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Opportunities and challenges of adopting community forestry: a case study of Nepal

Rajesh Bista, Anup Gurung, Rahul Karki, Shanti Shrestha, Dharam Raj Uprety

Abstract


This study aims to investigate the dynamics of forest management handed over to the local user groups in three districts of Nepal with due consideration of local-specific conservation and development requirements. A total of 384 households were interviewed in 24 community forest user groups covering three geographical regions of Nepal. The research findings revealed that there are multiple unresolved issues and challenges in all areas of capital and governance about the community forestry. Poor and marginalized households are inferior and vulnerable, and have less access to forest resources and decision making. In all the study areas, the higher caste holds the supreme power pertaining to community forests and financially weak households are often excluded from the developmental programs. Furthermore, national forest policies are slow to respond change, which become barrier in proper forest management and utilization. The research findings revealed that various types of inputs and services are needed to achieve the dual goals of environmental conservation and poverty alleviation as envisaged by Nepal’s sustainable development framework.


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