Natural Resources of Nepal | Nepalese Economy

Natural Resources of Nepal

Natural resources of Nepal are the gifts of the nature of humanity. These gifts include forests, soils, waters, and minerals. Natural resources are existing in-country play a very significant role in the furtherance of its economy. The utilization of these natural resources of Nepal for various purposes by the people for their well beings are called the mobilization of natural resources.

Land in Nepal

Land provides us brains for our food, cotton for our clothes, and timber for our homes. The nature of the land varies from place to place. Nepal is known as the country of mountains, as more than 80% of the total area covered by hills and mountains.

The mountain region is not suitable for agriculture but provides a favorable condition for adventurous sports like mountaineering and trekking. Due to the presence of high mountains, Nepal has become an important tourist centre in the world.

The Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys in the mid-hills are favorable for cultivation and support a large population. The Terai(Madhesh) and Duns are flat and fertile for agriculture where BOTH FOOD AND CASH CROPS ARE GROWN. The significant industries like jute, sugar, and tobacco are located in this part of the country.


Status of Forest in Nepal

Forests are one of the significant Natural resources of Nepal. It has been playing a vital role in the economic development of the country. Roughly 37.6 percent of Nepal’s total land area is currently under forest.

Forest Resources in Nepal

The forests existing in the country varies as it extends from south to north and it may be categorized into the following three major types:

  1. Sub Tropical Evergreen Forests in Nepal

This type of forest occurs in the Terai, Bhabar, Dun, and Churia Range up to 1200m. Altitude. Trees are tall, thick, and close together. Sal, Sissoo, Khair, Cane, etc. are the main species of trees found in this forest. They are hardwood trees. Rhinoceros, tigers, bears, elephants, reindeers, and many other animals found in these forests.

  1. Deciduous Monsoon Forests in Nepal

It is found in the hilly region up to the altitude of 2100m. Oak, elm, beech, birch, maple, etc., are the main species of trees found in this forest. Of low temperatures in winter, trees shed their leaves. Cheetahs, bears, antelopes, etc., are the wild animals found in these forests.

  1. Evergreen coniferous forest Nepal

It is confined to the higher parts of the Mahabharat range and lower parts of the Himalayan region between 2100m. And 3300m. Altitude.

The main species of trees found in this forest are varieties of pines, fires, spruce, deodars, larches, rhododendrons, and accessible. They are softwood trees and are very useful for industries like the match, paper, and furniture.


Uses of Forests in Nepal

Forest is of great economic importance to Nepal. It is one of the most important renewable resources indispensable for the economic development of the country. Its use in the modern age is immense and varied.

  1. Forest provides fuelwood, fodder, fruits, medicinal herbs, and timbers.
  2. The exports of timbers and medicinal herbs, horns, and hoofs of wild animals bring in a good deal of revenue to the country.
  3. Forest provides habitat for many wild animals, birds, and reptiles.
  4. Forest supplies raw materials for a match, paper, and furniture industries.
  5. Forest helps in causing rainfall by cooling moist air and throw moderating influence on the local climate.
  6. Forest reduces floods, landslides, and soil erosion.
  7. Forest enhances natural scenery and attracts many people.
  8. Forest increases the fertility of the soil, adding organic matter.
  9. Forest preserves the natural ecological balance.

Forest Conservation in Nepal

The growing demand for forest products for domestic as well as industrial use has caused depletion of forests at a fast rate. Partly due to reckless felling of trees and partially random encroachment, the area under forest seems to be alarmingly decreasing in Nepal. To preserve the forest resources, including varieties of wild lives and to maintain ecological balance, some active measures must be taken in the country.

  1. To stop cutting of trees for firewood and timber.
  2. To stop illegal encroachment of forest for settlement and cultivation.
  3. To stop the overgrazing of livestock.
  4. To stop the crime of burning the forest.
  5. To stop the flood and landslide by constructing a dam in various places.
  6. To plant new saplings; carry out afforestation on large areas of barren hills and barren lands according to climate.

Soil of Nepal

Soil is the loose material found on the earth’s surface on which plants grow. Soil is made up of disintegrated and decomposed rock material and contains mineral particles, water, air, dead leaves, roots, worms, bacteria and humus.

