Experts want forest sector restructured

Lalitpur, May 27 :

Forest experts today demanded that the forest sector be restructured so as to make “one of the largest but excluded sectors of the nation” more inclusive and democratic.

Stating that the representation of the deprived groups, namely the Dalits, Janajatis and women in the nation’s only sustained Loktantrik body — community forests — is almost nil, Dr Bharat Pokhrel, a forests expert, said, “The forest sector should be restructured by ensuring the representation of all these groups.”

Pokhrel was addressing a policy interaction on “Peoples’ Right on Natural Resources”, organised here today by the Federation of Community Forest Users of Nepal (FECOFUN) and the Natural Resources National Monitoring Forum Nepal.

The users themselves can guard their forests, Pokhrel said, adding, “Security forces are not needed to guard the forests”.

Indra Tamang, member-secretary of the Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Nepal, said the existing laws and regulations should be amended according to the changing needs of the people.

Speaking at the programme, over 21 MPs expressed commitment to annul all the anti-people laws on forest, electricity and drinking water.