Facilitating the Transition from Passive to Active Community Forest Management: Lessons from Rapti Zone, Nepal
Keywords:active forest management, operational plan, local resource person, forest inventory, sustainable forest management
This paper demonstrates that a transition from passive to active management of community forest is possible by adopting joint learning processes among local forest user groups, forest officials and local non?governmental service providers. Such an approach has the potential to address several issues that underlie and characterise passive management namely: underutilisation of forest, protection oriented forest management, overstocked forest (dense) vis?a?vis deficit in supply of forest products, and poorly designed silvicultural practices. Passive management is attributed mainly to the poor planning of forest management, inadequate and restrictive forest inventory guidelines and limited recognition of the forest management knowledge of locally trained resource persons. We present evidence of the processes and outcomes of active management being promoted by Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) in Nepal. The transition to active forest management is demonstrated through an assessment of revisions made in the community forest Operational Plans (OP). Key revisions identified include, among others: defining objectives of forest management considering people's choices and locality factors, site?specific forest management treatments, development of product utilisation plans, provisions for Non?timber Forest Products (NTFPs) management and conservation of biodiversity and water resources.
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Journal of Forest and Livelihood 8(2) February 2009 pp.51-66