Soil formation is a slow process and includes physical, chemical and organic changes. It may take a thousand years to form one centimetre of good soil. It is essential elements for a thousand years to create one centimetre of good soil. It is a necessary element for agriculture as soil provides the medium for plant growth.

Status of Soil in Nepal

5 Major Types of Soil in Nepal

How many types of soil are found in Nepal?

Soil Natural Resources of Nepal. Five types of soil found in Nepal. The soil type in Nepal varies from place to place according to their parent rocks.

  1. Alluvial Soil – The soil brought and deposited by rivers is known as alluvial soil. It is excellent and made up of tiny particles of various organic and inorganic substances. It is a very fertile soil. The Terai(Madhesh), Inner Terai and River valleys contain this type of soil.
  2. Sandy and gravelly Soil – In the Bhabar area, Churia range, and most parts of Inner Terai, the soil is sandy and gravelly. This type of soil is not suitable for farming purposes. However, the forest grows well in this soil.
  3. Rocky Soil – This type of soil is formed due to the decomposition of parent rocks exposed to the weathering process. It is shallow in depth and poor in humus. Most of the Mountain areas and Hilly regions contain this type of soil.
  4. Lacustrine Soil – Lacustrine soil form at the bottom of lakes. It is very fertile, like alluvium and is suitable for agricultural activities. It is black as it contains a massive amount of humus. The main area of this soil it the Kathmandu Valley.
  5. Glacial Soil – The region of the Himalayas has frozen soil. It is the mixture of sand and stone pieces and deficient in humus. It is loose and coarse and is not suitable for agricultural purposes. However, potato, buckwheat, millet, barley and maize are the chief crops which are grown in this soil.

Uses of Soil in Nepal

Soil is the most essential natural resource which favours the growth of plants required for human and animal lives. For an agrarian country like Nepal, soil plays a vital role in the agricultural production of the country.

In Nepal, the soil is widely used for these purposes. The conservation of soil keeps the original qualities of soil, so the fertility of soil does not decline, and the productivity of arable land remains as it is. The conservation of soil saves the environment. Thus, soil conservation is essential to ensure the production of food grains and agricultural raw materials, to discourage soil erosion, and to protect the soil from depletion.

Conservation of Soil in Nepal

Some essential measures for soil conservation are the following.

  1. The fruit-bearing plants and grass are to be planted in steep slopes, hillsides, and the mound. It protects the land from landslides.
  2. To plant new saplings in open field, barren hills, free public ground, and barren lands according to climate.
  3. The dams and protective walls are to be constructed to galchhi at the places where there is more flow of water.
  4. The mobile grazing is to be arranged instead of allowing the animals to graze at one place.
  5. The rotation of crops is to be adopted in cultivation.
  6. The scientific methods of cultivation i.e., contour farming, is to be adopted in the Hilly regions of Nepal. It reduces soil flow.

Water Resources In Nepal

Water is not only essential to biotic life, and it is necessary for the development of agriculture and industry. The glaciers, snow, rivers and rivulets, lakes, ponds, and springs are the chief sources of water in Nepal. The underground water and wells are primary water sources in the Terai and Inner Terai regions.

There are many rivers and rivulets in Nepal. In general, they flow in a north-south direction. Of the total area underwater, 97% is covered with rivers and lakes. The river is one of Nepal’s most important natural resources.

Depending upon the source and water supply, all the rivers of Nepal are grouped into three grades, as noted below.

  1. The first Grade Rivers

All the rivers that originate from the Himalayas are included in the first-grade rivers. These rivers are snow-fed rivers that contain a massive amount of water for the whole year. Such rivers are perennial and very useful for various purposes.

Top Three first Grade Rive in Nepal

  1. The Sapta Koshi,
  2. The Sapta Gandaki and
  3. The Karnali River

The largest river in Nepal is Koshi

  1. The Second Grade Rivers

Those rivers which originate from the Mahabharat Lekh are the second-grade rivers. Springs, wells, ponds, lakes, and rainwater are the sources of water for these rivers. These rivers contain a meagre amount of water in winter.

