Dispute affects implementation of forest management programme

Kathmandu, May 5

Implementation of Scientific Forest Management Programme has been affected due to dispute between the government and community forest user groups.

The programme was launched in Kapilbastu in 2011 as a pilot project and was later expanded to Dhanusha, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat and Kailali.

Encouraged by the result, the government had planned to implement the programme in all forests across the country.

However, Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal expressed dissatisfaction and announced protests against the programme.

“It has now taken the form of a debate over its name and who the credit for its implementation should go to,” said Bijay Raj Subedi, under secretary at the Department of Forest.

He said that the debate hampered the government’s plan of aggressively expanding the programme across the country.

On the basis of Forest Inventory 1996, Nepal Forester’s Association had conducted a feasibility study on the programme and condition of forests in 2011.

It showed that at least 120 million cubic feet timber was dumped in the forests of Nepal. The study also showed that there were hundreds of thousands of old trees, which were of little use.

It said trees should be cut down in their young age to get qualitative timber. Old trees should be removed from jungle to create space for young ones to grow.

“Had the programme been implemented effectively, we could have collected 15 times more timber,” then chair of NFA Devesh Mani Tripathi told The Himalayan Times.