Nepal’s Community Forest in the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy
Submitted to the Asian Solidarity Economy Council, on the occasion of the 5th RIPESS International Meeting of SSE, Manila, Philippines, October, 15-18, 2013.
5ème rencontre du RIPESS Manila’13 - Bâtir l’économie sociale solidaire comme un modèle alternatif de développement - Manille, Philippines, 15-18 octobre 2013: Atelier : les expériences de l’ess dans les territoires
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High exploitation and privatization of forest during 1846 to 1950 AD resulted to the massive destruction of forest in Nepal. To cope and to lessen the huge destruction, 55 years back (1957AD) government started first and foremost action against deforestation and towards forest conservation. All private forests (PFs) were nationalized at the time envisaging that the action will lead to scientific conservation and sustainable management of forest. Even though misinterpretations in the government’s objective among general public accentuated destruction of the forest resources. Other many cornerstones were grafted to reduce deforestation and to increase sustainable utilization of forest resources of Nepal. Meanwhile, Forest Act 1961, National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act (1973), Master Plan for Forestry Sector (1988), Forest Act (1993), Forest Regulation (1995) and many other came into action.
Envisaging and knowing the significance of participation of community in forest management, Forest Act, 1993 divided forests into two main categories (a) Private Forests and (b) National Forests. Further divisions of the national forests as per the act are: Government Managed Forest, Protected Forest, Religious Forest, Leasehold Forest, and Community Forest. The act defines Community Forests a National Forest handed over to an users’ group for its development, conservation and utilization for the collective interest. Community forestry (CF) program was specifically formulated with the objectives of meeting subsistence forestry needs of local people and lessen environmental degradation by transferring user rights and letting the use of benefits accrued from forest resources (Gautam 2009).
At present, there are 1,664,918 hactares of forest land is handed over to the community.
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