The Community Forest in Nepal Essay

Table of Contents

Essay on community forest

Community forest is the forest which is managed and conserved by the groups of people of any community. The Government of Nepal brought a program called community Forestry program few decades before. The goals of such program was to control the degradation of the forest and poverty alleviation from the community.

Importance of community forest in Nepal

There are many forests in Hilly regions of Nepal. Different types of plants and animals are found in the forest. Different types of medicinal herbs, firewood, fodder and timber are found in the forest . These resources are utilised by the groups of people of the community which looks after that forest. Community people decides what to do and what not to do with those resources . They can sell those useful materials and can earn money. They can use money in the development of their community.

The resources obtained from the forest are utilised by community people . There is active participation of people in the conservation of the community forest . Community forest provides great economic support to the concerned community. The poverty can be alleviated from the community by effective utilisation of the forest.

Impact of community forest

Community forest of Nepal has played a great role on the environment. It maintains the ecology of the environment. The Biodiversity in the forest is maintained . Different studies have shown that biodiversity of community forest is higher than the biodiversity of non community forest. Endangered species of plants and animals are conserved . These species are increased in number by the community people. The ecosystem of the environment is maintained. Moreover, people also plant trees in barren land of community forest . Community people do not allow hunters to hunt any animals. They take great care of the forest.

Social impact

Community forest has great impact on the community. The people of the community either rich , medium or poor , all are involved equally for its conservation. Due to community forest , the participation of people in social activities has been increased. The problem of starvation has been removed from the community. People also get employment opportunity.

Conclusion of community forest essay

The goals of government to eradicate poverty and to conserve the nature are seemed to be successful by bringing the program of community forest . Community forest helps people to earn their livelihood . Hence, there is great impact of community forest on environment and people.

Q. What do you mean by community forest?

Ans- It is the forest conserved and managed by the community people.

Q. Is there community forest in Nepal?

Ans- Yes , there is community forest in Nepal.

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Community Forest and Forest Management in Nepal

Bhattarai Binod

This Paper provides brief introduction to the Forest and Community Forest in Nepal and context and status of community forest in Nepal. Community forests in Nepal are built on the experience of other countries around the world, especially its neighbors in South Asia. In order to understand the context and particular designs and objectives of Nepal’s community forestry program, key literature on community forestry is summarized. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of community forestry in Nepal from first protecting local forests and forest products for subsistence needs, to an increased role in income generation and meeting national development goals, including poverty alleviation.

Keywords: forest, Nepal, community, local people, forest management

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1. Introduction

FAO (1978) defines community forestry as “a situation, which intimately involves local people in forestry activity” [ 1 ] . This definition includes a wide spectrum of activity such as allowing local communities to completely manage their forest for local needs; giving them access to the economic benefits derived from forest, and protecting forests maintains ecological wellbeing along with generating income for rural communities from the processing of forest products. Community forestry generally involves three major activities. First is local decision making and controlling an area of forest land, second is local control of benefits, including revenue and forest products and third is increasing local value-added manufacturing with maintenance of long term ecological integrity of the forest ecosystem [ 2 ] .

2. Origin of Community Forestry in Nepal

“Hariyo Ban Nepal Ko Dhan (Green Forests are the wealth of Nepal)” has been a very popular slogan in Nepal and to some extent a reality as well. However, with the nationalization of forests by the government in 1957, the local people who had been using the forest resources as well as protecting the forests were deprived of their rights. The nationalization of forests by the government has let to mistrust among the people towards the efforts made by the government for the forest protection. To add woe to this, the increasing population was bound to depend on the adjacent forests for meeting their basic needs such as firewood, fuel, fodder and timber [ 3 ] . As a result of this, the forests were exploited in manners that were not conducive to sustainable management practices. Consequently this led to deterioration of forests particularly in the hills in the form of accelerated forest encroachment, illegal logging and continued deforestation. To stop the rapid decline and deterioration of forest conditions, the government initiated the community forestry program. The community forestry program was specifically brought in with an objective of meeting the subsistence needs of local people and at the same time for protecting the forests by transferring user rights of forest resources to the local users [ 4 ] . In community forests, parts of government forests are handed over to a group of local households known as Community Forest User Groups (CFUG). They prepare a forest management plan according to their needs and forests are managed according to the plan for the purpose of resource utilization as well as protection and conservation. The basic assumption of the CFUG is that users become united and become capable of managing community forests for their mutual benefits. However, requirement and interests of the households participating in community forests is different depending upon their economic status. Poor people want to use it more for subsistence such as fodder, food and firewood while rich people are more interested in its commercial value such as timber.

The need for a community forestry program in Nepal was first emphasized by government policies as early as 1976 (By the National Forest Plan, 1976). This resulted in amendment of the conventional Forest Act (amendment 1977) by making provisions for handing over of part of government forests to the smallest local governance unit, then known as “Panchyat” (HMG, 1978). It further produced regulations called Forest Rules, in 1978 for smooth implementation of the program.

The local panchayats had ownership over plantation forests (Panchyat Forest) and existing natural forests (Panchyat Protected Forests). But it was the local households, who had to be involved to protect the forest, contribute their labor for forest management activities and very often had to sacrifice their traditional use of forests, such as grazing, in the name of community forest development. Therefore, there was no feeling of ownership among the local people. Thus, local a panchayat was not able to motivate local communities sufficiently for forest management. However, in terms of policy formulation, this program is considered as one of the best forestry programs in the world [ 5 ] .

After the panchayat system was overthrown, political instability was created. In the absence of proper legislative structure, forest administration started handing over the forests directly to the local groups involved in protecting forests. Providing ownership of forest management directly to the local forest users made the community forestry program more acceptable, and users started contributing for forest protection and forest management, such as thinning, pruning, weeding, etc. Thus, local communities started to have more responsibility in forest management and they started to get benefits from forest products such as tree fodder, grass, poles and firewood.

A master plan of the forestry sector (1989) placed the community forestry program as one of its six primary programs. The Forest Act was enacted in 1993, where community forestry was recognized as one of the forestry programs for Nepal. Regulations were passed in 1995, which elaborated operational modalities for community forests. The regulations allowed local people to manage the forests and to use the forest products according to the management plan approved by the District Forest Office (DFO).

3. Implementation of Community Forestry Program

After enactment of new Act and Regulation, implementation of the community forestry program in the hills went in to high speed. The government announced the handing over of all accessible forests as community forests. All development partners operating in Nepal supported this idea and started formulating and implementing community forestry programs. By 1995, the number of community forestry and its related programs or projects across Nepal reached 13 (MFSC, 1996). In the beginning, handing over of good forests to the community was limited because DFO (District Forest Office) kept ownership of good forests.

Table 1. The transition of coverage of Community Forest

The data in the table shows that the average formation of CFUGs per year is 200 and area added per year is 2,200 ha.

4. An over View of Forest Management in Nepal

Forests are directly related with the nation’s development. It plays a crucial role for the living standard of people. By knowing this fact, since the beginning of civilization, different efforts have been made for its protection, but in the Nepalese context efforts made by the government can be summarized in the following chronological way. In Nepal, the government earned revenue of US$ 1.11 million from the sale of non-wood forest products or almost 18% of the total revenue of the forest sector in 2002 [ 6 ] . Ninety percent of rural household income is contributed thought non-wood forest production Non-Wood Forest products (NWFP) related economic activities [ 7 ] . In Nepal management of NWFP is done by community forest user groups (CFUG) and national policy explicitly recognizes commercial role [ 6 ] . After more than five years of established community forests in Nepal, the collection of forest products including fodder, grass, thatching materials and leaf litter, has increased while fuel wood collection and livestock number decreased. This has led to tree regeneration and improvement of forest health [ 8 ] . In addition, the number of community forests in Nepal is increasing: as of 2006 14,258 CFUGs has been formed covering two-fifths of the total population and one-fifth of the total forest area [ 9 ] . Studies suggest that the community forest program has had tremendously positive effects on local resource conservation and livelihood conditions [ 10 ] . These studies also suggest that the program has improved other areas of natural resources management including watershed conservation and protected area management [ 10 ] .

Table 2. Forest management and administration history in Nepal

A number of small kingdoms and tribal areas had existed in Nepal before unification. Nepal has been predominantly an agricultural country with a land tenure system. Access to agriculture was important to all level or categories of people in society. Stiller (1975) has described the land tenure system in detail.

The history of forest management in Nepal is close linked with the political history of the country. In earlier periods, the ruler of Nepal has used forest as a potential source of the revenue and had shown little intrest of forest management. Land use policy in the mountains was designed to encourage the conversion of forest land of the farmland in order to increase the tax base [ 11 ] . The forest management situation in the the following period was influenced by political events. The conversion of forest land to agriculture had started before the Prithivi Narayan Shah (Regime 1763). Reclamation of the forest was generally open to anyone who undertook to bring it under cultivation. Tax exemption, normally for three years, was granted in respect of such land, a concession attributed by tradition to King Ram Shah of Gorakha (1606-1633) [ 12 ] .

The Zamindars and other revenue functionaries, over and above jagir land grant received for their work, were also entitled to reclaim as much new land as they liked without payment of any additional tax [ 13 ] . The Gurkha ruler, Ram Shah, established a form of family rule over Gorkha [ 13 ] . The land tenure system was established in this area and land tax was levied known as raikar. The peasants paid tax to the state crown as a rent or tax equivalent to one half of product of the land they held. Peasant rights to the land were based on the regular payment of this rent to the crown representative and other revenue functionaries. At that time, land was not allowed to remain as unproductive.

In a jagir and birta grants, the land was assigned to a person who served the court in some official, civil or military capacity, even the low ranked staff were able to receive benefits from this land. This form of grant remained valid only if the official concerned continued to serve the state or unite the land was recalled or confiscated Kipat is another and entirely different concept of land tenure existing largely in Buddhist or tribal communities in the hill of Nepal in the Gorkhali period [ 14 ] .

In many villages such as Rai and Limbu they retained communal land for many years thought the kipat system of tenure, under which natural resources of land and forest were controlled by a village head and distributed in accordance with family requirements. Communal ownership provided checks: and balances to prevent over-harvesting by legal means. In the similar manner, in the Gurung and Magar villages, these groups of people commonly managed their forest using a traditional system that was exercised thought a council of village leader- Mukhiya. In the local system of authority, village heads were powerful about village activities, including forest and pasture.

It seems that even before 1743, the former rulers of many autonomous states utilized natural resources for the principle source of income as a family heritage. In the name of state income generation, most of the land had been converted into agricultural land for revenue collection.

In 1969, the greater part of present-day Nepal was united into one nation by the King of Gorkha, Prithivi Narayan Shah. After the P.N. shah regime, his descendants continued the task of unification and, by 1808, the frontier of Nepal extended 2,100 km from the Tistha River in the East. At that time, the political situation in India was different and the British were spreading their political control over the Gangetic Plan by subjugating the native Indian rulers. In the Tarai, confrontation occurred between Birtish Indian and Nepal forces. British demanded for evacuation of the Tarai territory were unacceptable to Gorkhali Government. The result was the British-Nepal war (1814-1816) ant the Treaty of Sugauli gave the Birtish East India Company highly important advantages. A large portion of Nepalese territory was surrendered to the Birtish but the part of this was subsequently restored to Nepal in 1861 and 1960 [ 15 ] .

After 1950, there was rapid political changes made in the previous King’s leadership. The forest was used to secure votes by different level of politicians mostly during the election period. Each elected Government even became unable to solve the forest land encroachment by the migrants in the Tarai.

The Government and authorized individuals have exploited nature forest resources for their personal benefit for generations. Forest land was distributed to kin and powerful people by introducing a different tenure system. In the later stage of the Ran regime, one third of state-owned forest was transferred as a birta and kipat and therefore belonged to Rana family. In 1957, the government enforces the Nationalization Act and nationalized privately owned forests. Many scholars suggest the deforestation in Nepal can be traced to the nationalization of communal forest lands in 1950s by the government, thereby alienating local people from their ancestral institution and controls [ 16 ] . In fact entitlement of forest was not communal it was with landowners and they allowed local people for forest products use.

