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Forest Tenure Reform in Nepal: Community Forestry on the Move Keshav Raj Kanel Nepal.

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Presentation on theme: "Forest Tenure Reform in Nepal: Community Forestry on the Move Keshav Raj Kanel Nepal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forest Tenure Reform in Nepal: Community Forestry on the Move Keshav Raj Kanel Nepal

2  Country Background  Rational and Evolution of Community Forestry  Forest Tenure and Governance in CFUGs  Major Achievements  Lessons Learned  Conclusions

3 China India High Mountain Middle Hills Churia Hills Terai High Himal China India High Mountain Middle Hills Churia Hills Terai High Himal China

4 Cross Section of Physiographic region in Nepal

5 ParameterUnitStatus Total populationnumber27 million Literate populationpercent54.1 Population dependent on agriculturepercent6 Total land areahectare14.7 million Total forest areapercent39.6 Total arable landpercent21 Contribution of Ag and Forestry to GDP ($ 12 Billion) Percent32

6  Integrated farming system with forestry as an important component  Nationalization alienated the local people from forests  Forest agency was not capable to conserve and manage the forests  Dilemma in forest management ◦ Who has the access and control over the forest? ◦ How to regulate the extraction of forest products?  Forests became de-facto Open access Resource leading to accelerated D and D

7  Hills and Mountains had some crude form of local participation in forest management before nationalization  It was not democratic, but had a system of people guarding the forests, and control over the harvest of the forest products  Some of the champions of forest officials were tired of being blamed, and were looking for ways to involved local people in forest management – Support from the politicians  Learning by doing led to the present model of CF

8  Before 1957: Some forests were administered as private property  1957 - 1990: Forest was controlled as state property  Private forest nationalized  Concept of participatory forestry emerged (1978)  Some form of forest management rights deconcentrated to local political bodies  1991 onward: Forests have been managed by the community as Community Forest  Forest Act, 1993 and Forest Regulations, 1995 provided conducive environment to devolve management rights to CFUGs.


10 Community Forest is the part of the National Forest handed over to the Community Forest User Group (CFUGs) for its development, protection and utilization. Land belongs to the government Use and management of CF by the CFUG Regulation by CFUG and DFO CF is the high priority program

11  Forest Act and Forest Regulations Provide the Framework of Forest Tenure  New Community Forest Program Guidelines (2009) Further Elaborates the Rights of the CFUGs  CFUG is Registered at the District Forest Office  Group of traditional forest users (HHs) adjoining a forest  They have a charter of association  Users have Access, Withdrawal, Use and Management Rights, but not the right over the land

12  General Assembly of the Users makes major decisions to be implemented by Exe. Committee  Inventory of Forest is taken with the Assistance of DFO  Operation Plan (OP) of CF is Prepared by CFUG with the Support of DFO Front Line Staff  The OP is a Contract Between CFUG and DFO. It is of 5 to 10 Years Duration.  Forest Management Schedules are Performed by CFUG as Per the OP  Sales and Distribution of Forest Products Done by CFUG

13  CFUG has a Fund From the Sale of Forest Products and others. It is Used for Forest Management (25%), Livelihood Promotion (35%), and Community Development.  Annual Report has to be Given to DFO.  DFO is the Gate Keeper of Forest. Can take Various Actions Against the CFUG and Its Members.  FECOFUN is Strong in Advocating the Rights of Forest Users

14  OP approval by DFO  Joint signature (DFO & Chairperson of CFUG) Review and Revision User group formation Forest & User Identification Constitution preparation CFUG Registration Operational plan preparation Forests Handover Implementation  HH visit  Tole Meeting  Interest Group Meeting General Assembly  Social Mapping  Well Being Ranking Approval by DFO  Tole Meeting  Interest Group Meeting  Social survey  Forest demarcation  Forest Resource Inventory  General Assembly  Training/Study tour  Technical support  Financial support  Monitoring & Evaluation  Feedback  Participatory mapping  Transect walk CFUG Formation and CF Hand Over Process

15 Networks Established Local Bodies Poor NRM sector Line agencies Women NPC CFUG Federation Universities Nations Media Global National District Local Dalit FUGs NGOs Federation Service center


17  Total number of CFUG = 14,439  Number of women only CFUG = 795  Households involved = 1.66 mill. HH (39 % of the total population )  Total area of community forests handed over = 1.23 mill. ha (30 % of the total national forest)  Total area of community forests managed by women leadership only = 23,257 ha


19 Jiri after 32 years 1968 2000 Learning From the Past

20 All typesSal forestKatus-chilaune forest Pine forest Biomas s CarbonBiomas s CarbonBiomassCarbonBiomas s Carbo n 1994193912421141999314367 200823210926012224911719089 % change + 21% + 7% + 25% + 33% Notes: Includes only ‘tree’ carbon (above and below ground) i.e. not shrubs/litter and soil organic C Conclusions All forest types have increased their biomass (and carbon) significantly from 1994-2008 Large differences between forest types e.g. Pine>Katus-chilaune>Sal

21 Capacity of the Users Strengthened

22 Eco-Tourism Promoted




26 Lessons Learned from Community Forestry

27  Unbundling the Functions of Forest Agency is Essential  Community Forestry is More an Institutional Building Process  CFUGs Responsible for Forest and Fund Management  Forest Agency Responsible for Monitoring and Regulation  Transferring Regulatory and Fiscal Rights to CFUG Brings Innovation and Motivation to Users

28  Reorientation of Forestry Staff, and Capacity Building to CFUG is Necessary  Reform is not a Linear Process, but is an iterative and muddling through Process  Reform and Partnership Building are Continuous Processes  Negotiations and Building Consensus Among Forest Agency, CFUGs is Important to Change the Role of Forest Agency

29  Forest Condition Improves with CF  Contribution to Livelihood – Questionable  Community is not Homogeneous, - Inclusion of Decision Making and Benefit Sharing a Challenging Task for Governance  Contextual Factors are Important in CF Management

30 The Significant Problems We Face Cannot Be Solved By The Same Level of Thinking That Created Them Albert Einstein Conclusion

31 Thank You

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