by Area Forester Manij Upadhyay
About a year ago, I transitioned from working in the Department of Forests in Nepal as a forest officer to the Virginia Department of Forestry. Here, I want to share some information about the community forest management system of Nepal, which is the most common practice.
Nepal is a beautiful landlocked country with a total population of 28.98 million people. The country covers a total of 56,827 sq. miles of land, which is approximately 40.4 percent forested.
The country is divided into three major geographic regions: the High Himalayas, the Middle Hills and the Lowland Terai. The elevation ranges from 230 feet above sea level to 29,028 feet. Two-thirds of the population live in the rural areas of Nepal and depend on agriculture and forestry for their daily livelihood. In these rural communities, firewood is the major source of energy to cook food. Also, rural people have to cut, collect and carry their firewood and livestock’s fodder and bedding materials from nearby forests.
As a celebration of social forestry initiatives in Indonesia, a festival showcasing stories of community-managed forests around the archipelago was held in Jakarta last week by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
The event took place more than a year after the launch of the Indonesian government’s ambitious program targeted at allocating 12.7 million hectares of forests to be managed by communities through social forestry schemes, as well as forming partnerships for collaborative forest management.The target has been part of the government’s five year plan (2015-2019), which means that there should be more than 2.5 million hectares of forests allocated for communities each year.