Govt to celebrate four decades of conservationThe government is celebrating the first community forestry day on Tuesday at the national level to mark the contributions made by the local communities in protecting and managing forests for over four decades.
The government is celebrating the first community forestry day on Tuesday at the national level to mark the contributions made by the local communities in protecting and managing forests for over four decades.
Nepal’s community forestry programme, which now covers all 75 districts with 18,960 community forest users groups, is hailed as one of the successful forest management regimes both at the national and global levels, transforming the once degraded and deforested forestland, particularly in the mid-hills and mountains, to green forest cover since its inception in early 1980s.
“People’s participation in management and conservation of forests through the community forestry approach has been a success in improving the forest cover,” said Ganesh Jha, acting director general at the Department of Forests.
The government initiated the community-based forest management approach in 1978 and implemented the first community forestry project in 1980, covering 29 districts, mostly in the mid-hills and the mountains.
Speaking at a programme at a programme on the eve of the community forestry day, Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation Uday Chandra Thakur said the community forestry should contribute towards improving the socio-economic condition of local communities dependent on forest resources for their day-to-day life and other economic opportunities.
The ministry in association with the Federation of Community Forestry Users’ Nepal (Fecofun) and local communities are organising various programmes, including sapling plantation, rallies and awareness campaigns across the country to celebrate the event on Tuesday.
On Monday, Fecofun organised plantation programmes in three dozen districts, including Bhaktapur, Kaski, Morang, Dhankuta, Palpa and Jhapa.
“The government should prioritise community forestry as national-pride programme,” said Fecofun Chairperson Ganesh Karki, urging the government to adopt policies and programmes and master plan to address concerns of the community forestry.