Local control over forest remained in places where strong local leadership had excluded Government interference. In these areas, forests were protected thought local action to ensure that local people could continue to meet their needs from the forest, and the Act appears to have had little effect [ 17 ] . Despite the argument made by Rhodes, there is not any evidence that shows Government has nationalized communal forest. Most of the forest was under the control of powerful people as private forest, which was national property previously. Even powerful people owned these forests as birta, kipat and other means. Forest was permitted to use to local people as mercy of landlord, and there was system providing gift and labor donation instead of taking forest products. The main intention of this Act was to size the power and control of limited elite Zamindars, bringing all the forest under Government control with a view to preserving this natural resource, providing for the protection of forest, and controlling use by the people.

The 1957 nationalization Act states the “….. forest constitutes an important part of the national wealth and to protect national wealth… management utilization thereof for the public interest it is expedient to nationalist private forests” (Private Forest Nationalization Act, 1957). There was a provision in this Act that about the limited area of private forest for the individual family, which could not be nationalized. After the end of the Rana era, the government had nationalized private forest in a weak organizational structure and was unable to communicate that view of nationalization to people. Local elite and landlord Zamindar distorted the message of the nationalization Act which accelerated deforestation. Presently, nationalization of private forest has provided an opportunity for increasing community forest in the country, since all the accessible forest under control of Zimindars has been now converted to community forest.

The forest Act 1961 was mainly concerned with forest administration. It defined the categories of forest and covered legal procedures for handling different types of forests, which included the duties of the Forest Department (DOF), forest offences and prescribed penalties. This Act also made provision for private forest plots (ban batika), not exceeding in area of 1.25 hectares in the Hill and 3,25 hectares in Tarai, if the individuals planted and grew trees with their own resources and efforts. However, there was a little provision for transferring Government forest land to Panchayat community forest for their use and it remained inactive. In 1962, King Mahendra instituted the Panachyat Policy, which was a new national political system, based on local people’s committees called Panchayats that would build “democracy from the grass roots” [ 17 ] .

The main focus of the Forest Protection Special Act 1967 (special arrangement) was to further define forest offences and prescribe penalties for these, as well as forest protection. A special court was established under the provisions. This Act provided more power to the District Forest Office in conserving forest resources and policing functions in practice. However, it was only applied in the weaker sections of society, which was brought under the purview of this law enforcement actively. The powerful individuals, who were involved in offences, often escaped thought influence and manipulation. So this Act also proved to be of limited use and the DOF became unable to manage forest resources effectively.

This map shows protected areas, ecological zone and forest of Nepal. The master plan for the forestry sector of 1988 is an overall twenty-five years forest policy that included strategies to manage forest resources in the appropriate way. The master plan was prepared by Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation.

5. The Master Plan for the Forestry Sector

Before the Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (MPFS) in 1988, a provision made in the Forest Act and its bylaws was duly acknowledge in the national plans and programmed in Nepal. The NPC has incorporated policies from the national forestry plan published in 1976 into seventh five-year plan. Objectives of that policy were to meet people’s needs for forest products, including timber, fuel wood, fodder etc. It maintains or restores ecological balance thought afforestation and water shade management, and encourages maximum economic gain from forest products. The corresponding aims of the seventh five-year plan were to supply the needs of daily life such as fuel wood, timber, bedding materials, leaves and grass, as well as to carry out afforestation. Encouraging the maximum participation of the people protected afforested areas.

The master Plan was prepared by the combined efforts of the Government and donors, international development agencies. The plan specified two sets of objectives; the long –term objectives and the mid –term objectives. They are as below.

Table 3. Objectives of Master Plan for Forestry Sector

6. community forestry – a general overview.

Community Forest is defined as a situation, which intimately involves local people in forestry activities [ 18 ] (FAO 1978). Gilmour and Fisher (1991) have defined CF in terms of control and management of forest resources by the rural people who use them especially for domestic purposes and as an integral part of their farming systems. CF started in the late 1970s, when the development strategies of the 1950s and 1960s that focused on industrial development were being criticized for overlooking rural development and not meeting the basic needs of the rural poor. Since then, it has been spreading over the world with different names but similar objectives. Malla (2001) reports some examples like Join Forest Management in India, Social Forestry in Bangladesh, BC Forestry in Canada, Community Forestry in America, Social Forestry in China, Community Forestry in Nepal, and so on.

The community forestry program was launched in the late-1970s as part of efforts to curb the widely perceived crisis of the Himalayan forest degradation, when the government of Nepal came to the conclusion that active involvement of the local people in forest management was essential for forest conservation in the country. The term community in its broadest sense may refer to any group of persons united by a “community of interest”. In this sense a professional group, a residential unit, or a club or a voluntary association may all be referred to as communities. A forest is a biological community dominated by trees and other woody vegetation. Thus community forestry activities are aimed at providing direct benefits to rural people and that “the people” should have a substantial role in decision making. At this level that is as a statement about the philosophy behind community forestry, there is nothing wrong with the term [ 18 ] . Community forestry is flourishing in Nepal, improving the livelihoods of rural household of communities, and nurturing democracy at the grassroots level despite a prolonged insurgency and political upheavals [ 19 ] .

During the 1970’s, the recognition of Himalayan degradation as a serious environmental crisis [ 20 ] . Increased pressure on international development institutions and donor governments to contribute to the conservation of the Himalayas. This led to a shift in the development discourse away from an emphasis on infrastructure and technology transfer toward environmental issues [ 21 ] . Moreover, Nepal’s strategic geopolitical situation (being located between China and India) and fragile environmental condition attracted donors [ 22 ] .Whose viewed forestry and the environment as the key elements of integrated conservation and development projects.

Several international agencies (Such as NPO, NGO, INGO) assisted the Nepalese Government in formulating the master plan for the forestry sector (MPFS), which recognized the need for local people’s participation in the conservation and management of the country’s forest resources. In 1989, as the master plan for the forestry sector was being finalized and formally adopted by the government, an ongoing movement against the panchayat system by the citizenry also culminated in the reinstatement of multiparty democracy in the country. The decisions of subsequent governments further strengthened the regulatory framework of a community-based forest plan for the forestry sector (MPFS).

Community forestry is one of components of social forestry. Agro forestry, Agro-salvo pastoral systems and private planning programs come under the umbrella term of social forestry. [ 23 ] , describes the natural and potential role of social forestry. He opines on what ways, and to what extent social forestry can help to alleviate the acute socio-economic problems faceted by many developing countries. In this potential role of social forestry, he mentioned in his paper the ecological aspects like site protection, economic aspects like income and wage and social benefits like a higher quality of life.

The emerging of the concept of community forestry in the late 60’s and early 70’s parallels with the wider concert of development with basic community needs. Community forestry initially involved local people in forest activity. Community forestry refers to the control and management of forestry resources by the rural people who are using them especially for domestic purposes and as an integral part of their farming system. Villagers see community forestry or village forestry as the control management and use of forest resources. It seeks to increase the level of awareness of local people and actively involve them in all aspects of forestry activities. [ 24 ] .

Community forestry has been defined as “The control protection and management of local forest by local people or community known as a user group.” [ 25 ] . Gerald Foley has also an opinion that over the past decade, farm and community forestry has emerged as one of the principal responses to the problems caused by the widespread loss of tree and forest cover in the developing world. Its aim is also help people to solve their own wood supply problems, meet their own needs and preserve the environment in which they live by planting trees on their farms and around villages [ 26 ] .

Table 2 shows the main features of current community forestry in Nepal.

Table 4. Main Features of Current Community Forestry in Nepal

The most signification regulatory development in support of community forestry was the enactment of the forest Act 1993 by the first elected parliament after the 1990 movement for democracy. The 1993 Forest Act guaranteed the rights of local people in forest management [ 25 ] , as briefly summarized in Table No: 3. Nepal became the world’s first country to enact such radical forest legislation, allowing local communities to take full control of government forest patches under a community forestry program. Meanwhile, international agencies continued to support the process of reorienting government forestry officials the work as facilitators of community based forest management and away from their traditional policing roles [ 24 ] .

Table 5. CFUG right as per the forest Act (1993) and Forest Regulation (1995)

Regarding the forest management, present Forest Act of 1993 entitles the CFUGs “to develop conserve use manage the forest sell and distribute the forest product independently by fixing their process according to operational” (Forest Act 1993). The forest regulation of 1995 introduces a provision that in order to transport forest products, a committee or person designated by the CFUG shall issue a permit and stamp the timber. The transportation products can only take place after informing the concerned forest office and having the matter endorsed by checkpoints located in route.

Above data shows process of Community Forest formation.

Detail of tenure Certification Process in Nepal is as follows

The Forest Regulation (1995) and CF Development Guideline (2009) describe the CF handover process:

1. Written request to District Forest Office (DFO) by interested forest users to manage their accessible forest they have been traditionally using as Community Forest (CF)

2. With technical and other forms of support from DFO, CFUG formation and preparation of CFUG constitution by forest users

3. Application to DFO by CFUG for registration

4. Registration of CFUG by DFO and issuance of CFUG registration certificate

5. With support of DFO, preparation of Operational Plan (OP) of CF by CFUG (includes survey, demarcation of forest area, forest inventory and calculation of annual increment)

6. Submission of OP to DFO by CFUG for approval 7. Approval of OP by DFO and issuance of CF handover certificate

Forest Rules (1995) provide scope for CFUGs to prepare their Operation Plans (OPs). The OPs define forest conditions, management activities and determine the annual allowable cut for timber and fuelwood. The OPs are prepared in line with the CF Inventory Guidelines (2004).Forest Rules (1995) stipulate that a District Forest Office (DFO) needs to conduct a field verification of the OP before approving and handing over the forest to a CFUG. The DFO can also suggest to amending the OP if they feel it is necessary. Upon approval, they issue a certificate to the CFUG with a bond to the effect that the CFUG will comply with the conditions that are prescribed.

7. Forest Classification

Six categories of forest are recognized in Nepal. These are as flows

1. Government managed forest

2. Leasehold forest

3. Religious forest

4. Protection forest

5. Community forest. and

6. Private forest

Below table depicts categories of forest, their management objectives and agencies responsible for their management. Among these forest categories, CF has received the highest priority with in the forest sector, because large numbers of people are directly involved in this forest category.

Table 6. Forest classification, management objectives and responsible institutions

Government managed forests are defined as all national forests (except private forest) that are directly managed by His Majesty’s Government. Since government managed forest are national forests, all rights dictating their use are reserved by the government. Government managed forests may only be used in the capacity prescribed in their work plan; ownership of the land and of the products derived from government-managed forests lies with the government- managed forest may only be prepared, approved and implemented by the government. The following activities are prohibited in government-managed forests (HMG 1995):

• Deforestation, cultivatation and construction (of housing, roads, paths etc.)

• Grazing, the setting of fires and the production of charcoal.

• Removal, sale or distribution of forest products, and the extraction of resin, bark, timber, firewood, boulders, rocks sand or soil.

• Export of forest products to foreign countries.

• Stealing, destruction or damaging of any government property

• Destruction of biodiversity, the hunting of wild-life and the collection of insects and butterflies.

Individuals have no rights of any type in government-managed forest except when a rights or facility has been obtained thought a lease or in any other way from the government or from an authority empowered by the government. For the purpose of developing or conserving the forest, the government or an authority empowered by the government may close any private or public path or stream situated with in the national forest (HMG1995).

Leasehold forests are areas of national forest leased to any corporate body, industry, community or individuals living below poverty line. As a condition of the lease, leaseholders are required to utilize the forest in one of the following ways (HMG 1995):

• Production of raw materials required by the forest-based industries

• Production, utilization or sale and distribution of forest products with appropriate measures in place for sustaining the resource

• Operation of eco-tourism in a way that is compatible with the conservation and development requirements of the forest

• Implementation of an agro-forest project in a way that is compatible with the conservation and development requirement of the forest

• Operation of an insect, butterfly or wild farm/park in a way that is compatible with the conservation and development requirement of the forest

In the event that the leaseholder fails to perform its defined task in accordance with the forest lease, or other-wise undertakes activities that may cause significant adverse environmental effects, the Regional Forest Director may decide to cancel the forest lease and reclaim the forest. The Regional Forest Director has ultimate authority over the lease as stipulated under the MFSC.

