Shivapuri Nagarjun National park is one of the unique parks in the world, in the sense that not only nature wildlife, birds and plants inhabit the park, but also human settlements exist within the park. Although people are not allowed to settle in the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park any longer, old communities have existed in and around there for many years, and come into close daily contact with the park’s wildlife and ecosystems.
The local people should be provided with the resources to solve these problems themselves, and one way of achieving this is to empower them through sharing the benefits of tourism and Organic farming at a local level. Local people will not be motivated to solve these problems unless they can see the benefits for themselves. Rather than simply banning them from continuing the behaviors that can be detrimental to the park, they should be helped to find alternative means of livelihood and to find ways of sharing the revenue from tourism at the local level. Having the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park on Kathmandu’s doorstep is a huge asset for the city, and something that should be treasured and promoted. By promoting the park and the trekking trails within it, we can increase the number of tourists entering the area, and help improve the livelihoods of the local communities living within and around it. Tourism-generated income is a vital part of sustaining and maintaining Nepal’s national parks.
The idea behind the current Prakriti Resort and Organic Farm was conceived in 2012 by the name Nepal Farming Organic World. A project brought locals and farmers on board as shareholders. This operated for two years, but was unfortunately irreparably damaged in the 2015 earthquake. The farmers themselves couldn’t afford to reinvest, so a new model needed to be developed.
This is where the present manifestation of the resort comes in. A Kathmandu NGO—the Nepal Environment and Tourism Initiative Foundation (NETIF)—in collaboration with private tourism sector partners has built the resort, and is bringing locals on board in a number of ways. The two private sector tourism entrepreneurs involved help generate additional funding and build links with the national and international tourism market.
Around 20 hectares of land have been leased on a long-term basis from local farmers. The farmers have helped to develop the resort, and are involved in the construction of the resort’s infrastructure and farming activities on an ongoing basis. Wages earned during the construction of the resort and in the preparation of the construction materials used—such as stones, and timber from local farmers’ land—are converted in share values.
Prakriti Resort has created a unique blend of world-class hospitality, comfort and service, along with environmentally friendly design, operations and local community support. Eco-tourism is centred on sustainability, but it also ensures a certain level of quality. That’s why it’s important for the private tourism sector to participate in the development of infrastructure. From our very inception we have committed to operating in a manner that supports and sustains nature. The buildings of the resort were constructed using local materials, according to Nepali mountain architectural and interior design principles, especially the local Gurung style.
The model project aims to provide visitors with an authentic and memorable farm experience as well as employment for the local population and returns for investors, all while contributing to the protection of the environment. The model project will contribute to promoting a sustainable and diversified eco-tourism destination while establishing standards, demonstrations, training and knowledge sharing for better local livelihoods, as well considering the wishes of visitors.
Krishna Shiva Bhakti is one of our partners and also the coordinator who is responsible of keeping conducive environment among the villagers of the Hibung village situated just below our resort. His house lies at very close proximity to our resort and he is also helping constructional and maintenance work of the resort. His is equally active in social work helping those who need help. Depending from his regular schedules he participates in different cultural activities, meetings and training programs in the villages. However, it was a big misfortune to him as his house was collapsed during the massive earth quake occurred in April 2014. However, he managed to rebuild his two storied housekeeping enough rooms for rest of the family member’s and two spare guest rooms which he would like to utilize for a home stay purpose. The kitchen and store areas are kept at the bottom floor and rooms are kept on the first floor. There is a separate small house next to his house where chicken and cattle are kept. He has clean toilet and bath area separated from his main house to be used for common purpose. Since Krishna has taken training on the Home stay management in past, he knows how to function for the purpose and keeps the entire house clean and tidy. There should not be any problem. Our host Krishna makes sure that his guests stay comfortably at his home. Those visitors other than Nepal may need to communicate with Krishna with Physical gesture as his English speaking is basic but his school going children can understand, read and write in English.
TKrishna is very happy living with his mother (Sita Maya), wife (Shreejana) and two sons (Ram and laxman) and one daughter Manisha. Every day, Sita keeps herself busy looking after the household work and the children whereas Krishna looks after organic farm, cattle and the products are sold in the resort. All his children go to school in nearby village. Living with Krishna for few days at his home would be a great learning of Nepalese culture and would be firsthand experience of farming activities. One can join with Krishna in his farm in the process of planting, de-weeding, watering, cultivating depending on the type of season.