Community Forestry

>> Saturday, May 7, 2011

The concept of community forestry emerged in response of partly the failure of the forest industry development model to lead socio-economic development and partly to the increasing rate of deforestation and forestland degradation in the third world.

A community forest in Nepal as defined by forest act, 1993, is a national forest handed over to a users group under specified rules and regulations for its developments, conservation and utilization for collective benefits. Community forestry is, thus the management, control and utilization of accessible forest resources by the local people.

Community forestry is one of the disciplines of social forestry. This includes agro-forestry, plantation on private land and community ownership and management of forest resource. Community forestry is also the stepping-stone to reach for the goal of privatization of this important natural resource. Because, this community forestry has an intimate relationship with the local people, it is socio-culturally acceptable.

Community forestry has been defined as any situation, which intimately involves local people in

a forestry activity.

Community forestry is defined as forestry by the people, of the people and for the people. The people are qualified to mean the involvement of the people rather than the ownership. It is something like rehabilitation of forests for rehabilitation of people through active involvement and participation of the community, the government acting as a catalyst and also a partner. Community forestry activities also include planting in village waste lands, farmer’s fields, homesteads, field boundaries, road sides, railway lines, canal banks etc.

It is defined as “it involves the raising of trees on public or community land rather than on privately owned lands as in the case of farm forestry.” The aim is to provide direct benefits to the community as a whole.

Principles of Community Forestry

Many people in the world are depending on the forest products for their livelihood, based on the decision of labor. For examples timber, fuel wood, fodder and non timber are main products that are being used by the people.

Growing population of human, cattle and rural poverty are the major reasons for the forest destruction. Human is the main destroying agent for the forest for the followings-

  1. Exploitation of forest resources for timber, fuel wood, fodder etc. which destroy plant community and their micro habitat.
  2. Technology development (roads, dams, air fields, tunnels, industries etc).
  3. Over grazing and shifting cultivation (over population of animals and men which caused shortage of food).
  4. Uncontrolled fair makes certain species disappeared form new ecosystem and animal also may die.
  5. Mass tourism and recreation activities.


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