, The Local guide Office and the Forestry Office. Both of the Community houses where constructed using local materials and labour.


2. Call for the Environment protection and waste management

• Constructing incinerator and placement of waste bins for garbage management
Waste has become is one of the serious problems in the tourism destinations of Nepal. The project has been placing rubbish bins along the trail and establishing incinerator points at different locations and encouraging local communities to manage the waste themselves since 2009. As a result, the waste along the trail has been minimized and the local communities are aware of harmful effects of waste on human health and tourism industry.

Photo: Incinerators constructed and waste bins placed along the trail

• Periodical Clean-up campaigns
The project has been mobilizing local communities, eco clubs, scout through occasional clean up campaigns along the trail. The campaign also has helped to keep the village, water resources clean. Such activities also have become an approach to bring communities together and get them involved and working towards environment conservation.

Photo: Clean up campaigns organized by NETIF

• Environment awareness programs
Maintaining a pristine environment is an important aspect that needs to be understood by all people who use the area, right from picnickers and trekkers to the villagers that live in the park. The project aims to educate villagers and visitors about the importance of this through the placement of signboards, information boards, best practice guidelines , code of conduct and in the park and along the trekking trail and by arranging training programs amongst the villagers with an aim of wildlife conservation and environment preservation.

Photo: various information boards and best practice guidelines boards placed along the trail

The following activities were conducted under environmental conservation (2009- 2010):

» Waste management activities were done in Mulkharka, Chisapani Dhulikhel and Nagarkot and are still continuing for the clean environment. The waste bins have been painted in Sundarijal and Mulkharka. Many Clean up programs have taken place at Shivapuri National Park with the help of local, stakeholder and SNNP authorities. More than 6 times of cleanup programs have been completed in a various destinations along the trail.
» Partial financial support has been given for wind turbine installation at Chisapani and for improved cooking stove instillation in 35 households in Mulkharka

Photo: Installation of the wind turbine in Chisopani

» 5,000 trees have been planted in the Dhulikhel and Panauti area
» 3 landslide protection walls have been constructed in landslide prone areas
» Two surveys were completed on quality, quantity, and managerial aspects of Solid Waste Management (Nagarkot and Dhulikhel) and one feasibility study on Livelihood Improvement through Agro Tourism along the Trekking Trail (Mulkharka to Chisapani)
» Publication of 2 thesis reports on eco tourism in the Shivapuri area by Tribhuvan University students
» 60 wooden environment awareness boards carved and placed at trails
» 10 waste incinerators constructed in the major settlements
» 270 waste collection bins placed throughout the trail
» 80 poetic environmental awareness signs have been placed

3. Addressing the Wishes of local communities through the provision of micro infrastructure and skill based trainings Local institutional building:

5 Tourism Development Committees have been formed and mobilized:

1. SSTEDC (Shivapuri – Sundarijal Tourism Environment Development Committee),
2. CTEDC (Chisapani Tourism & Environment Development Committee),
3. NNTDC (Nagarkot Naldum Tourism Development Committee),
4. HAN (Hotel Association of Dhulikhel) ,
5. BTEC (Balthali Tourism and Environment Committee)

• Establishing community based centers for environment and tourism activities
Educating the villagers about environmentally friendly practices is essential to preserving our environment and making them understand its importance in our future and about how maintaining they can help to attract tourists and a valuable source of income for themselves. Therefore the project has been organizing various awareness training and helping them to get organized through the construction of community development centers for the management of tourism and environment locally.

Capacity Building trainings to local community, small and medium scale tourism based entrepreneurs:

The local communities are trained on high impact tourism trainings such as small lodge and hotel management, cook training, cultural program management, handicraft training, local guide training, briquette making training, organic farming, health and hygiene, responsible tourism, mushroom farming, off seasonal vegetable farming etc. so that they will be self employed locally by practicing the learned skills in the trainings.

 Ongoing regular training in Small Hotel and Lodge Management in villages along the trekking trail
 Regular training programs in Mushroom and Off-seasonal Vegetable Cultivation
 Regular training of village women in Corn Husk Doll making
 Local Guide training courses
 Training of villagers in cultural and traditional dances
 Briquette making trainings in villages along the trekking trail
 Provision of technical support and motivation for the production of mushrooms and briquette for the period of one year.

