Why has community forestry made limited contribution to agroforestry in Nepal?wca2014-1819 Dil B. Khatri 1,*Naya S. Paudel 1Krishna K. Shrestha 2Hemant R. Ojha 2Govinda P. Paudel 1 1Forest Action Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2School of Social Science, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Nepal has one-fourth of its population living in absolute poverty. Major part of the poor population lives in rural areas and relies heavily on traditional agrarian economy with integrated forest-livestock-farm system. Ironically, the much-lauded success of community forestry (CF) institutions have posed restrictions on fodder production and grazing. As a result, number of livestock per household has sharply declined over the past few decades. This is particularly so with the small and marginal farmers who rely on community forests to feed their livestock. It has two consequences. First, the livelihoods and food security of these poor farmers is seriously undermined. Second, the growing demand for meat and milk products in the country is met largely by imports. In this backdrop, this paper investigates why CF institutions are not adequately responsive to the local livelihoods, national economic interests despite its huge potentiality for so through integrated and multiple use of forestry.
The paper is based on critical review of policy documents, secondary information, key informant interview and focused group discussion with community groups. In-depth cases of four Community Forest User Groups of Kavre and Lamjung districts on fodder production and grazing management is developed. It is found that the CF institutions have three major constraints. First, there is strong influence of the conventional forestry science that conceptualizes forest management either for biodiversity and wildlife protection or commercial timber enterprises. Second, there are various regulatory barriers which restrict the use of community forests for fodder production and grazing. Third, the institutional fragmentation restricts the use of forest land for non-forestry species. We suggest adaptive collaborative management approach building on the previous research conducted by ForestAction Nepal in collaboration with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and International Development Research Center (IDRC) for multiple use forest management. The paper finally draws implications to CF policies and institutional architecture.