DFO for turning community forests into protected forests

- Tika Prasad Bhatta, Manthali
DFO for turning community forests into protected forests

Jan 14, 2015-

Following rampant deforestation in community forests which has seriously threatened bio-diversity in the region, the District Forest Office (DFO) in Ramechhap has forwarded a proposal to turn the community forests into protected forest areas.

The DFO claimed that the implementation of the proposal to merge 38 community forests in Ramechhap and neighbouring district and turn them into protected forest area would prove substantial in conserving the bio-diversity and medicinal herbs found aplenty in the forests.

A team led by Chief District Officer Shambhu Prasad Marasini had a couple of days ago proposed to turn the community forests in the district into protected forest area, and claimed that it was the only viable option to keep a close check on the rampant deforestation going on in the region.  This proposal immediately prompted the Ramechhap DFO to take up its own proposal to turn the community forests into protected forests.

However, due to disproportionate human to forest ratio, locals have failed to conserve the forests on their own.  The destruction of the forested areas has been on the rise with each passing year, while the tendency of locals to encroach upon forest land with an excuse to build animal sheds or securing grazing land for their livestock has only helped encourage timber smugglers, the DFO stated.

According to DFO official Kedar Nath Gautam, even if the forests are turned into protected forest area, their management will be handed over to the local community council that will have active participation of representatives from various organisations under the leadership of VDC chairperson. Gautam said that they intend to promote eco-tourism, poverty reduction and conduct various programmes aimed at benefiting the society through such forest projects.

On the other land, locals from Duduwa, Doramba and Tikapur VDCs complain that the concerned authorities have been indifferent to the problems vexing them despite frequent requests to come up with definite solutions.

Published: 15-01-2015 09:54

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