Seven Second-Grade rivers in Nepal

  1. Kankai River
  2. Kamala River
  3. Bagmati River
  4. Rapti River (Chitwan)
  5. Rapti River (Dang)
  6. Babai River
  7. Mechi River


  1. The Third Grade Rivers

These are small rivers that originate from the Churia range. All these rivers are short and dry in winter as they depend on rainfall for their water supply. Some of these rivers are

Nine Third Grade Rivers in Nepal

  1. Tilawe River
  2. Bhangeri River
  3. Sirsiya River
  4. Manusmara River
  5. Hardinath River
  6. Banganga River
  7. Mohana River
  8. Balun River
  9. Ratu River

Lakes Of Nepal

How many Lakes are there in Nepal?

Lake, Natural Resources of Nepal. There are many lakes situated in various parts of the country.

15 Important list of lakes in Nepal

  1. The Rara (Mahendra) Lake in Mugu,
  2. Phewa Lake,
  3. Begnas Lake,
  4. Rupa Lake
  5. Khaste Lake
  6. Maidi Lake
  7. Dipang Lake
  8. Gude Lake
  9. Kamal Pokhari (Buduwa) in Pokhara valley
  10. The phoksundo Lake in Dolpa
  11. Satyawati lake in Palpa
  12. Tilicho Lake in Manag
  13. Shyarpo Lake in Rukum
  14. Kasara lake in Chitwan
  15. Barkune Tal in Dang

6 Important Dahas and Kundas Himalayan regions of Nepal

  1. Taudaha and Katuwal Daha in Lalitpur,
  2. Gosain Kund,
  3. Bhirab Kunds,
  4. Saraswati Kunda,
  5. Damodar Kunda and
  6. Dudh Kunda in the Himalayan

Among these lakes, Mahendra Tal is the largest lake, and Phewa Tal is the most beautiful Lake in Nepal. Tilicho Tallies in the highest altitude at 4919 M height above the sea level.

Uses of Water Resource in Nepal

The water resource is another vital resource playing a significant role in the overall economy of Nepal. At present, it is being used for the purposes of drinking and domestic use, irrigation, generating power, recreation and transportation.

Status of Drinking water in Nepal

Water supply is one of the basic needs of human life. It should be cleaned and purified. But, most people in the country depend upon the local rivers, wells, and streams. The supply of purified drinking water through a pipe has been made available in many parts of the country. But it is limited to only major urban centres and to come from the village development committees.

According to the recently available data is reported that about 61% of the total population of Nepal enjoy the facilities of pipe water. In order to provide safe drinking water to many people, several drinking water projects are being implemented in different parts of the country.

Drip Irrigation System in Nepal

Since Nepal is an agricultural country, irrigation plays a vital role in the agricultural development of the country. At present, about 20% of the total cultivated land comes under the irrigation scheme in the country. Of which 80% of the total irrigated land in the Terai.

Koshi, Gandaki and Tanakpur are the major multipurpose projects operating in the Terai region of Nepal. Besides these, Chatara, Chandra, Juddha, Wanaganga, Kamala, Bagmati, Rapti, Babai are some of the other irrigation projects in this region. With the help of tube wells, groundwater is also being used for irrigation in the Terai region.

4 Irrigation projects in Nepal

Farmer managed irrigation system in Nepal. These four essential irrigation projects operating in the Hills

  1. Chaurjhari Irrigation Canal in Rukum
  2. Bijayapur Canels in Pokhara
  3. Seti Canels in Pokhara
  4. Ramgha Tar Canal in Tanhun

Agricultural development without increasing irrigational facility is impossible. For this reason, in different parts of the country, numerous large and small irrigation projects have been carried out.

Generation of Nepal Hydropower

The rivers in Nepal possess a very high potentiality to generate hydroelectricity. It has been estimated that the hydro-power potential in Nepal is about 82,000 megawatts. At present only 618.8 megawatts of electricity is being produced in the country.

