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Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Resource Management in Nepal



Natural resources are very useful for human beings, and land, air, water, solar energy, natural vegetation, and mineral resources are the dominant resources of the Earth. Humans from the beginnings of civilizations have used these major resources. This chapter deals with the status of natural resources in Nepal including traditional ecological knowledge of resource management in different regions of the country, as well as its importance and future perspectives. Anthropogenic activities and interactions have modified the natural distribution of the resources involved in traditional ecological knowledge, such as terraced land for agriculture, river water for irrigation, natural vegetation for timber and medicinal uses, and mineral resources for different domestic and industrial purposes. In the case of Nepal, land, natural vegetation, water, mineral resources, tourism, biodiversity, and protected areas are major and noticeable resources of the country. The traditional ecological knowledge system has different techniques for resource management and use of the different ecological regions of Nepal. People applied their indigenous knowledge to manage local resources based on geographical and climatic scenarios of the region. Transhumance pastoralism, harvesting, and collecting of valuable medicinal flora in the Mountain region; sedentary and shifting cultivation practices in the Hill region; and the stall-fed system in the Tarai region are the most common examples of traditional ecological knowledge for resource management in Nepal. The government needs to promote such traditional ecological knowledge for the proper use and protection of the country’s natural resources for sustainable resource management. Such actions will provide a win–win situation for nature and society.