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Protecting forests, improving livelihoods – Community forestry in Nepal

This report by Ghan Shyam Pandey and Bijaya Raj Paudyall, outlines the lessons that have been learned from Nepal’s decision to embrace the concept of community forestry.

Community forests have existed in their modern form in Nepal since 1987, when the government began a phased handover of state-owned forests to communities. Today, some 30 per cent of Nepal’s forests are now managed by community user groups. They have been praised for improving environmental quality and increasing the participation of marginalised groups.

This is one of four papers commissioned to inform discussions at a workshop held in Brussels in April 2014, which brought together participants from 30 countries to share their understanding and experience of community forestry, and develop action plans for their own countries. This was in response to many of Fern’s partner organisations lobbying for the creation of community forests as a way of allowing communities to directly benefit from forest management.

The other papers can be found at http://www.fern.org/small-scale-livelihood