Upon receipt of an application, the DFO can handover a religious forest to the jurisdiction of a religious body, group or community wishing the manage the forest for its religious value. Before handing over the forest necessary arrangements must be made to ensure the traditional rights of forest user are not adversely affected. The religious body or community may utilize the forest products derived from the religious forest for religious activities and not for commercial purpose. Where any significant environment impact is anticipated, trees may not be removed and any activities which caused soil erosion or damage to public property-particularly in watershed areas- are prohibited. If the group fails to meet any of the terms and conditions defined for the forest’s management, the DFO may reclaim the forest at any time.

A component to national forests, protected forests are considered to be of special environment, Scientific or culture importance. The government prepares and implements a work plan for the management of protected forests. No activities other than those defined in the work plan or those granted special prior approval by the government, can be conducted in a protected forest.

A community forest is a part of a national forest that has been handed over to a user group for its development, conservation and utilization for the collective interest. The forest Act and its regulation have provided ample opportunity for people to participate in the management of forest of Nepal basically thought the provision of community and leasehold forests. The DFO has the authority to hand over management of community forests to user groups. The DFO is also authorized to provide technical and other assistance required to user groups and mobilize users to prepare that work plan for the management of the community forest. As self-governing institution, FUGs are legally allowed to fix prices of the forest products they sell and to apply silvicultural and other forestry practices in the management of the forest. The new policy has also allowed users to cultivate non-timber forests products as a means of generating income earned on forest based cash crops and to commercialize wood and non-wood products and their processing to fulfill the subsistence needs of local people. In so doing, due consideration must be given to the health and vigor of the forest. Similarly FUGs are free to collect and spend income generated from the community forest not only for the development of their forest but also in order to carry out other social and community development activities. FUGs may independently network and consult with other FUGs and their federation. FUGs have provided a platform for the discussion of all aspects of forest resource management for local people, politicians and government officials. In the event that a FUG fails to perform its function or attempts to carry out any operation not included in the Work plan which may cause adverse environmental effects, the DFO is empowered to cancel the registration of the FUG and rescind the rights to the community forests. The FUG has the status of an autonomous corporate body and has a separate seal of its own.

Fugs are fully legalized to collect funds and use them to finance activities of public interest having made full disbursement for the development of the community forest. The FUGs should deposit their income into a separate account. The FUGs are funded by the following sources (HMG 1995):

• Grant received from His Majesty’s Government

• Grant, assistance or donation from any person or organization

• Amount received from the sale and distribution of forest products

• Amount collected thought fines

• Amount received from any other source.

The FUG is required to submit an annual report of its activities, including descriptions of the condition of the forest and the expenditure and balance of its account, to the DFO.

Private forests are forests planted, nurtured or conserved on any private land owned by an individual. The owner of the private forest may develop, conserve or manage the private forest, and utilize or sell and distribute the forest products by fixing prices at will. Any person or institution can register a privately owned forest with the government, and is legible to receive any necessary technical assistance from the state if they do so.

8. Concept of People Participations

People participation as a concept has gain remarkable currency in recent years. This is mainly because of its symbolic power as a glossy cover to make plants, program and project attractive. Besides endorsing people participation is one good way to assert the legitimacy of a program or project today when there is so much talked about in empowering the local people and decentralization. People’s participation has been taken as a means by government agencies and their projects alike for achieving their goals [ 27 ] .

Participatory management is often seen as an appropriate solution to reduce degradation. It has been thought that granting property rights over the local commons would ensure the equitable and sustainable use of environment resources. When the responsibility of allocating natural resources is delegated to local organizations, communities tend to appropriate forestry programs. So this sort of program is one of the best ways of economic and environment activities through the proper management of local resources of forests [ 28 ] .

Community participation is aprocess in which people are encouraged realizing that they themselves have the abilities, energies and some of the resources to make initiatives to improve their lives. This approach is being fulfilled through the community forestry project, which requires community participation [ 29 ] .

The willingness to participate in community forestry clearly varied depending on the nature of the activities (Decision making, forest protection, forest development and forest utilization). In each activity different groups of people were found to be participating at different levels and for different resources [ 29 ] . The principle aim of community forestry is to involve people in all stages from decision making to harvesting, so it is the most essential feature of community forestry.

9. Conceptual Framework

Local people are primary managers and users of forest products. Low levels of their participation have created the problem in protection and management of forest products in terms of grass, fodder, fuel wood and leaves. In this way participation involves the production and management of community forestry from very beginning.

Some independent variables can be found to minimize women’s participation in the community forestry system. Social and cultural factors highly influence to women’s participation. At the same time, the education level of women and lack of skills are supporting factors to bypass their involvement in the CF system.

The conceptual framework of Mobilization of Natural resources development by Yogo (2005) has been used. It consists of three factors: “Resources”, “Institutions “and “Norms”. Natural “Resources” (community forest) are the base of local development and utilization, and an “Institution”, such as CFUG acts as the user of the resources. The CFUG acts as the user of the resources. The CFUG will be based on a “Norm” such as forest Management Rules for the sustainable use of resources.

Community forests provide products with value such as timber, fuel, food, as well as an in-direct benefit from the forests as pathways to peripheral populations. Likewise, the community forest policy can make changes in the status of CFUG and “forest management” rules can be adapted at the national level. Overall, these factors supposedly contribute to “poverty reduction”.

10. Status of Community Forest

When the Community forest program was first implemented during the 1990s; the hand-over rate was high. Figure 1 depicts the hand –over of Community Forests from 1991 to 2008. A considerable number of Community forests were handed over to communities between 1994 and 1997, possibly because a new Forest Act was promulgated in 1993 with provisions for more user rights.

Nearly 1.5 million people are involved in Community Forests and the figure is increasing day by day since only 20 percent of the total potential Community Forests have been handed over to the 14,439 CFUGs (CFD 2010). The potential Community Forest area is 5.5 million ha and only 1.23 million ha have been handed over to Forest Users' Groups, and these groups comprise 35% of the total population (26million) of the country. The goals and objectives of Community Forestry will vary according to the individual needs and aspirations, whether it is a developed or a developing country. In developing countries, the aim is to meet the basic needs of the communities such as fuel-wood, fodder, grass building materials, medicines, and food. Whereas, the goal of Community Forestry in developed countries is to strengthen community stability including reducing unemployment, by enhancing sustained economic benefits from forestry. Therefore, there are many reasons to increase people’s participation in forests. In the past many governments have failed to manage forests, keeping the forests in state control. The rationale behind the provision of the Community Forestry and the CFUGs in Nepal was a consequence of the government's incapability to conserve the forest and biodiversity effectively through its bureaucratic systems. In 1957, the Government nationalized virtually all forests by placing them under the legal authority of Forest Department. As a result, people gradually lost all of their traditional rights over the forests and were deprived from getting their subsistence needs from forest products. Resentment against nationalization contributed to unregulated extraction, creating conflict between villagers and DOF staff (SPRINGATE et al. 2003). This distancing of people from resources management led to wanton destruction of forests in Nepal [ 18 ] . Therefore, Community Forestry began as an attempt by governments and aid agencies to provide an alternative way for forest departments to manage forests, that is, through including local people [ 18 ] .

Even though the hand over rate of CFs is declining, the accumulated area and the number of CFs have increased substantially from 1991 to 2008. Some figures related to CFs are shown in Table 4 . Out of a total area of 5.5 million hectares, 2 million hectares are categorized as potential CFs and the remaining 3.5 million hectares are categorized as leasehold forest and government managed forest. Twenty two percent of Nepal’s forest area has been handed over as CF. Up until 2009, 14,569 forest patches have been handed over to communities. Approximately 1.67 million households, which constitutes about 35% of the total population, are involved in CFM (DoF, 2009).

The chart shows that the first community forests were created in 1987, in just a few districts, and rose slowly after the approval of the master plan for the forestry sector in 1989. The forest Act 1993 and the forest Regulations 1995 jump-started the registration, management planning and handover of community forests. The number of community forests in the country increased dramatically between 1991 and 1996, particularly in the easily accessible hill areas. However, due to the ten years of political insurgency that followed, the rate of community forest creation heavily decreased: government staff could not easily move around the rural areas, and the priority of donor partners changed from forestry to peace building. After the success of the second revolution in 2006, the trend seemed to turn upwards again, but was halted by the government of Nepal passing a policy to stop handing over the forests. This policy was reversed in 2010 and met with an increase in community forest creation, but this again was followed by a policy that has made community forest creation more complicated and restricted its budget.

Table 7. Status of CF in Nepal as of 2009

11. contribution of community forestry on rural livelihoods.

Forest resources play a crucial role in rural livelihoods in Nepal and elsewhere in the developing countries [ 8 ] . The forest resources directly fulfil forest related subsistence needs of women, poor and backward people as well as commercial needs of well-off people [ 30 ] . The recent studies show that the Community Forestry in Nepal has contributed to the improvement of forest condition and people’s livelihoods mainly in two ways: Capital formation in rural communities and policy and governance reform of various organizations and agencies [ 31 ] . The Community Forestry is oriented towards the development of natural capital (e.g; Good forest conditions), physical capital (e.g; schools, roads, temple,), financial capital (E.g.; CFUG fund), human capital (e.g.; reoriented forestry staff, higher education of forestry staff, capable CFUG member), and social capital 28 (e.g.; building CFUG as local elected body, and FECOFUN) [ 8 ] These capital or assets produced by Community Forestry are playing a crucial role in rural development and development of livelihood assets. Some previous studies carried out by Forest Action team in 2003 on “Impact of Community Forestry on livelihoods in the Middle Hills of Nepal” described the Community Forestry’s impacts on livelihoods of the local people. They suggested two major types of impacts: Direct Impacts: Change in the levels and security of forest products and benefit flows (through the improvements to the forest resources and/or improved tenure right) Indirect Impacts: An indirect benefit comprises all those benefits that come from the institutional development of the community based forest management system or the institutional system of Community Forestry. These benefits include improved social capital for collective planning and action; support for community infrastructure and development activities; household livelihood/ income generation opportunities (including credit facilities) and finally improved human capital. There is much evidence, which shows that the forest conditions and flow of forest products have improved through Community Forestry [ 32 ] . Increased forest product flows are due to improvement of forest conditions (Natural capital), and changed entitlements to use it [ 8 ] . Since natural capital is the term used for the natural resource stocks from which resources flow and services useful for livelihoods are derived [ 8 ] . Much evidence shows that Community Forestry has contributed to the development of social capital in rural as well as in the urban part of Nepal through the set of social relationships [ 32 ] . The CFUGs create a new social forum, with the potential for local-level development planning, improved social support structure and social cohesion [ 8 ] . It has been reported that Community Forestry process has increased social cohesion, which has enhanced social capital, of those who have been powerless, left in isolation and excluded from the mainstream of social and political processes. For, example, [ 33 ] , reported that the participation of women in the committee has increased from 19% in 1996 to 30% in 2003 in the project area [ 31 ] . The CFUGs have created a network through their federation from village level to the district and to the central level: FECOFUN is the observable example of the development of social capital through Community Forestry in Nepal. Similarly, the investments of Community Forestry fund in the village or community level have led to improve village level infrastructure, are the source of physical capital in the grassroots' level [ 8 ] . Since the physical capital comprises the basic infrastructure and producer goods needed to support livelihoods. The CFUGs have carried out many community development activities on their own by using group funds or through volunteer work [ 31 ] . Construction of village trails, small bridges, community buildings, schools and temples, drinking water supplies, village road construction, village electrification, and trail making are examples of physical capital created through the Community Forestry program in Nepal. The group fund generated from the sale of the forest products, levies and outside grants are the financial capital created through Community Forestry [ 31 ] . Substantial amount of funds have been generated from Community Forestry, for example in the year 2002/03, the CFUG from Banke, Bardia, Kailali and Dhading districts generated a total amount of Rs. 30,9000(US$ 412,000) from forest products sale, membership fees and penalties (CARE 2003). Table 2 provides the information on income and expenditure of CFUGs in Nepal. Data shows that the CFUGs of Terai region alone have contributed to 46.5 percent of the total income of the CFUGs, while CFUGs in Middle Hills and High Mountains have contributed 48 29 percent and 6 percent respectively. The amount of income and expenditure presented in the table is an example of financial capital generated from Community Forestry.

