Community Forestry in Nepal: A Policy Innovation for Local Livelihoods

Ojha, H and Persha, L and Chhatre, A (2009) Community Forestry in Nepal: A Policy Innovation for Local Livelihoods. Discussion Paper. International Food Policy Research Institute.

[thumbnail of DP.pdf] Text

Download (580kB)


The Community Forestry Program in Nepal is a global innovation in participatory environmental
governance that encompasses well-defined policies, institutions, and practices. The program addresses the
twin goals of forest conservation and poverty reduction. As more than 70 percent of Nepal’s population
depends on agriculture for their livelihood, community management of forests has been a critically
important intervention. Through legislative developments and operational innovations over three decades,
the program has evolved from a protection-oriented, conservation-focused agenda to a much more broadbased strategy for forest use, enterprise development, and livelihood improvement. By April 2009, onethird of Nepal’s population was participating in the program, directly managing more than one-fourth of
Nepal’s forest area.
The immediate livelihood benefits derived by rural households bolster strong collective action
wherein local communities actively and sustainably manage forest resources. Community forests also
became the source of diversified investment capital and raw material for new market-oriented livelihoods.
Community forestry shows traits of political, financial, and ecological sustainability, including emergence
of a strong legal and regulatory framework, and robust civil society institutions and networks. However, a
continuing challenge is to ensure equitable distribution of benefits to women and marginalized groups.
Lessons for replication emphasize experiential learning, establishment of a strong civil society network,
flexible regulation to encourage diverse institutional modalities, and responsiveness of government and
policymakers to a multistakeholder collaborative learning process.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Additional Information: The research paper was published by the author with the affiliation of University of Illinois.
Subjects: Economics
Socio Political System
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 15:04
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 15:04

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item