Nationwide forest survey launched

KATHMANDU: Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara today inaugurated the launching ceremony of the forest resource assessment project, jointly implemented by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and the Government of Finland.

The nationwide forest survey aims to come up with an updated data about forests of the nation. The data is targeted to be made public by the end of 2014.

Addressing the programme, Bohara said, "The data will help forest conservation efforts and will be useful in decision-making process."

Tuomo Kotimaki, Chief Technical Advisor of the project, said, "We will generate reliable data consulting local communities on what type of data they needed."

Previous nationwide forest survey supported by the Finnish government was conducted in1990-96. The then data revealed that the nation has 29 per cent of hardwood forest and 10.6 per cent area of the nation is covered by shrubs.

"After a long time we are back to the forestry sector and I hope our efforts will be fruitful," said Kari Leppanen, acting ambassador of Finland in Nepal.

The five-year project is estimated to cost around Rs 58 crore. "Forest survey is quite difficult and time consuming, if we move as per our plan we will be able to complete it in five years," said Sahas Man Shrestha, Director General, Department of Forest Research and Survey.

According to forest expert Kotimaki, latest research technologies would be used for the survey. "This time we are trying to generate the data as per the need of people and the government," he added.