Table 8. Income and expenditure of CFUGs in Nepal

Also, through the Community Forestry program, a number of training, workshops and exposure visits have been conducted by government and non-government organizations and individuals at the community level, for enhancing knowledge and skills related to forest silviculture, community development, organizational management and leadership development [ 31 ] . Report from NSCFP supported districts for Community Forestry show that more than five thousand community members have participated in various workshops, trainings and seminars over a six –year period. Data show that 13 government staff have received a long term scholarship for higher studies; 312 community members (of which 149 are female) have received scholarships for schools and post school education, and a total of 1,184 staff members of government and non-government organizations have received short term training and study tours [ 31 ] . These types of activities carried out by governmental and non-governmental organization at the rural level, enhance the capabilities of the people and raise the level of awareness. Many illiterate rural women are becoming literate through this training, which is the human capital generated through Community Forestry. Human Capital refers to both the health and nutritional levels necessary for sustained labor input and the educational standards and skill levels that make labour more productive [ 32 ] .

12. Other Benefits and Considerations

According to the Nepalese government social forestry program, activities conducted in community forests are supposed to be concerned with generating economic benefits as well as improving ecological and social conditions as well. Below are ways community forests can be managed to support these processes, as well as what is known regarding why households join a CFMG.

Some of the hoped for ecological benefits include the following. Through community forests CFMGs can contribute to the rehabilitation of degraded forests, water sources can be protected, fire incidence can be reduced, wildlife can be protected, forest cover can be improved, and the CF area can be recreational area for outsiders to visit. However, there is limited empirical documentation on actual practices and ecological impacts, especially over time.

The literature suggests there is great potential for community forests to enhance cooperation among the members of CFMGs and build local governance capacity. Especially in rural areas in Nepal they always have cooperation as part of every program like marriage parties and other occasions where they always help each other. A sense of ownership over the forest can be increased thereby protecting the CF against outsiders illegally taking resources. There is also potential for rural residents to have a formal way to express their concerns and priorities by participating in CFMG meetings.

13. Conclusion

In the history of forest management, before the start community forestry activities in the early 1980s there were little tradition of national forest management in the middle hills. Even in the Tarai, the term Forest Management meant mainly the harvesting of trees and was only concerned with afforestation on clear felled areas. Government forest management was synonymous with forest protection and establishment of plantation. During early 1990s priority for community forestry shifted and focused on the handover of nature forest.

Existing studies suggest there are many opportunities for CFMGs member to increase their livelihood from community forests, as well as contribute to environmental sustainability. These include strong political support from the government, enabling regulatory frameworks, growing capacity within the Nepal government and the forest-related development sector, and some beginning experiments with timber and non-wood forest product income generation in community forests. Community forestry as a strategy to enable the utilization of forest resources in a sustainable way arose during the 1970s. the development strategies of the 1950s and 1960s focused on industrial development, which were being criticizes for overlooking rural development, and not on acting the basic needs of the rural poor.


CBS: Central Bureau of Statistics

CF: Community Forest

CFUG: Community Forest User Group

DDC: District Development Committee

DFO: District Forest Office

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization

FUG: Forest User’s Group

GN: Government of Nepal

INGO: International Non-Governmental Organization

MPFS: Master Plan for Forestry Sector

NGO: Non-Governmental Organization

NPC: National Planning Commission

PF: Panchayat Forest

PPF: Panchyat Protected Forest.

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Write an essay on 'The Community Forest in Nepal'. Describe how these community forests have contributed to maintain ecology in our environment.

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The Community Forest in Nepal

The Community Forest in Nepal is a unique initiative that has greatly contributed to the maintenance of ecology in our environment. These forests are managed and protected by local communities, who have the right to use the forest resources for their livelihood and cultural needs.

The concept of community forests in Nepal dates back to the 1970s, when the government recognized the importance of involving local communities in the management and protection of forests. In response to the growing demand for forest resources and the negative impact of traditional forestry practices, the government introduced the Community Forest Program in 1978.

The Community Forest Program has been a resounding success in Nepal, with more than 40% of the country's forests now being managed by local communities. These forests provide a range of benefits to the communities, including fuelwood, timber, non-timber forest products, and income from the sale of forest products. In addition, they serve as important sources of water, soil conservation, and wildlife habitat.

One of the key benefits of the Community Forest in Nepal is that it promotes the sustainable use of forest resources. Local communities have a vested interest in the long-term health of the forest, and they are therefore more likely to use the resources wisely. This is in contrast to traditional forestry practices, which often resulted in the over-exploitation of forest resources.

Another important benefit of the Community Forest in Nepal is that it empowers local communities and gives them a sense of ownership over their natural resources. This has led to an increase in community involvement in the management and protection of the forests. Local communities have also been able to negotiate better terms with the government, ensuring that they receive a fair share of the benefits from the forest.

In conclusion, the Community Forest in Nepal has made a significant contribution to the maintenance of ecology in our environment. By empowering local communities and promoting the sustainable use of forest resources, these forests have helped to preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of Nepal.

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Fig 1: Community Forest with surrounding settlement and forests

essay on community forest in nepal

TOP CASE STUDY Community Forestry in Nepal

Community Forestry in Nepal


Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal


Southern Asia

Community Forestry is increasingly recognized as a means for promoting sustainable forest management and restoring degraded forests for enhancing the forest condition as well livelihoods of low income people and forest dependent communities worldwide. It also promotes community rights to forests, enhances forest sector governance and local democracy along with mitigation of adverse environmental and climate change effects. Nepal has a well-documented history of over 30 years in community forestry and has been regarded as a model demonstrating the sometimes difficult paradigm shift from government-controlled forestry to active people’s participation. The Forest Act 1993 provided a clear legal basis for community forestry, enabling the government to ‘hand over’ identified areas of forest to CFUGs in Nepal. Some 1.23 million hectare forest out of 5.5 million hectare of total forest area has been managed under community forest with active participation of more than 14000 Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) in various parts of the country. Patale CF, for example, was almost barren prior to being handed over to a CFUG and now is a fully stocked forest with lots of flora and fauna. CFUGs are managing forests with different silvicultural and management activities. Benefits accrued from forests are utilized for forest management, livelihood improvement, and social and community development activities. Indeed, community forestry and the Patale CF in particular is now widely perceived as having real capacity for making an effective contribution towards addressing environmental, socioeconomic and political problems in Nepal .

Community Forest, Community Forest User Group (CFUG), community development, governance, Handover, Livelihood, Silviculture, Sustainable Forest Management

Mr. Shankar Adhikari, permanent resident of Rupse-4 Palpa, is currently working as Forest Officer in District Forest Office Lalitpur under Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Nepal. He has completed his graduation in Forestry from Institute of Forestry Pokhara in 2009 and is keenly interested in Forestry, Biodiversity and Ecological services issues. The role of forests and biodiversity in climate change adaptation and mitigation is also another field of his interest.

Back Ground

Community forestry has achieved broad global acclaim over the past three decades as a successful model for natural resource management that is innovative, people-centered and effective.   It is increasingly recognized as a means for promoting sustainable forest management and restoring degraded forests, for enhancing the livelihoods of low income people, forest dependent communities, for promoting community rights to forests, for enhancing forest sector governance and local democracy, and for mitigating the effects of climate change. Nepal, as one of the first countries to experiment with community forestry, has now come to be widely recognized as being at the forefront of its development and has perhaps made greater progress than many other countries in establishing it as the cornerstone of its forest sector policy. It has a well-documented history of over 30 years in community forestry internationally, and it is regarded as a model demonstrating the sometimes difficult paradigm shift from government-controlled forestry to active people’s participation -one that is observed with keen interest for lessons that can be learnt and applied elsewhere. It is now widely perceived as having real capacity for making an effective contribution towards addressing environmental, socioeconomic and political problems. This case study deals with overview of community forestry in Nepal with an illustration of Patale Community Forest.

Evolution of Community Forestry Policy, Programme and Legislation

The failure of a centrally controlled bureaucratic system of classical forestry, and the existence of informal indigenous forest management provided the impetus for institutional innovation in Nepal’s forestry sector. Successive refinement of partnership arrangements between local communities and the state forest agency based on practices in the field, and mutual assessment of the results has led to the growth of community forestry. The initial phase of community forestry in Nepal was geared towards assigning responsibilities and rights of local forest management to the village level political bodies’ i.e Panchayat with the enactment of the Panchayat Forest Rules and the Panchayat Protected Forest Rules, 1978. It was based on protecting and planting trees to meet the forest product needs of the local people based on the principle of ‘gap analysis’. Three years of rigorous study and consultation in the preparation of the Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (MPFS), in addition to the first national level workshop on community forestry held in 1987 laid the foundation for handing over forests to groups of traditional forest users so that they could meet their basic forest product needs and at the same time conserve these forests. Reorientation of foresters was also considered essential for the sustainable management of these community forests. The MPFS further stressed that participation of local communities in decision-making and benefit sharing was essential for the conservation of forest management. The endorsement of MPFS in 1988 and the political regime change in 1990 were instrumental in the formulation of new forest act in 1993 and forest regulations in 1995. By the early 1990s, however, continued experiential learning had started to highlight deficiencies in the legislative framework under which the community forestry model was being implemented. In particular, the key role of the Panchayat as a local institution began to be questioned. Panchayat were often large (geographically and in terms of population) and tended to be dominated by the traditional elite in rural society (wealthier, better educated, male and high caste). It was found that actual management of community forest and day-to-day decision-making on how the forest was to be developed and used would improve if they were undertaken by those people most directly affected by such decisions and prepared to contribute time and inputs into what they considered as their local resource. Thus, the concept of ‘forest users’ arose, i.e. those local people who traditionally used a particular patch of forest. Subsequently, community forestry became based around the community forest user groups (CFUGs) rather than the panchayat. Much effort during the early 1990s thus became focused on basing community forestry at the community level and seeking ways to bring such disparate groups together into CFUGs. The Forest Act 1993 provided a clear legal basis for community forestry, enabling the government to ‘hand over’ identified areas of forest to CFUGs. The procedures were later detailed in the 1995 Forest Regulations, backed by the Community Forestry Operational Guidelines 1995. According to the Forest Act and the associated Forest Regulations, CFUGs are legal, autonomous and corporate bodies having full power, authority and responsibility to protect, manage and utilize forest and other resources as per the decisions taken by their assemblies and according to their self prepared constitutions and operational plans (with minimal scope for interference from the state forestry agency). Although all benefits from community forests would go to the CFUGs concerned, the land legally remained part of the state.

Important characteristics of formal CF legislation are:

Status of Community Forestry in Nepal

Figure 1: Handing Over CF over time

essay on community forest in nepal

(Source: Gautam 2010)

Patale Community Forest

essay on community forest in nepal

Fig 1: Community Forest with surrounding settlement and forests Patale Community Forest (CF) is sandwiched between two community forests, namely Kafle CF and Padali CF in Lamatar Village Development Committee (V.D.C) ward number 1, situated in Lalitpur district just 11 km from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. It is located at 270′ 27′ north, 270′ 37′ east latitude and longitude, respectively. The community forest consists of 104.6 ha land covering 162 households within a community forest user group (CFUG) with 881 total populations in which 430 are female and 451 are male members. The vegetation type is a mixed one with Chilaune (Schima castanopsis), Katus (Castanopsis indica) and Utis (Alnus nepalensis) as the dominant species. For sustainable management of the forest, it is divided into six blocks, all of which include a fire line to protect from forest fires. From the upper part of this forest scenic view of Kathmandu Valley as well as sunrise view can be observed.

essay on community forest in nepal

Fig 2: Scenic view of Kathmandu Valley from the community forest area

Historical Background of Patle CF

Prior to 1970, forest conditions were very good with abundant vegetation including trees, shrubs, Non timber forest Products (NTFPs), Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs), different wildlife species and plenty of water sources. After 1970, due to an increase in population pressure on the forest and a lack of sufficient source of income for the people to their livelihoods, anthropogenic pressures in this forest rose tremendously, leading to massive deforestation and degradation of the forest. While forest was facing deforestation, in 1985 this forest faced the incident of big forest fire resulting complete loss of vegetation wildlife and converting forest into a denuded hill. Consequently, water sources also disappeared and people faced the problem of having to walk 8-10 hours even to transport a single jar of water. In order to control population pressure and conserve and protect the forest from further deterioration, with the initiation of local communities and the District Forest Office, local people were brought together for conservation and management of that forest and the forest was then handed over to the community forest user group (CFUG) to be managed as a community forest in 1994 after promulgation of the new Forest Act of 1993. Since then, it has been under the control of the community, the condition of the forest has improved, and people are benefitting from forest resources.

