35% of Nepalese participate in community forestry, covering 25% of forest area

DESCRIBING APPROACH IN NEPAL "While the government still owns the land, decisions about forest management, income-generating activities, wildlife protection and forest harvesting are made by village residents through autonomous, self governing local institutions called Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs). These groups and their networks provide a model of democratic governance, community development and social inclusion. To date about 1.6 million households or 35% of the country’s population participate in the Community Forestry Programme, directly managing more than 1.2 million hectares (25% of the country’s forest area), improving forest coverage and conditions in these areas. Access to forests is vital as 69% of households use firewood as their primary cooking fuel and a wide range of nontimber forest products are harvested both for subsistence (as food, medicines, and utensils) and for sale.32 The law’s influence on livelihood security has also been a key success because more than 70% of Nepal’s population depend on livelihoods involving farming, forestry, and livestock.33 Communities retain 100% of revenues generated from their forests (estimated at over US $10 million a year34), and must designate a quarter of this income for development activities such as improving irrigation, the building of schools and health facilities and microfinance initiatives.35 Some of the best biodiversity protection results are being seen in community forests where clear management responsibility and local benefits from ecotourism have led to successful protection of the endangered rhinoceros and tigers in Chitwan National Park

World Future Policy, Future Policy Award, http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/fpa_2011.html [verified 4/15/14]

#environment #trees #forest #community