Institutional Changes in Forest Resource Management and Change in Forest Coverage in Nepal <Article>
JIDC_13-1_231.pdf 619 KB
Joshi, Narendra Mangal
Maharjan, Keshav Lall
This paper explores the different institutions that have been evolved or brought up in Nepalese forest management history according to different policies of the state and its implication on local institutions to manage forest resource, and provide coverage of forest resource in different periods of time. It shows that the forest management policy of state was changing and local institutions were also changing to fill the gap of formal institutions. Before 1957 the state government's policy was focused on conversion of forestlands to farmland, and extraction of timber for export. After nationalization of the forests in 1957 policies were oriented towards national control of forest through strict rules and regulations by expanding forest bureaucracy. But it failed, as evidenced by widespread deforestation during 1960s and early 1970s, due to lack of organizational capacity, clear vision and plan. It argued that in local level nationalization of forests lead to develop forest firing system, open access to forest and other local institutions. From late 1970s the state tried to resolve the problem through reforestation and conservation through the local people participation with the help of donor agencies. It helped local people to empower themselves later on. Such participations were transformed into community participation forming users group in the management of forests in the community forest program. It was backed up by lots of training, conservation awareness campaigning, and so on. During that time conflicting collaborative management institution for open access system was developed among the central government, local villagers and local government. After enactment of National Forest Act 1993 and Forest Plan 1995 the community forestry program in Nepal increased aided by government investment and incentives, and civil society. The villagers also adapted following their traditions of community participation.