Institute for Social and Environmental Research-Nepal(ISER-N) successfully completed a one-day workshop on "Challenges and Opportunities for Controlling Invasive Plants: Learning from Community Forests of Western Chitwan Valley" on May 16, 2018 at the institute premise in Chitwan. The goal of this workshop was to share achievements and results from an invasive plant intervention study, a part ofthe Coupled Natural Human System (CNHS) project funded by National Science Foundation. The collaborating institutions were Arizona State University (ASU), Pennsylvania State University (PSU), San Diego State University, University of Michigan, USA and Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), UK.
The workshop focused on the status and issues of invasive plant species globally and locally and the efficiency of current control techniques and modified approaches towards decreasing the presence of invasive plants. The workshop was initiated with a brief introduction of the institute, followed by the introduction to different components of the project and data collected during the period by Dr. DirghaJibiGhimire, Executive Director, ISER-N. After, Dr. Sean Murphy, Global Director, CABI shared the information about the global status and issues of invasive plant species. Mr. Prem Pandit and Ms. Rija Manandhar from ISER-N and Ms. Michele Clark, Fulbright Scholar, ASUintroduced six invasive plants in community forests of Western Chitwan and shared the objective, methods used, treatments applied and finally the results from the study.
The program was followed by the discussion from the participants.The participants included the Presidents and representatives from the community forests; National Trust for Nature Conservation-Biodiversity Conservation Centre (NTNC-BCC), FORWARD Nepal and Ecological Services Centre (ECS). We were honored to have Mr. Sambhu Bhandari, Chair,Bharatpur Metropolitan City Ward 15 in the program.The discussion, questions and answer session was then followed by brief presentation by our distinguished guests. The first presentation was by Mr. Abhinaya Pathak from Chitwan National Park (CNP) focusing on status, challenges and effort to control invasive species in CNP. This was followed by presentation by Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Academician,Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST) on "Role of Ecological Research in Nation Building";by Prof. Dr. RejinaMaskey, Head, Central Department of Environmental Sciences (CDES-TU)on " The Importance of Studying Invasive Plants in Nepal"; and by Hon. Prof. Dr. I.P. Dhakal, Vice Chancellor, Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) on "Integrating Invasive Species Studies in Higher Education". The workshop ended with closing remarks by Prof. Dr. Dharma Raj Dangol, Chair, ISER-N.