Kathmandu, November 28

Last week on November 17 Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Shankar Bhandari had appointed Man Bahadur Khadka as director general at the department of conservation.

Until then he was the regional director at eastern regional forest directorate and belonged to the General Forestry group under forestry ministry.

Similarly, on the first week of September, the minister appointed Krishna Prasad Acharya as director general at the department of Forest. He was serving as director general at DNPWC and he belonged to the research group.

These two appointments are examples of malpractice for they go against the rule which states that a candidate from the same group must be appointed director general.

The general forestry sector has expressed dissatisfaction accusing the minister of violating the rule.

There are six groups in forestry such as General Forestry, Soil and Water Conservation, Botany, National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Forest Research and Hattisar.

“Now there will be no relevance of technical group in the forest sector. If anyone can be appointed from any non-related sector as the head then why are different departments needed?” a frustrated forest officer told The Himalayan Times.

Now a non-general forestry group based person Krishna Prasad Acharya is operating the department of Forest where a general forestry based candidate is a must.

Similarly DNPWC is being led by a General Forestry-based person Man Bahadur Khadka where a candidate from the National Park and Wildlife Conservation group is a must.

Likewise Soil conservation and Watershed Conservation department is being led by the General Forestry group based DG Bijaya Raj Poudyal, where Soil Conservation group-based candidate is a must.

Forest Minister Bhandari had appointed Bijaya Raj Poudyal as director general at the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management in the last week of September. Until then, Poudyal was chief of Biodiversity and Environment Division at the ministry.

Among all five departments, Forest department is the largest as it covers around 75 per cent forest of Nepal.

With the goal of Nature Conservation, 20 protected areas were established in Nepal.

They cover landscapes and ecosystems from the himalayas and mountain watersheds to flood plains of the Tarai with a low representation in mid-mountain area. It is assumed that 80 out of 118 ecosystems of Nepal are covered by protected areas.

Nepal has been utilising its own resources, local community participation and related stakeholders for management and conservation of protected areas.

While managing conservation activity this way, DNPWC also has focused on programmes that provide support for the development of the local community. Tourism has also been an integral part of protected areas and efforts have been made for its development too.

Similarly Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management has been planning, implementing and monitoring soil conservation and watershed management programmes and activities based on the principles of integrated watershed management.

To reflect the multi-dimensional needs of SCWM measures, DSCWM is staffed with multi-disciplinary personnel. Foresters, agriculturists, civil engineers, chemists and geologists are the main disciplinary staffers in the department.

Likewise, department of Forest Research and Survey is another department under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.

DFRS is mandated to conduct forestry research and survey to produce knowledge and information for sustainable management and utilisation of forest resources of Nepal.

The department works in close collaboration with various national stakeholders and international agencies.