CFUGs have their own constitution, which governs the whole user group as well as the executive committee. Executive committee consists of 13 members with six females and seven males’ members. This executive committee looks after the decision making activities within the group. The group has classified households into rich, medium, poor and very poor categories i.e. A, B, C, D. The classification is based on a well‐being ranking and the intention of conducting livelihood improvement program especially focusing on the C and D categories. Similarly, the CFUG also focuses its activities on improving governance status and promoting transparency and accountability. Moreover, it has created a separate monitoring and evaluation subcommittee and an account subcommittee.

essay on community forest in nepal

Fig. 3: Constitution of Patale CFUG

How is the CFUG conserving and managing the forest?

The CFUG has prepared a five-year Community Forest Operation Plan (CFOP) with technical support from the forest technician of the district forest office. It encompasses overall features of the forest, growing stock, block division, forest management as well as silvicultural operation activities, conservation measures. It also covers provisions for the harvesting, utilization, selling, etc of forest products. CFUGs have to base their activities on this technical document for overall management of the forest. Once approved from district forest officer of district forest office, it becomes officially functional. Based on the approved operational plan, the following forest conservation and management activities are being carried out by the CFUG:

essay on community forest in nepal

Major Silvicultural Activities

Fig 5: Plantation being carried out

essay on community forest in nepal

Forest Product utilization and distribution:

The CFUG has made provisions within its Community Forest Operational plan regarding the collection procedures for timber, firewood, fodder, forage and leaf litter, as well as a timeframe for carrying out different forest management activities. They consume these products within the CFUG and if they have surpluses of these products, they can sell them outside the CFUG.

Major Vegetation and Wild life within CF

Major vegetation of this forest is as follows:

Bears, different species of deer, leopards, pangolins, rabbits, wolves, snakes and bats are found within this forest. Similarly, various types of birds, reptiles, insects and mammals also occur here.

Sources of Income

Now the CFUG has about US $1834 (NRs132000) in its fund The CFUG has been profitably establishing linkages with different grassroots organizations like social clubs, the livestock management committee, the village development committee, the district development committee, media, range posts, NGOs, etc. This has enriched the group and its members across a wide range of issues. Apart from forest conservation and management, CF has been contributing to different aspects of the community, as well as social development activities, as summarized as follows

essay on community forest in nepal

essay on community forest in nepal

Fig 7: CFUG members

essay on community forest in nepal

Fig 8: CFUG office room

Future strategy

Lessons Learnt

From the community forestry overview in Nepal as well as the Palate CF case study, in particular, the following lessons were learnt:


Acharya, K. P. (2002) Twenty Four Years of Community Forestry in Nepal. International Forestry Review 4 (2): 149-146.

Anon (2007) Community forest Operation Plan (2007). Lalitpur: Patale Community Forest User Group, Lalitpur Nepal

Anon (2010) Community forest Constitution (2010). Lalitpur: Patale Community Forest User Group, Lalitpur Nepal

Gautam, M (2010) Community Forest Development Program. CF Bulletin 15 :2-3

Kanel, K.R. (2004) Twenty Five Years of Community Forestry: Contribution to Millennium Development Goals. Kathmandu, Nepal: 4th National Workshop on Community Forestry 2004

Kanel, K.R. (2009) Partnership in Community Forest: Implications and lessons. Pokhara, Nepal: Community Forestry International Workshop 2009

Pokharel B.K et al. (2007) Community Forestry: Conserving Forests, Sustaining Livelihoods and Strengthening Democracy. Journal of Forest and Livelihood 6(2): 8-19


English Written

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

             Nepal is rich in natural beauties, gifts, resources and wonders. The forest is one of these resources. Nepal is also a mountainous country. Most of the mountains are covered with green forests. It is the living place of animals and birds. Nowadays, it is fast being destroyed but it was completely safe in the past.              People clear the forest for various purposes. One of the most important causes of its destruction is rapid population growth. The growing population is compelled to clear the jungle for agriculture and settlement. People cut down the trees for firewood, building materials and furniture. The cattle glaziers take their domestic animals to the jungle to graze. These domestic animals eat up the newly growing plants. By the result, the new plants cannot grow up easily. The silly people set a fire in the jungle. By the result, the wild fire destroys the whole jungle very badly. The main cause of its destruction is poor public awareness. The people who are not aptly conscious and responsible cannot understand the importance and necessity of the forests.               Forest destruction invites many disasters. Some to them are drought, landslides, soil erosion, over floods, salutation of rivers and lakes, weather extremes, pollution, green-house effect, ozone layer depletion and desertification. The natural disasters as such are extremely destructive for all the living creatures. If the process of destruction of the forest is not controlled, the future will be extremely risky.     We can get many advantages from the jungle. We can preserve wild animals in the jungle. We can get firewood, timber, herbs, grass, etc, from the jungle. It helps us to purify the atmosphere and to reduce the gravity of air pollution. Underground water resources can be saved in the forest. It also helps us to balance eco-system. The problems of drought, weather extremes, landslides, etc. can be alleviated or stopped by the help of the forest. Similarly, the forest of our country attracts many tourists. We can earn foreign currency from them. The natural beauty cannot be preserved without the preservation of the forest.              Preservation of the forest proves to be crucial. In order to control the natural disasters, we have to preserve the jungle. We can preserve the forest in many ways. Firstly, we have to educate the people about the importance of the forest. By means of a forestation and reforestation, we can preserve it. The people who clear the jungle for agriculture and settlement should be discouraged to go to the jungle. By establishing many wild life reserves and national parks, we can preserve our forest. Selling of firewood and timber must be banned to preserve it .              Our forest should be preserved at any cost. The government as well s private sectors are expected to make and apply concrete plans to preserve it. It is said that preservation of the forests is our own preservation.


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The Wealth of the Commons

A world beyond market & state

The reintroduction of a multiparty system in Nepal in 1990 after the peaceful revolution against the autocratic Monarchial Panchayat regime 1  provided political space for communities to get organized and manage common pool resources, including water and forest. The state established new policies and funding mechanisms to support the evolution of new types of grassroots-based, self-governing institutions. The energies released from this self-governance movement resulted in a powerful expansion of community forests in Nepal, which has directly benefited about 1.7 million households, or about 32 percent of the population, organized into 16,000 community forestry user groups (CFUGs) that manage 1.2 million hectares of land, or about one fourth of Nepal’s forested areas.

History of community forestry

Until their nationalization in 1957, forests belonged to the people. However, it was difficult if not impossible for the government to manage vast tracts of nationalized forests because it lacked any forest administration and it could not easily oversee remote and isolated rural areas. Communities therefore pressured the government to let them take control of forests, particularly in the hills. In 1978, this pressure led to a new forest regulation that transferred the management of some of the forests to local bodies, namely Panchayats. Despite this law, however, only 48,541 hectares of forests had been handed over by 1986.

The government recognized the need for active citizen participation in the design process for natural resource management by formally including com­munity organizations in the government’s eighth Five Year Plan (1992–1997) for effective delivery of public goods and services. The Forestry Act of 1993 and additional forest regulations in 1995 provided authority to (CFUGs) to manage forests. While the state retained ownership of the forests, it gave community groups the right to manage their forests.  

Right to Self-Governance

Right to Forest Management and Utilization

More sustainable livelihoods through community forestry

Community management of Nepalese forests has resulted in many ecological and economic benefits, including increased crown cover and higher productivity. A recent study reported that 74 percent of the forest areas managed by the CFUGs was in “good” condition compared to 19 percent in “degraded” condition. Others have reported that CFUGs compare favorably to state forests in terms of changes in forest condition (Nagendra et al. 2008).

The impact of community forestry has fueled the production of wood, timber, fodder and organic matter and non-timber forest products (NTFP) while increasing forest cover and protecting the watershed, resulting in higher discharges of water. In addition, the revenue generated by the CFUGs has been used for financing microenterprises operated by poorer users and for village infrastructure projects. In some cases land-poor segments of the community have cultivated NTFP and other forest products. In other cases CFUGs have started forestry-related com­munitarian enterprises such as a plant to process medicinal herbs.

According to a study on impact on livelihoods (Ojha and Chchatre 2009) community forestry has had a positive impact on livelihoods and food security. Moreover, a longitudinal five-year study covering 2,700 households from 26 CFUGs in the Koshi Hills showed large-scale improvements on people’s livelihoods and food security. It showed that 46 percent of the poor users improved their economic situations and long-term capacities due to their participation in CFUGs. A separate study found that the annual household income of forest users increased by 113 percent over a period of 2003-2008, from Nepalese Ruppias (NRs) 54,995 in 2003 to NRs 117,075 in 2008 (US$710 to $1,512). This represents a 61 percent increase after adjusting for inflation.

The importance of forests as reservoirs to preserve water is often overlooked. Yet that is where the linkage between forests, agriculture and improved quality of life is really noticeable. It is therefore important to foster a holistic, integrated multi-sectoral approach to natural resource management as the best way to improve the quality of livelihoods, especially for the poor. Participatory action research (PAR) involving primary stakeholders is an essential part of this management model because community groups can build their capacities for self-governance only if they can build trust and reciprocity and enhance their ability to resolve inevitable problems and conflicts.

Finally, CFUGs that effectively manage their forests have been able to provide carbon sequestration and environmental services, including the provision of higher-quality water to downstream communities. Under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), an effort is made to quantify such gains so that a proper compensatory mechanism can be made to reward CFUGs according to their contribution in improving the environment. A community Forestry Fund can help in regenerating forests and creating livelihood oppor­tunities for users. The resources generated from carbon trading and environ­mental services can be placed into the fund.

As this account suggests, CFUGs could become a vanguard innovator for improved natural resource management in Nepal, building on the energies released by the communitarian movement since 1990. The constitution of CFUGs has provisions for intervening to improve the livelihoods of the poor.

CFUGs By-laws That Help the Poor

The challenges of community forestry in Terai

In Terai, a very dry region in  Southern Nepal , the forest cover is being depleted by farming in both the hills and the Indian part of the fertile Gangetic plain. Terai is home to people of Indian origin, an indigenous population called Tharus and people who migrated from hills. This mix of people of different communities makes collective action more difficult. Even though the state owns large blocs of forests, it cannot monitor and enforce usage, and so the forests are essentially open-access areas that anyone can use, especially in the North along the Churia and Shivalik mountain range. Most of the deforestation has occurred in state forests that have considerable quantities of hard wood of high commercial value. Saving Tarai forests is important because it will control river erosion and diminish the chances of flooding in Nepal and  Northern India .

Community forestry offers a different, more positive model than conventional approaches. It is concentrated in a few areas where village communities are strong because of traditional bonds of trust and reciprocity due to people’s similar ethnic backgrounds. Saving the Terai forest would require new incentive mechanisms for jointly involving people in the management of state forests and helping those people who must be excluded from the forest to find alternative energy sources to substitute for firewood. A coordinated effort among forest agencies, local people, local bodies and other stakeholders will be required to turn the tide of forest destruction in Terai, which currently runs at a rate of 1 percent per year.

