Who We Are

Who We are

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) is a non-profit making, non-governmental organisation established in 1995 in Pokhara, Nepal and registered with the District Administrative Office of Kaski (Regd. No. 217/052/053) and affiliated with the Social Welfare Council (Regd. No. 3394).

LI-BIRD is committed to capitalising on local initiatives for sustainable management of natural resources for improving the livelihoods of rural poor and marginalised farmers, especially women. LI-BIRD has been a pioneer organisation in strengthening participatory methodologies for research and development in agriculture, climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resource management with a focus on environmental, gender and social safeguards.

Since the early days, LI-BIRD has been active in the development of innovative methodologies for participatory research and development that include: Participatory Varietal Selection, Participatory Plant Breeding, and Community Seed Bank for participatory crop improvement and strengthening local seed systems; Farmer Field School for empowering women farmers; home garden for improving household dietary diversity and family nutrition; and market-led approach to sustainable management of biodiversity for livelihood outcomes. LI-BIRD has played an instrumental role in institutionalising these approaches in the national system. Our work has positively impacted the environment, including restoration and conservation of biodiversity, natural habitats and ecosystems, and enhanced the livelihoods of the rural poor and marginalised farmers through appropriate technological, social and policy changes.

Since its inception, LI-BIRD has successfully completed over 200 projects. Currently, LI-BIRD operates with an annual portfolio of USD 2.4 million with 111 full-time staff (42% women) managing 16 projects across 47 municipalities in 18 districts of five provinces of Nepal (Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali, and Sudurpaschim – Figure 1). LI-BIRD uses a multi-pronged approach to project implementation: (i) directly by LI-BIRD; (ii) through local NGO partners/sub-grantees; (iii) through community-based organisations (e.g., community forestry user groups, water user groups, and agriculture cooperatives); and (iv) LI-BIRD providing technical assistance, advisory and capacity building support to government, national and international agencies.

LI-BIRD’s work is widely recognized at local, national, and international levels. To date, it has received several national and international awards such as Partner’s Choice Award 2023, Resilient Mountain Solutions People’s Choice Award 2023, Outstanding NGO of the Year Award 2016, International Swiss ReSource Award 2014, and Science and Technology Promotion Award 2007.

Our Vision

LI-BIRD envisions a society where people are resilient, healthy, food and nutrition secure, and live in peace with dignity.

Our Mission

LI-BIRD’s mission is to diversify choices and secure the livelihoods of farming communities, especially smallholder farmers, through innovative approaches to research and development in agriculture, climate change, biodiversity, and natural resources.

Our Core Values

Local Initiative: We value local knowledge and cultures, initiatives, innovations, and participation of local communities and institutions in all aspects of our work.

Integrity: We act consistently with our vision. We are honest, accountable and hold others accountable, and accept responsibility for our collective and individual actions.

Biodiversity: We believe in conserving biodiversity as an asset for building resilient agri-food systems, reducing poverty, enhancing livelihoods, aiding economic progress, and maintaining ecosystem health and services for present and future generations.

Investment for future: We believe in investing in human and natural resources to safeguard the environment for a sustainable future.

Respect: We respect contributions, capabilities, opinions, and values of individuals, socially excluded groups, research and development partners, stakeholders, staff, and our members.

Diversity: We value diversity in terms of people, ethnicity, culture, geography, social norms, partners, staff, and our members.

Our Impact Goal

Our impact group is the population upon which our projects and programmes aim to have a positive impact. Our impact group is smallholder farmers, especially women, who depend on agriculture, biodiversity, and natural resources for their livelihoods. The lasting positive changes we can bring into their lives will determine the extent of our success.

Our Programming Principles

The following programming principles will inform and guide our programmes:

Principle 1: Demonstrate and deliver tangible benefits to target groups by ensuring environmental, gender, social, and economic safeguards for equitable impact.

Principle 2: Promote the participation of multi-sector/actor stakeholders in research and development to generate scalable solutions.

Principle 3: Recognise and promote local knowledge, resources, and locally-led innovations and solutions in all aspects of work. 

Principle 4: Align actions with national and international priorities to contribute to relevant national and sustainable development goals.

Principle 5: Create an enabling environment by empowering communities, institutions and networksGenerate synergies and leverage resources for achieving efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Principle 6: Create an enabling environment by empowering communities, institutions, and networks.

Principle 7: Create an enabling environment by empowering communities, institutions, and networks.Build partnerships and alliances across relevant sectors and disciplines and cross-fertilise knowledge, innovations and solutions for wider uptake, use, and impact.

Our Impact Group

Our target group is the sub-set population or sub-groups within the impact group. Project and programme strategies may need to be customised specifically to meet the unique needs of the target group. Our action in this strategy period will focus on three sub-groups within the impact group. The unique needs of these sub-groups will determine the nature of actions we undertake with them.

Sub-Group 1: Natural resource-dependent communities, especially farmers managing rich biodiversity and natural resources

These are custodian farmers and indigenous communities who reside around biodiversity-rich ecosystems such as buffer zones, watersheds, wetlands and river basins, and hold the knowledge and aptitude for biodiversity-based production systems. They are the key agents in local development that build on existing social, natural and human capital in the communities. Working with these farmers and communities, we will demonstrate the synergies between community empowerment and sustainable conservation and management of local biodiversity and natural resources.

Sub-Group 2: Farmers living in the rural-urban interface and road corridor areas

This sub-group consists of farmers in the rural-urban interface and along road corridors who are essential for promoting production-consumption interlinks through appropriate value chain interventions (production, value addition and marketing), especially for local agriculture and forest products (high-value indigenous/local crops, fruits, vegetables, wild edible plants and non-timber forest products).

Sub-Group 3: Food and nutrition-insecure communities, especially climate-vulnerable, landless/land-poor, marginalised, socially excluded and people with disabilities

Due to the remoteness, poor accessibility and fragility of their areas, these farmers have largely remained marginalised in development efforts. Our special focus will be on landless/land-poor, indigenous people, Dalits, socially excluded, people with disabilities, and other ethnic minorities who are vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity and climate change. Our focus will be to strengthen the local basis for their food and nutrition security with minimal reliance on external inputs.