4. Optimum Promotional Campaigns to Increase the Visitors in the area

Promotion is another key factor to the project’s success. Without tourists, the established businesses and income sources would fail. Therefore the project aims to promote the region through FAM trips; media outreach activities and event management. Similarly, the project has branded the trekking trail in the eastern rim of Kathmandu valley as Kathmandu Valley Cultural trekking trail.

The following are some of the promotional activities done:

» 3,000 brochures published on Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail
» 1 website developed and regularly updated
» 18 hoarding boards including tourism resource maps developed and placed on the trekking trail
» Media coverage of trekking trails in 12 major medias of Nepal
» Publication of the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail guidebook
» NETIF promotional brochures printed and distributed in 2008
» Hike and Bike event promoted and hosted in the project area with extensive media coverage
» Development of NETIF Facebook and social networking group
» Production of a promotional video and travel log for the KVCTT
» Production of Himalayan mountain range panoramic posters from Chisapani
» Development of the ‘Environment Support’ Green Coupon Program
» TU student Master Degree thesis report on – ‘Study of Garbage Management Practices between Mulkharka and Baghdwar within Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park for Superior Wildlife Ecotourism’ by Dikpal Krishna Karmacharya , Tribhuwan University (TU) Master’s Degree of Science in Zoology
» Development and distribution of monthly NETIF newsletter
» Membership of Sustainable Tourism Network (STN) as a core institutional member.

5. Networking among stakeholders of the trekking areas
The project has been networking and coordinating with the stakeholders for tourism at local, national and international level from the beginning of the project to implement project activities successfully. One of the key factors to the success of the projects is involving and working with the villagers that inhabit the areas for ownership and sustainability.

» 20 cleanup campaigns completed in various destinations
» 12 workshops organized on Organic Farming
» 15 workshops organized in Waste Management Issues in Tourist Destinations
» Membership of Sustainable Tourism Network, Nepal
» Participated in PATA adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism conference & Mart 2010
» Blood Donation program in conjunction with Dhulikhel Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and Dhulikhel Chef’s Association
» Supporter of ‘Wildlife Conservation Week’ organized by Shivapuri - Nagarjun National Park
» ‘Heritage Conservation for Sustainable Tourism Development in Panauti & Surrounding Areas’ organized by NETIF in support of NTB, NEFEJ and PTDC on 19th December 2009 at Dhulikhel for the preparation of Panauti Makar Mela and Harishidhi Mela 2010
» Distribution of Environment Fund donation boxes to hotels and lodges throughout the trekking route
» ‘Multicounty Observation Study Mission on Community-based Ecotourism Development and Management’, organized by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Japan and implemented by the National Productivity and Economic Development Centre (NPEDC), Nepal in Dhulikhel, from 25-29 May 2009
» Plantation of ornamental plants in Dhulikhel funded by NETIF and the provision of a local caretaker/gardener

6. International Networking and Alliance Building
We have been focusing on strengthening our alliance building and networking to move NETIF onto a larger National Scale with the right connection to learn and make positive actions on sustainable tourism and environment issues. Finding the right way and the most effective solution is all learned from our experiences. By learning like this, NETIF has the knowledge to best know how to implement its projects through the experience we have gain during the NTDOEP. Some of the experiences gained from international networking are:

• Visit to Finland By president of NETIF to attend Sustainable Tourism Presentation and also to meet with Suomen Latu with regards to funding and future project development

Photo: Visit to Finland By president of NETIF to attend Sustainable Tourism Presentation

• Visit to Fiji by Project Coordinator of NETIF for presentation on Integrated Waste Management in Tourism organized by APO – Asian Productivity Organization and implemented by Training and Productivity, Authority of Fiji

Photo: Visit to Fiji by Project Coordinator of NETIF for presentation on Integrated Waste Management in Tourism

• Participated in ‘Sustainable Community Course: bridging the gap between research & action’ in Kenya, organized by Helsinki University of Technology, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Nairobi University, UNEP, UN Habitat and program supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

7. Responsible Tourism
With the goal of contributing in the socially responsible, ecologically friendly and economically viable tourism management for the development of Nepal, NTOEDP is NETIF’s model project following the concept of Responsible tourism. Its key features are based upon empowering the local community and promoting community-based ecotourism. NETIF has been working on making guidelines for responsible tourism in the KVCTT. (Refer responsible tourism report)