The federated organization of forestry user groups

As the number of community forest user groups grows, however, it is raising complex problems that need to be addressed. CFUGs need stronger legislative and policy support, for example. This is difficult to achieve, however, because frequent changes in government and other political instability often result in policy changes that interfere with CFUGs’ forest management and disrupt the continuity of planning. More generally, the political establishment has not always been supportive of the community model of forest management.

To address some of these concerns, the Federation of Community Forestry User Groups (FECOFON) was set up in 1995 to protect the interests of community forestry groups and to enable a more hospitable policy environment. The Federation organizes exchange programs between various stakeholders and, in the face of anti-CFUG policies or actions, it organizes protest rallies to petition the government for change. In addition, the Federation represents the interests of community forests in international organizations and seeks to advance the global agenda of the community forestry movement. At the same time, it provides operational support to various community forestry user groups in their villages.

Promotion of renewable energy

The favorable institutional and policy environment created by the government as well as a new energy program have made alternative energy sources very popular in rural areas. Due to several donor-funded programs, the use of several technologies such as biogas, improved cook stoves, solar and micro-hydro has expanded. Thanks to subsidies and other support systems, several hundred thousand biogas and cook stoves have been installed, which has considerably reduced pressures on forests for wood fuel. Fuel costs for users have also gone down. With carbon trading mechanisms in place, some technologies such as biogas and micro-hydro have now entered into carbon markets and can expect stable and sustainable financial support in the future.

The need for institutional innovation

The rise of multiparty democracy in 1990 has increased citizen participation and institutional pluralism in all walks of life. Bottom-up initiatives have spurred several types of self-governing institutions for natural resource management, infrastructure, education, health and microfinance. In many instances the State has been instrumental in providing policy and legislative support to encourage such initiatives at the grassroots level. For example, the state has created autonomous structures to fund and support grassroots-based initiatives, such as the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), which was set up in 2004 with financial assistance from the World Bank. PAF has mobilized 14,000 community groups covering 500,000 poor households in the remote districts of Nepal to undertake activities that increase household income, build infrastructure, develop alternative energy systems and build community capacity. Community forestry has reached such a broad base that it needs to create a community forestry support fund that will focus on integrated natural management at the level of micro-watersheds. Such an autonomous fund could be shared between government and community forestry user groups in proportion to their contributions to carbon sequestration. The funds could come from forest revenues, income from provision for environmental services and carbon trading incomes.

The way forward

The record of CFUGs shows clearly that improved management of forests through community participation has the greatest benefits for the poor. We therefore need to move away from a conservation-based model to one that promotes sustainable livelihoods and focuses on food security, good nutrition, and improving quality of life of the poor. This is what we at Support for Poor Producers of Nepal (SAPPROS) are focusing on: participatory action research that can integrate management of land, forest and water at the community level. Farmers, users and beneficiary households all enable us to develop indicators of effectiveness, monitor progress and make improvements over time.


Shrikrishna Upadhyay (Nepal) is the Executive Chairman of SAPPROS Nepal. His most notable books are Pro-Poor Growth and Governance in South Asia–Decentralization and Participatory Development , and Economic Democracy through Pro-Poor Growth , winner of Right Livelihood Award, 2010. .

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Community Participation in Forestry

A Survey Analysis of Participation in a Community Forest Management in Nepal By Vishakha Maskey, Tesfa G. Gebremedhin and Timothy J. Dalton1 RESEARCH PAPER 2003-8 Selected paper for presentation at the Northeastern Agricultural Resource Economics Association, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, June 8-10, 2003 Key Words: Community forestry, Common property, User group, Caste system, Socio economic status, Participation. Abstract: The main objective of the study is to determine which socio-economic factors affect levels of individual participation in the “Ludi-damgade” community forest.

The empirical evidence for participation as a function of social status is obtained by using an ordered probit model. The model also estimates the marginal effects of socio-economic factors on different levels of participation suggesting how per unit change in such socioeconomic characters affects the level of participation. Results from the two-stage least squares model also verify that participation in forest management determines the level of benefits received from the community forest.

The study suggests that participation in common property resource management is based on the socio-economic profile of an individual and the level of participation is determined by the benefits obtained from the forest. The empirical results are expected to aid policy makers in empowering people of lower socio-economic status to understand the importance of community forest management in order to have equal distribution of benefits accrued by community forest. 1 Graduate Research Assistant, West Virginia University; Professor of Agricultural Economics, West Virginia University; and Assistant Professor, University of Maine

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A Survey Analysis of Participation in a Community Forest Management in Nepal Introduction In rural Nepal, forests play a vital role in the daily life of almost all-rural based people. There is a heavy dependence on forests for the basic household needs such as fodder, fuel wood and construction timber. Due to heavy dependency on forests for various purposes, forests have been under the threat of depletion throughout the country. Community forestry has become the most important program to conserve, manage and utilize forest resources in Nepal.

Community forestry management was followed by the Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (MPFS) in 1989, which was followed by ‘The Forest Act’ in 1993 and ‘Forest Rules’ in 1995 (Ojha and Bhattari, 2000). By early 1996, there were 3000 user groups, managing 200,000 hectares of forestland (Department of Forests, 1996). The community forestry program was implemented in response to the failure of the government to manage forests after nationalization in 1957 and the increased recognition of people’s right and capabilities to manage their forests.

In 1970, the focus of community forestry was reforestation of degraded lands, but recently the emphasis is on participatory management and rural development (Baral, 1993). Participatory approaches to forestry often aim at devolving decision-making rights and benefits in reference to forests to the rural populations, along with responsibilities for forest management. Devolution is based upon prediction of the greater efficiency of local resource management.

This efficiency stems from the local indigenous knowledge, lower transaction costs due to the proximity to the forest, and better decision making due to the internalization of social and ecological costs. Devolving control of the 1 forest benefits to local user groups mobilizes local labor into forest management, which secures the benefit from forest products to the user groups (Ribot, 1995). The community forest, a common property, is managed by the community. Participation in management, extraction and decision-making within the user group is a key to collective action.

However, participation is dependent upon many socio-economic factors as Nepal’s social structure is still based on a caste-system, gender, age and wealth with prevalent discrimination. Poor households do not benefit from community forests as much as affluent households because of product distribution decision by influential groups of people and also the opportunity cost of participation, which often yields disinterest in participation. Medium class households benefit the most in comparison to high and lower class households.

Upper class households are indifferent in community participation whereas poor people are suffering since they cannot afford to participate. Different levels of participation have been observed in community forest management. In collective action, levels of participation include attending meetings, participating in weeding the forest once a year, and decision-making in relation to forest management. Since Nepal is a patriarchal society, there are currently fewer women than men in the decision-making level of participation even though policy makers have encouraged more participation by women in recent years.

However, these assumptions may vary from one community forest to another as community differs in wealth and ethnic composition. The main objective of this study is, therefore, to examine the source of different levels of participation in community forest management. The specific objectives are: 1. To determine whether different levels of participation in the community forest management is a function of the socio-economic factors; 2 2. To identify whether benefits from the forest are the function of participation. The specific hypotheses formulated for analysis are: 1.

Individuals with greater landholdings have a higher level of participation in community forest; 2. Men participate more than women in community forestry activities; 3. Higher caste individuals participate more in community forestry than lower caste individuals; 4. Older individuals participate more in decision-making level than younger individuals and; 5. Higher socio-economic level and older men therefore benefit most from community forestry. Literature Review Community forestry in Nepal has been evolving towards the complete participatory management by user group, where the users utilize and manage forest resources.

The initial state was participatory conservation of environment through planting of trees which later developed into institutional development of community forest user groups where the forest management and resource control was undertaken by the user groups. Later the objective of community forestry expanded towards mobilization and empowerment of the user group towards development of the rural community. Well-defined property rights give users incentives to work on common property (Arnold, 1992). Property rights also give people incentive to adopt technology that increases long-term benefits.

This in turn gives resource users an incentive to improve the 3 resource through management, determining the equality in the accessibility of the resources (IFPRI, 1999). Meizen-Dick, R. ; Brown Lynn R. ; Feldstein, Hilary Sims; Quisumbling, and Agnes R. (1997) stated that property rights are based on age, gender, class, caste and intrahousehold characteristics. In order to motivate users to participate in the community forestry, users should have a right to extract products from the forest and exclude specific individuals who do not hold the rights.

According to Ostrom, E. (1997), collective action is affected by the size of the regime, dependency on the forest resources, and understanding of the value of the resource by users. Collective action is successful if users see high economic potential by the current activities. Users should have authority to determine harvesting rules and access without external influence. Baral (1993) stated that the ethnic composition, political ideology and culture within the community could create problems at the user group level.

In order to have a successful common property, every individual should have an equal level of participation in decision-making. Within common property resource management, participation of different interest groups is important to minimize the risk of excluding access to certain resource-poor groups of people (McAllister, 1999). According to the studies done by Ojha and Bhattarai (2000) and Agrawal (2000), poor households do not benefit from community forests as much as affluent households and are not very interested in community participation.

Poor households also have a high opportunity cost of participation as the time spent on participation could be used as labor for cash income. Medium class households benefit the most in comparison to high and lower class households. Upper class households are indifferent as they have low 4 opportunity cost of participating in the management. However, the research done by Ojha and Bhattarai (2000) was based only on qualitative data. Their statistical analysis was general and did not suggest any causal relationship.

Another study done by Sharma (2002) suggested that there was no caste and wealth discrimination within the distribution of forest products and that the benefit from the community forests was equally distributed to all user groups. According to Dick and Knox (2001), all members of the community group need to have equal participation in management in order for economically disadvantaged groups to receive benefits. Equal participation is necessary to create effective and equitable management for collective decision-making, which ensures equal benefits for all user groups.

Demand for forest products also affects participation in community forest management. Involvement in community forest management practices is necessary to have access to desired forest products and to bring success to the community forestry project (Devkota, 1998). It is important to understand the various perspectives involved in order to identify the successful outcomes. Different groups have different views about the outcomes and results from the participatory processes. However, taking account of the primary users of the community forestry is important.

In particular, consideration of low-income groups is essential to ensure an equitable outcome (McAllister, 1999). Involving minority groups and women in community forest management can enhance the productivity of the resource. A study done by Pokharel (2002) found that community forestry has been successful in achieving sustainable forest and community, however, gender and equity issues are yet another challenge. 5 Methodology To estimate community participation level as a function of social status and benefits received from the forest management, a two-stage model was constructed.

First, an ordered probit model is used to determine the effect of socio economic characteristics upon participation (Greene, 2000). Second, a linear regression model is used to identify the relationship between the benefits received from forest products and level of participation from the predicted level of participation. In the first model, participation is a function of age, caste, gender, and landholding. Level of education was dropped from the equation as it is determined by the caste and gender and is therefore highly correlated with those variables. Highly educated individuals tend to be male and from higher caste groups.

The equation to be estimated therefore is, Pi = ? 1Agei +[? 2Genderi + ? 3Brahmin2i + ? 4Chettrii + ? 5Newari + ? 6Magari +? 7Sarkii]+? 8LHi + ei Where, P= participation by individual in attendance, suggestion, discussion, and decision-making coded in an order of 1 for attendance, 2 for suggestion, 3 for discussion and 4 for decision-making. The ordered probit model is appropriate in this context because the levels of participation may be considered an ordinal ranking. This specification avoids treating the differences between levels as uniform, as with least squares regression.

The intercept is dropped in this equation to avoid singular matrix error from the dummy variable. 2 Bhramin, Chettri, Newar and Magar are the influential caste and Sarki is the untouchable caste. 6 LH= landholding, where landholding was converted into hectares from the local units such as ‘bigha’, ‘kattha’, ‘hal ko melo’, ‘ropani’ and ‘aana’ following the conventional conversion used in Nepal. Some categories of data were sorted out and set up as dummy variables. For gender dummy variable, 0 denotes female and 1 for male. Similarly, the ethnicity binary values were set to 1 if the individual was in a particular caste, and 0 otherwise.

