Gandaki Province Minister of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment Bikas Lamsal said that the community forests would be connected to productivity to develop them as a solid base for prosperity.

Inaugurating the first council of the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal in Pokhara today, he said that the province government was making preparation to develop criteria for promoting timber-based industry and enterprises.

Minister Lamsal further said efforts were being made to legally facilitate the operation of forest and timber-based industries to connect community forestry to productivity. He also pledged to provide financial assistance from the provincial government to establish and sustain such enterprises.

"The province government has laid emphasis on promotion of tourism and agriculture production in a way that it will not ruin community forestry," he said, urging the FECOFUN to proactively take ahead the campaign of 'one forest, one production'.

He expressed the belief that participation of people's representatives and FECOFUN would be necessary in framing the Local Forest Act.

FECOFUN central Chair Bharati Pathak stressed the need to frame Local Forest Act in a way to ensure rights to the people in promoting entrepreneurship and tourism.

Ministry Secretary Maheswor Dhakal highlighted the need to run forest and timber-based enterprises in partnership with community forest users and the private sector.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.