‘Consumers not making most of forest resources’

- SHIVA SHARMA, Kaski

Jul 17, 2014-

Consumers have not been able to maximise the ultilisation of forest resources due to the failure of proper management, said office bearers of Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN).

The consumers should be benefiting more from forests,” said FECOFUN Chairman Ganesh Karki.

After the government put a ban on exporting forest resources three years ago, consumers are compelled to use them as means of sustenance and not for commercial purposes, Karki said.

Medicinal herbs, timber and fodder could generate a sizable income, lifting people out of poverty if commercially utilised,” said Bir Bahadur Khanal Chhetri, assistant professor at the Institute of Forestry in Pokhara. Around 80 percent of income is generated from timbers, even when its export is not allowed, he claimed. During his study on community forests in Gorkha and Kaski, he concluded that forests are getting more dense in mountainous regions while deforestation is rampant in Tarai.

According to a data with the FECOFUN, an estimated Rs 2 billion income is generated from community forests across the country every year.

Another study conducted by an NGO, Forest Action Nepal, projected the forest resources to be worth 27 billion each year. The study jointly carried out by Naya Sharma Poudel, Gobinda Poudel, Rahul Karki and Dil Bahadur Chhetri said, “Economic opportunities through community forests have not been taken into account,” adding that a separate study is required to data the number of timbers felled, its market price and the number of employment it has generated.

The available data said 25 percent forest area is covered by community forests and around 1.5 million households across the country are dependent on them.

Published: 18-07-2014 08:50

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