Collaborative forest mgmt approach scientific, say users

Collaborative forest mgmt approach scientific, say users

Jul 19, 2015-

A pilot project run to introduce collaborative forest management approach in Rupandehi has helped locals reap economic, social and environmental benefits in the past four years.

The Lumbini colloborative forest spread over 1,321 hectares is successfully managed by over 25,000 households in collaboration with the government. Unlike community-owned and leasehold forests, new approach focuses on sustainability, productivity and equity empowering consumers to manage forests scientifically. The users can prone mature trees, fell old ones and replace them with new saplings so that they can be involved in the whole process and contribute to the regeneration and sustainability of the forests.

“Earlier, we were only focusing on protecting forests by not cutting down the dead and matured trees,” said Jabi Ullah Khan, chairperson of the collaborative forest user committee. “The introduction of the scientific forest management approach has enabled us to reap economic, social and environmental benefits. It has demonstrated that natural resources, including forest, are public property and everyone should be allowed to reap the benefits for contributing to their management.”

The scientific forest management approach is piloted in some areas in Tarai by the government to achieve multitude of benefits associated with conservation efforts. While some forest experts have stressed on the need of scientific and sustainable forest management, the Nepal Foresters’ Association has shown serious concern over the new approach arguing that it is likely to promote haphazard cutting down of trees in lack of proper monitoring.

According to Indra Prasad Pachhai, district forest officer in Rupandehi, the income generated by cutting down dead, old and unproductive trees is shared between the government and local users.

Published: 19-07-2015 08:23

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