8. Addressing for project sustainability

NETIF’s ultimate plan is to hand over our NTEODP (Nepal Tourism, Environment and Outdoor Development Project) to the local communities. NETIF encourages hotel owners to practice sustainable tourism and also to be involved in social responsibility within their communities. The project, who’s main aims where to establish the KVCTT to bring tourism into the area and allow local communities to set up small business enterprises in order to create a suitable income and to eliminate the need for villagers relying on things like tree cutting, which is environmentally destructive, for income. The aim was to establish clean, local communities which are environmentally aware, have proper means of waste management and the means to generate income from tourism and eco friendly farming practices. Eventually NETIF will phase out the project, leaving in place the infrastructure for the villagers to continue on themselves. In order to do so, the project needs an outside source of funding other than the funds contributed by NETIF. With this in mind and NETIF’s plans to phase out this project and move on to a new project in 2011, we have implemented the following incentives:-

b. Donations Boxes – Environment Support Fund:
As part of NETIF’s plan to make the NTEODP self funding, NETIF has gifted to every hotel, lodge and guest house along the Kathmandu Valley Cultural Trekking Trail a donation box which has been placed in the reception areas. The aim of the donation boxes is to collect money which goes into the Environment Support Fund for local areas. The monies raised are used for the upkeep of the environment in the project area. Local communities can use the money for clean-up programs, training programs and other requirements to improve, promote and help further the establishment of local business, the protection of the environment and the management of waste.

c. Panoramic Posters:
Getting the perfect photo may have taken many months of patients, but finally NETIF was able to get the ultimate panoramic mountain snap shot from Chisapani. This photo has now been produced into a Panoramic Poster which was funded by NETIF. The idea behind producing the poster is to help raise funds for the ongoing financing of the project. The posters have been placed on sale in various tea houses and hotels in Chispani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel and other places along the trekking trail. Funds raised directly go into the project fund for the local areas.

NETIF receives funding from, and works in conjunction with the Finnish INGO Soumen Latu. Soumen Latu works in Finland for the promotion of outdoors and recreation as well as sustainable tourism. They have been funding NETIF's activities in Nepal for the last three years. But their help in promoting Nepal as a tourist destination goes much further. Every year, Soument Latu helps to arrange many groups which come out to Nepal for trekking along the KVCTT and other regions in Nepal. These groups get to experience Rural Nepal, our culture, hospitality and nature through visiting the KVCTT and also helping the local communities by bringing valuable income. The experience that visitors have in Nepal is important and by establishing the KVCTT as a high class sustainable tourism project, we can make a good impression on all visitors here who will then go home and help promote the trail and the wonderful time they had in Nepal by word of mouth.

The impacts achieved

The project has succeeded in raising awareness among locals, tourism stakeholders and government agencies about the importance of pristine environment, it being the most important factor for the development of sustainable tourism. This implies that a collective effort is necessary to benefit the host community in achieving a sound society with better economy.

NETIF has succeeded in bridging a good relationship between the local people and the tourism stakeholders, which in turn has helped them to manage the tourism destination more effectively. The tourism stakeholders are aware that tourism cannot flourish without the pristine environment and the involvement of the local people. The local people have understood that it is important to work together with the tourism industry in order to rip economical benefits. As such, tourism stakeholders are becoming more socially responsible and practicing environmentally friendly habits.

The project has succeeded in implementing several activities; however, it has not been able to achieve its complete goal towards sustainable tourism development. The waste problem still exists as before, but 80 percent of the waste is now collected in waste bins and later transported in dumping sites or burnt in incinerators. The hoteliers are still not responsible enough towards environment and the society.

However, the availability of more tourist shelters, public toilets, route upgrading, route marking, publication of maps and brochures after the project intervention has provided better facilities for trekkers and hikers. Various workshops, meetings, trainings has educated and motivated the local people for the improvement and development of the tourism in the area. Coordination and networking among the stakeholders has increased and collective effort has been taken into consideration. Training was given to people living along the trail with some trained human resources personnel now working in the community for tourism management. At least 25 percent of the trainees have started tourism related micro enterprises with more needed to generate income and employment in the future.

NETIF has been successful in building a good working relationship with the stakeholders dedicated to environment and tourism. Further, the coordination and cooperation among actors for the livelihood improvement of marginalised communities have increased due to the initiation of NETIF. NETIF itself has improved its capacity in the management of development aid with improved relationship with its partners at different levels.

The promotional activities of the trail have placed the product in the market, and the trail developed by NETODP is expected to be a model destination in the joint effort by the Finnish Government, Suomen Latu and NETIF.


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