Hydropower Station in Nepal

List Of Hydropower Projects in Nepal

  1. Panauti
    Capacity – 2.4 MW
  1. Kaligandaki (Syanga)
    Capacity -144 M W
  1. Khimti (Dolakha)
    Capacity -60 MW
  1. Bhotekoshi (Sindhupalchok)
    Capacity -36 MW
  1. Chilime (Rasuwa)
    Capacity -20 MW
  1. Chatara (Sunsari)
    Capacity -3.2 MW
  1. Indrawati (Sindhupalchok)
    Capacity -7.5 MW
  1. Jhimruk (Puthan)
    Capacity -12.3MW
  1. Trishuli (Nuwakot)
    Capacity -24 MW
  1. Modi (Parbat)
    Capacity -14 MW
  1. Upper Modi (Parbat)
    Capacity -14 MW
  1. Puwa (Ilam)
    Capacity -6.2 MW
  1. Sunkoshi (Sindhupalchok)
    Capacity -10 MW
  1. Gandaki (Nawalparasi)
    Capacity -15 MW
  1. Devighat (Nuwakot)
    Capacity -14.1 MW
  1. Middle Marsyangdi (Rasuwa)
    Capacity -70 MW
  1. Marsyangdi (Tanahun)
    Capacity -69 MW
  1. Andhikhola (Syangja)
    Capacity -5.1 MW
  1. Kulekhani I (Makwanpur)
    Capacity -60 MW
  1. Kulekhani II (Makwanpur)
    Capacity -32 MW

Jhimruk hydropower project is a diesel power station. Besides this, there are many micro-hydropower stations in different parts of the country.

Similarly, various big and small hydro projects are being implemented in multiple parts of the country at present.

Recreation and Transportation

In Nepal, water resources have also utilized for recreation and transportation. There are many beautiful lakes in Nepal, particularly in the hills, which attract a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists. Phewa, Begnas and Rupa Tals in Pokhara.

Mahendra Tal (Raradaha) in Mugu and Tilicho Tal in Manag are some of the examples of such lakes. These lakes have helped a lot to develop the tourism industry in the country. People enjoy boating, rafting and swimming in the river and lakes. Rivers like Marshyangdi, Trishuli, Sunkoshi, etc. are used for rafting.

Some rivers in Nepal are using to transport people and goods. Local people use boats to transport their goods. Sometimes logs (Timber) are transported from one place to another. Sun Kosi, Narayani and Karnali rivers are essential for such purposes.

Conservation of Water Resource in Nepal

  1. Water can be conserved in the following way:
  2. The plantation of trees is to be done around the watersheds to prevent the sources of water from getting dry.
  3. The swamps, bogs, and ponds should be cleared of weeds and garbage. These keep the water sources alive.
  4. Washing of clothes, bathing, cleaning of pots and clearing the motion and urinating around the water sources should be prohibited.
  5. The dams and walls are to be constructed to save the watersheds.
  6. The industrials water should not be thrown near the watersheds. The outlet should be arranged.

Minerals Resources in Nepal

Minerals are the one of man Natural Resources of Nepal. Minerals are chemical substances that are dug out from the earth’s crust. Economically, minerals are beneficial as these are used in various ways. Gold, silver, copper, iron, bauxite, sulphur, petroleum are some of the significant minerals widely used in the world. All the developed countries are affluent in mineral resources. Some countries in the middle east have become very rich because of petroleum resources. Thus, minerals are essential for the economic development of a nation.

The hills and mountains of Nepal are very young in an age that came up during the tertiary period. Therefore, the rocks are still in the process of metamorphism. To Geologists, therefore, are not very sure about the prosperity of the mineral resources until the proper investigation of minerals is thoroughly made.

Minerals Resources in Nepal

List of minerals found in Nepal?

Iron one, copper, lead zinc, nickel, mica, magnesite, limestone, slate are some of the minerals found in Nepal. There is also a possibility of finding natural gas and oil in some parts of Nepal. But, the extraction of minerals is not an easy task for a developing country like Nepal. No detail exploration of mineral wealth has been made so far. The country also lacks technological know-how of the research and lack of sufficient finances is another drawback.

What are the natural resources of Nepal?

These are the main Natural Resources of Nepal

  1. Land
  2. Forest
  3. Soil
  4. Water
  5. Lakes
  6. Minerals

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