Print Edition - 2014-10-17 | Nation
Community forest comes as a boon for Dang folk
Oct 16, 2014-
Indrajit Chaudhary, chairman of Nawadurga Community Forest Users’ Group (CFUG) at Tulsipur in the district, is working hard to conserve the forests in the district as per a five-year plan he has devised to sustainably manage and conserve them. Chaudhary has been encouraged to be involved in this noble task by the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which awards individuals and CFUGs for conserving forest and storing forest carbon stocks.
Informing that many consumers are involved in conserving forests lately, Chaudhary said that bare hills are now covered with lush greenery in the district.
“Local people are now well aware of the value of the forests. They also know that they would be provided with money for storing forest carbon,” he said, adding that local consumers are also benefiting from the forest in various ways. According to him, forests provide fuelwood, fodder for livestock and timber for construction for the local people and informed that some 3700 tree saplings have been planted in barren lands recently.
He said that some nine households living under the poverty line will be provided with free forest resources and four women and 18 men are engaged in jobs related to forests and trees.
Likewise, 22 CFUGs in Rampur and 16 CFUGs in Laxmipur are involved in storing forest carbon.
“They have formed a carbon fund in the VDC level by depositing more than Rs 400,000 each,” said Shovakar Sapkota, district chairman of Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN).
The Plan Vivo Foundation, an International company involved in carbon business, has registered the 38 forests in the district as ones that have been storing and selling forest carbon. The forests spread in an area of 9,670 hectares of land in the district store around 12,834 metric tonnes of carbon every year. Every ton of carbon costs anywhere between $ 6- $15 in the international market.
The CFUGs have also come up with a plan to utilise the money earned through the sale of carbon towards forest conservation, conservation of water sources, and devise climate change mitigation strategies, among others.
Furthermore, the Basantapur Community Forest at Laxmipur-4 has started rearing crocodiles in the forest area in a bid to attract nature lovers.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi, chairman of the Basantapur Community Forest Users’ Group, said that they have plans to construct a picnic spot, a temple, a fishing area and provide boating facility to tourists visiting the community forest.
Likewise, women in the district are also actively involved in conserving the forests. This is clear from the fact that altogether 64 community forests in the district are led by women. As part of their efforts to conserve forests in the district, they also regularly plant thousands of tree saplings, said Bhima DC, chairperson of Babai Women Community Forest Users’ Group in Dharna.
According to the District Forest Office, there are altogether 507 community forests in the district.
Published: 17-10-2014 09:16