As mentioned above, the ordered probit model was used because although the dependent variable is discrete, the multinomial logit or probit models would fail to account for the ordinal nature of the dependent variables (Greene, 2000, p. 875). The model is built around the latent regression in the same manner as the binomial probit model. However, the interpretation of the coefficient in the ordered probit model is quite unclear in the literature (Greene, 2000, p. 876). A two-stage linear model for the demand function was also constructed, which posits forest product benefits as a function of participation.

Participation was set as dummy variable of 1 if participating, 0 otherwise at four different levels of predicted participation from the previous ordered probit model. The intercept was dropped to avoid perfect collinearity. Each model was estimated using ordinary least squares regression: Fodder quantity3 = f(Mag, Dis, Sugg, Des), Fuel wood quantity = f( Mag, Dis, Sugg, Des) Timber quantity = f( Mag, Dis, Sugg, Des) Where, (Mag= help in management, Dis= Discussion, Sugg = suggestion, Des= decision-making). 3

The unit of fodder and fuel wood is in load and timber in cubic feet. 7 Survey data were used for analysis in the two models. A total of 443 households belonging to the community forest were divided into 4 clusters for sampling procedure according to their geographic location in the forest. From each cluster, 10 households were interviewed. A sample size of 10 percent of the sample frame from each cluster is representative of the status of the whole community (Fowler, 1993). An interview was conducted with 10 key informants for the information on overall management practices.

The key informants included the present members of users' committee, ex-members of users' committee, old and respected personalities of the community, and the staffs of District Forest Officer. In collecting the survey data, three questionnaires were developed. The questionnaires were developed in Nepalese language for the convenience of the respondents. The study gives strong emphasis to the qualitative and the quantitative aspects of the management condition of the forest by the user groups. The institutions such as Save the Children (US), Women Development Office (WDO), nd local institutions such as District Forest Office have contributed in raising people’s awareness and facilitated their participation. These factors could have changed the expected sign of the coefficient from the hypothesis which made the assumption that men participates more than women in community forestry. In the community forest management, the committee members for decisionmaking are determined by self-selection. This study cannot generalize the selection process to the whole country, since some areas determine committee members via lottery, open voting or the use of dice. Empirical Results and Analysis The empirical results of the ordered probit model are presented in Table1. The coefficient for age has a positive sign as expected and is significant at one percent indicating that older people tend to participate more in the community forestry program. This could be due to the fact that older people are retired and have free time to participate in meetings. The coefficient of gender is significant at five percent with a negative sign, which suggests that women participate more than men across the different level of participation.

In this specific area, participation of women in community forest management is enhanced due to the roles of various institutions. Table 1: Parameter Estimates for the Participation Ordered Probit Model Variables Age Gender Brahmin Chettri Newar Magar Sarki Landholding Log likelihood function Chi-squared No. Of observations Estimates 0. 47E-01* -1. 45** -1. 048 -1. 857*** -0. 809 -2023 -2. 65** 0. 223* -55. 87740 28. 77874 45 Standard error 0. 21E-01 0. 51 0. 909 1. 156 -0. 839 1. 394 1. 330 0. 688 * = Significant at 1% P-value 0. 028 0. 050 0. 249 0. 08 0. 40 0. 110 0. 046 0. 0012 ** = Significant at 5% *** = Significant at 10% 9 For ethnicity, Brahmin, Chettri, Newar and Magar were not significantly different from zero, which suggest that caste distinctions were not related to level of participation. This could be due to the fact that those three castes do not vary much with respect to wealth and ethnicity. However, Sarki was significant at five percent with a negative sign as expected. This suggests that as a member of the untouchable caste individuals on average tend to participate less.

The reason behind lesser participation of lower caste individual could be due to the time constraints as they can earn money as a labor instead of participating and also, they perceive less benefit from community forestry. Landholding was positive and statistically significant at one percent significant level as expected which supports the hypothesis that wealthy people are more likely to participate in higher levels of management. The assumption is that wealthier people has to maintain their influential status and perceive higher benefit with less opportunity cost of participation.

These results, therefore, suggest that socio-economic profile including age, gender, ethnicity, and wealth affects participation. The marginal effects of significant continuous explanatory variables on different levels of participation are presented in Table 2. Older people are involved in a higher level of decision-making and are less likely to involve in basic levels of attendance and discussion. Per year increase in age will decrease the general participation by 0. 6 percent and discussion by 1. 2 percent. Per unit increases in age, however increased in participation at suggestion and decision-making level by 1. percent and 0. 4 percent, respectively. 10 Table 2: Marginal Effects of the Ordered Probit Model Variable Age Landholding Attendance -0. 006 -0. 026 Discussion -0. 012 -0. 059 Suggestion 0. 014 0. 064 Decision-making 0. 004 0. 021 Individuals with less landholding participated in lower levels of participation such as attendance and discussion, but larger landholders participated more in suggestion and decision. In other words, per-hectare increases in land holdings increased participation in suggestion by 6. 4 percent and decision-making by 2. percent, but decreases in general participation by 2. 6 percent and in discussion by 5. 9 percent. The model did not give the precise marginal effect for ethnicity and gender because this approach is not appropriate for dummy variables (Greene, pp. 675, 1993). However, this analysis documented the expected marginal effects of age and landholding. Older individuals tended to participate in higher level of decision-making and same trend was seen for individuals with higher landholdings. The prediction of ordered probit model is illustrated in Table 3.

Table 3: Prediction of the Ordered Probit Model (Per level of participation) Predicted Actual Attendance Discussion Suggestion Decision-making Total Attendance 3 4 0 0 7 Discussion 3 2 2 0 7 Suggestion 1 6 18 4 29 Decision-making 0 0 1 1 2 Total 7 12 24 5 45 11 The model predicts 53 percent of the cases correctly. For attendance, 7 were predicted correctly out of 7, for discussion, 7 were predicted out of 12, for suggestion, 29 were predicted correctly out of 24 which is over prediction and for decision-making 2 were predicted correct out of 5 which is under predicted.

The parameter estimates for the second–stage of the two-stage model are presented in Table 4. The parameter estimates for the fodder consumption were significant and positive for all levels of participation. Therefore, the fodder consumption increases with the increasing level of participation. Similarly, fuel wood consumption was positive and significant, suggesting that consumption and participation are positively related. For timber consumption, the coefficients were statistically significant for suggestion but were insignificant for remaining participation level. This suggests that the equation could not xplain the relationship between timber benefits from the community forest and participation at lowest and highest level. Since timber is the most expensive forest product and the distribution is not normally distributed, the relationship could not explained. The model for fodder and fuel wood benefits have a high F-value compared to the critical F- value, suggesting that the explanatory variables also jointly account for variation of the dependent variables. The model also showed that the explanatory variables had significant individual effects on dependent variable.

Therefore, this model also satisfies the hypothesis that the fodder and fuel wood benefit from the forest is a factor of participation. However, the model could not explain timber benefit as a function of participation. 12 Table 4: Parameter Estimates for Received Benefits from Participation Variables Forest management Standard Error P-value Discussion Standard Error P-value Suggestion Standard Error P-value Decision-making Standard Error P-value R- Square F-Value (4, 41) Fodder quantity 1. 125 (0. 550) (0. 047)* 1. 5 (. 635) (0. 023)* 2. 21 (0. 289) (0. 00)* 2. 00 (1. 099) (0. 076)*** 64% 17. 7 * ** *** = = = Fuel wood quantity 21. 6 (10. 571) (0. 047)* 21. 5 (12. 21) (0. 086)*** 33. 9 5. 55 (0. 00)* 47. 5 (21. 14) (0. 030)** 55% 12. 42 Significant at 1% Significant at 5% Significant at 10% Timber quantity 14. 25 (28. 338) (0. 61) 4. 83 (32. 72) (0. 88) 39. 93 (14. 88) (0. 01)* 77. 5 (56. 68) (0. 179) 19% 2. 34 The result indicates that gender, landholding, age, and ethnicity were related to participation. It also shows that lower income individuals participated primarily in lower level activities and did not get as much benefit as individuals from the affluent groups.

According to findings from table 4, the second stage model identified that forest benefits were dependent upon participation level. Benefits increased with higher level of participation. Therefore, most of the rich individuals from higher castes received most of 13 the advantages from the forest. Lower caste and resource poor groups only received basic forest supplies of fuel wood and fodder, as they became more involved in basic levels of participation. Overall, the result showed that fodder and fuel wood benefits were not equally distributed among the users, and one of the reasons was different level of participation.

Conclusions Several conclusions about the factors affecting participation in common property management of forests are drawn from this study. The statistical results specified that age, gender, and household income had significant effects on participation in community forest management. Wealthy households are more likely to participate in higher levels of forest management whereas poorer households participated less. Individuals with higher landholdings are involved in a higher level of decision-making whereas individuals with less landholding participated in lower levels of participation.

Women are more involved in community forestry management than men. Lower caste individuals participated more in lower level of participation as opposed to higher caste individuals who participated in a higher level of decision-making. The user right was not equally distributed among different socio-economic groups. As such, community forestry in this region did not enable the lower income groups to increase their economic level despite the lower cost of forest products.

The disinterest of lower income and lower caste group can be resolved by allowing them to participate at higher level of participation and relieving them of those basic level duties. Emphasizing participation of resource poor groups in this way can result in an increased benefit for the future of community forestry, as the lower caste can being to improve their 14 socio-economic condition. Equal participation is necessary to create effective and equitable management for collective decision-making, which ensures equal benefits for all user groups.

Community forestry policy has been effective in providing rural society’s basic subsistence needs in Nepal. To achieve the level of poverty alleviation and desired economic development, high-income generating activities have to be implemented by empowering users of the forest. The results showed that poor and lower caste groups are still excluded from the decision-making level. Although this community forest seems to be successful in its management practices, there is not an equal distribution of property rights and benefits among different ethnic and wealth groups.

Implications for Future Research Future research should focus on the distribution of the most expensive forest product, timber, and try to resolve the conflicts that could be brought by the timber benefits. Since the model did not explain timber benefits with respect to participation, future research should identify other factors such as regulation of inspection, income and price as a function of timber benefits. Gender participation shows that women are participating more but at which level of participation is yet to be identified, as marginal effect could not calculate gender.

In order to alleviate poverty and achieve success in economic activities, there must be equitable distribution of property rights among all user groups regardless of their gender, ethnicity and economic profile. This study was conducted at only one community forest in the mid hills of Nepal and during a limited time period. As such, the results are constrained by the small sample 15 size and lack of survey data from other forest communities. The small sample size may not reflect the variability in the other Nepalese community forests. In addition, the interviews may also have had some anchoring effect.

One anchoring effect may be the gender of the interviewer (female). Respondents may present participation of women as greater than it is because the interviewer is female. Another anchoring effect may be the social status of the interviewer (student, not from untouchable caste) or the region of the interviewer’s home. It is difficult to determine the accuracy and reliability of respondent’s answers. Alternatively, respondents may present the outcomes of the community forestry as satisfactory to give the interviewer a positive impression of this region. 16 REFERENCES Agrawal, Arun; Ostrom, Elinor; 1999.

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Survey Research Methods, Second Edition. Applied Social Research Methods Series, Volume 1. Gajurel, Deepak, 1999. Government Plans to Cut Nepal's Lowland Forests Environment News Service. http://forests. org/archive/asia/planscut. htm Gautam, Krishna Hari; December 1991. Indigenous forest management systems in the hills of Nepal. A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Science of the Australian National University. 17 Greene, William H. , 1993 and 2000. Econometric Analysis, 2nd and 4th edition, Prentice Hall, New Jersey. Gilmour, 1992. Management of forests for ocal use in the hills of Nepal, Changing forest management paradigms. Readings in social forestry and natural resource management for Nepal. Research support series no 10, November 1992. Hobley, Mary, 1996. Participatory forestry: The process of change in India and Nepal. Rural Development Forestry Study Guide 3. Karki, Sameer, Rana, Sita, and Chand Smriti, 1997. A baseline Social Survey of Forest User Groups Involved in a Community Sawmill at Chaubas. Discussion Paper, Nepal Australia Community Forestry Project, Sanepa. Knox McCulloch, A. , Meinzen-Dick, R. and P. Hazell; 1998. Property Rights, Collective Action and Technologies for Natural Resource Management: A conceptual Framework. ” SP-PRCA Working Paper No. 1. Washington: IFPRI. Knox, A. and Meinzen-Dick, R, 2001. Collective Action, Property Rights, and Devolution of Natural Resource Management: Exchange of knowledge and implications for Policy, A workshop Summary Paper, CAPRi Working Paper No. 11. CGIAR Systemwide Program on Property Rights and Collective Action, IFPRI. Lanly, J. P. ; FAO. Sustainable forest management: lessons of history and recent developments. Lee, Robert G. ; Field, Donald R. ; Burch, William R. Jr; 1990.

Community & Forestry: Continuities in the Sociology of Natural Resources. Social Behavior and Natural resources series, Westview Press. Maharjan, 1998. “The flow and distribution of costs and benefits in the Chuliban Community forest, Dhankuta District, Nepal”. Rural Development Forestry Netwrok- Network Paper 23e. Mahat, Applegate and Gilmour , 1987. Management of forests for local use in the hills of Nepal, Changing forest management paradigms. Readings in social forestry and natural resource management for Nepal. Research support series no 10, November 1992. Malla Y. B. , Sustainable Use of Communal Forests in Nepal, 1997.

Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Reading, UK. Journal of World Forest Resource Management, Vol. 8, pp 51-74. McAllister, Karen, 1999. Understanding Participation: Monitoring and Evaluating process, outputs and outcomes. International Development Research Centre. 18 McKean, Margaret A. ; 2000. Common Property: What is it, what is it good for, and what makes it work? Forest-Management Institutions in the Kumaon Himalaya, India. People and Forests, Communities, Institutions, and Governance. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England.

Meizen-Dick, R. ; Brown Lynn R. ; Feldstein, Hilary Sims; Quisumbling, Agnes R. ; May1997. Gender, Property Rights, and Natural Resources, Food Consumption and Nutrition Division (FCND) Discussion paper No. 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Molnar, August, 1992. Forest conservation in Nepal: Encouraging women’s participation. Readings in social forestry and natural resource management for Nepal. Research support series no 10, November 1992. Ojha and Bhattarai, 2000. Distributional impact of community forestry, who is benefiting from Nepal’s Community forests?

Forest Action Research Series, 00/01. Ojha, Hemant, 1997. Silviculture in Community Forestry: Conceptual and Practical Issues Emerging from the Middle hills of Nepal. Nepalnet/forestry. Ostrom, E. ; Schroeder Larry; Wynne Susan; 1993. Institutional Incentives and Sustainable Development, Infrastructure Poicies in Perspective. Theoretical Lenses on Public Policy, Westview Press. Palit, S; 1996. Comparative Analysis of Policy and Institutional Dimensions of Community forestry in India and Nepal. Mountain Natural Resources, Discussion Paper Series No. MNR 96/4. ICIMOD. Pokharel Ridish K. , 1999.

Ban Godne Practice: A Major Activity in Community Forests. Institute of Foresty, Pokhara, Nepal. Pokharel, Bharat K. , 2002. Contribution of Community Forestry to People’s Livelihoods and Forest Sustainability: Experience from Nepal. World Rainforest Movement. Paper presented in the Regional Workshop on Adaptive Collaborative Management Sept 26-27, 2002, Bangkok Ribot, Jesse; 1995. From Exclusion to Participation: Turning Senegal’s Forestry Policy Around? Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Schmincke, K. H. , Forest industries: crucial for overall socio-economic development. Unasylva 182.

Schmink, Marianne. The Socio-economic Matrix of Deforestation. 19 Sharma, U. R. ; 1993. Community forestry: some conceptual issues. Banko Janaakari, A journal of forestry information for Nepal, Vol. 4, No. 1, March, 1993. Sharma, A. R. 2002. Community Forestry from Wealth and Caste Perspective: Elivra Graner in the Dock. Paper presented at " The Commons in an Age of Globalisation. " the Ninth Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, June 17-21, 2002 Swallow, Brent M. ; 2000. The multiple products, functions and users of natural resource system. 20

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Summary of Not Nothing: Class 12 Optional English

Sir roger at assizes: summary and theme: class 12 optional english, summary of the poem kidnapped by ruperake petaia: class 12 optional english.

Your All Notes

NEB Class 11 New Compulsory English Unit 7 Ecology and Development Foresters without Diplomas Exercise

Your All Notes

Unit 7 Ecology and Development

Foresters without diplomas.

Exercise from the Book: 

Ways with words Page: 66

Page: 66/67

Comprehension Answer these questions.

a) What did Maathai decide to do for the community?

Ans : She  decided to create jobs for them: cleaning their constituency, planting trees and shrubs, cleaning homes of the richer people in the communities, and getting paid for those services.

b) Mention the problems faced by women in Kenya.

Ans : Women were facing problems of firewood, malnutrition, lack of food and adequate water, unemployment, soil erosion.

c) Why did the speaker go to the women to talk about planting trees?

Ans : She went to the women to talk about planting trees to overcome  problems like  the lack of firewood and building and fencing materials, stopping soil erosion, protecting water systems.

d) What is the most important achievement of the movement described in the text?

Ans : The most important achievement of the movement described in the text is that  the women were now independent, had acquired knowledge, techniques and had become empowered.

e) Why were the foresters’ ways not helpful to the women for planting trees?

Ans :  The foresters proved to be very complicated because they have diplomas; they have complicated ways of dealing with a very simple thing like looking for seeds and planting trees.

f) When and how did she start The Green Belt Movement?

Ans :  She started on World Environment Day, June 5, 1977. They started  by  planting the first seven trees of Nandi flames.

g) Why do the donors want to provide money to the women?

Ans : Donors want to provide money to the women because their efforts are providing results.

h) What happened when the speaker criticized the political leadership?

Ans : When the speaker criticized the political leadership she has been portrayed as subversive.  So, she felt constrained.

i) Mention the agencies that supported her movement?

Ans : Her movement is supported by the following agencies:

1.the United Nations Development Fund for Women

2. the Danish Voluntary Fund

3. the Norwegian Agency for International Development

4.the African Development Foundation

NEB Class 11 New Compulsory English Unit-7 Grammar Prefix and Suffix Chapter: Ecology and Development Foresters without Diplomas

 Critical thinking

A) Do you think that the title “Foresters without Diplomas” is suitable to the essay? How?

Yes, the title is suitable because the foresters proved to be very complicated for them because they have diplomas. But the women learned to plant the trees without any help. They used their common sense and day to day technique. They became successful without any help from others. So, the title justifies that a person can make a difference in a society as well as in the world without diplomas. It means that practical knowledge is far better than theoretical knowledge.

The foresters came to show the women how to plant trees.  They have complicated ways of dealing with a very simple thing like looking for seeds and planting trees. So eventually they taught the women to just do it using common sense and they did. They were able to look for seeds in the neighborhood, and learn to recognize seedlings as they germinate when seeds fall on the ground. Women do not have to wait for anybody to grow trees. They are really foresters without a diploma.

B) Can a person make a difference in a society? Discuss with an example from a person who has made a difference in your society.

Ans: Yes, a person can make a difference in a society. If a person starts a certain goal with passion then he/’she can change the whole world. A person should start from himself/herself to bring change in the world. In my village there is a person whose name is Birendra Sharma. He doesn’t have formal education. He started vegetable farming in his farm without having prior knowledge of vegetable farming. He wanted to bring change in his society by doing organic vegetable farming. He wanted to make people aware about the effects of pesticides on vegetables. At the beginning, he planted vegetables to feed his family.

Later on, he started selling it from his own farm. People started to visit farming. People were eager to learn the technique. They not only sold his organic vegetables but also taught his unique methods to his villagers. He became famous in his village. Media also became interested in his farming. He told everything about his farming to media. He talked about the dangerous methods that farmers are using to cultivate crops which can affect our health. He also discussed about what is organic farming and its importance.  He became a national hero with his unique technique of using day to day things for organic farming.

A) Write an essay on ‘The Community Forest in Nepal’. Describe how these community forests have contributed to maintain ecology in our environment.

Ans: Community forests of Nepal are helping to preserve ecology in our environment. It is also fruitful to decrease deforestation as well as land degradation in Nepal. It is a key tool to preserve biodiversity. Nepal has passed three decades of community based forest management practices. It is a model of community governance.

The local communities are involving in forest management. The main goal of it is to ensure forest products to locals as well to stop locals to misuse it.  It will eventually help to maintain ecology in future. It will increase biomass, flora and fauna and carbon stock. It will decrease land use and increases land area covered by forests. Wild animals are increasing day by day because of the concept of community forests in Nepal. It will preserve natural resources and forest ecosystem. It has increased the community people’s right, decision making power and women empowerment.

In a nutshell, it has contributed in species diversity, ecological diversity and genetic diversity. It is improving forest condition and biodiversity than past. Community people are directly involved in their own community forest management. It makes them feel that it is their own forest maintain, control and use by them. So, it is very fruitful to maintain ecology.

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3.1. Status and trends of forest resources 3.2. Policies and institutions 3.3. Environmental initiatives, protected areas and wildlife resources 3.4. Wood energy 3.5. Wood based industries 3.6. Non-wood forest products 3.7. Forests as service industry
Adapted from (MPFS, 1988)
3.2.1. Policies 3.2.2. Institutions
a) Production and Utilization · The forest resource to be managed and utilized for the basic priority products of fuelwood, fodder, timber, and medicinal plants. · Forests near villages to be managed with the people's participation.
· Land and forest resources to be managed and utilized according to their ecological capability so as to conserve the forests, soil, water, flora, fauna and scenic beauty.
· The principles of decentralization policy to be applied in the forestry sector by community forestry as the priority forest management strategy. · If the availability of forest land exceeds the needs of the local communities, the excess will be allocated for forest management in the following priority sequence: people living below the poverty line, small farmers and forest-based industries. · Emphasis will be given to the multiple utilization of land for integrated farming systems by strengthening soil conservation and watershed management, agroforestry and other related activities.
· Establishment of private forests on leased and private land to be promoted. · The Government to lease land to forest based enterprises for growing raw materials. New industries to be established only if their plans for the production and acquisitions of raw materials are acceptable to the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.
· Department of Forest · Department of Soil Conservation · Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation · Department of Plant Resources.
· Nepal Rosin and Turpentine Industry · Herb Production and Processing Company · Forest Products Development Board · Forest Research and Survey Centre Development Board.
· National Park: an area set aside for conservation, management and utilization of flora and fauna together with the natural environment. · Strict Nature Reserve: an area of ecological significance set aside for scientific study. · Wildlife Reserve: an area set aside for the conservation of animal and bird resources and their habitats. · Hunting Reserve: an area set aside for the management of animal and bird resources for hunting purpose. · Conservation Area: an area managed for the sustainable development of human and natural resources.
Adapted from MPFS (1988).
3.5.1. Timber Harvesting 3.5.2. Sawmilling 3.5.3. Furniture industry 3.5.4. Plywood 3.5.5. Wooden handicrafts 3.5.6. Papermills
Adopted from MPFS (1988).
Adapted from MPFS (1988)
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Community Forestry in Nepal a Model of Community Governance

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The issue of forest management in Terai has been debated for many years. Being an economically valuable forest, it is always exploited for power and economic benefits. Though the Government of Nepal through policies and management prescriptions has made several attempts in order to properly manage Terai forest for its best value, Terai forestry is highly debated due to its complexity, geo-political context and controversies over government policies. Many forestry programs have been implemented but ultimately failed, due to the lack of consultation and ignoring the role of the local people in forest management. Despite the success of CF in the mid-hills, Terai forests were management by government because of the heterogeneous community, large forest blocks and access to the market. Hence, Forest Sector Policy (2000) identified the Collaborative Forest Management by involving local and distance users including local and central government. There is still no broad agreement on the fundamental issues concerning the Terai forestry that need to be addressed. As the national policy debates are now increasingly considering the issues of Terai forest governance, it is crucial time to capture learning from grassroots level innovations as an opportunity to inform these policy processes, as well as wide scaling out.

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