Forest Tenure Regimes and Their Impact on Livelihoods in Nepal


  • Krishna P Acharya Department of Forest Research and Survey, Nepal
  • Jagannath Adhikari Independent Researcher
  • Dilraj Khanal Federation of Community Forestry Users of Nepal


forest tenure, livelihood, community forestry


Forest land tenure patterns have rapidly changed in Nepal in the past. The historically dominant land tenures are disappearing, and new tenures are emerging. This paper describes and analyses this dynamic nature of forest tenure, forest management modalities and the tenurial pattern they embody as well as their impact on livelihood, income, forest condition and equity in benefit distribution. Here, tenure means all options and opportunities-legal, non-legal and customary-to own, use or share any forest products and trees. Nepal's forests can broadly be divided into two types from ownership perspective, viz., national forest and private forest. Within the national forest there are different forest management regimes encompassing different rights and responsibilities given to the people. The forest or trees held in common or managed by communities seem to be more sustainable than other forms of tenurial arrangement. Increasing numbers of community-based management modalities have developed innovative means of tenure arrangements to contribute positively to livelihood and environmental sustainability. It demonstrates that decentralized and democratic governance system strengthens land tenure in favour of local people's livelihood. The paper argues that secure tenure is important for the conservation of forest resources and for encouraging investment in conservation and management. Which tenure regime is suitable at a particular time and place or location is more of a contextual matter, and thus, depending upon people's participation, tenurial modalities need to be determined.

Key words: forest tenure, livelihood, community forestry.  

Full text is available at the ForestAction website  

Journal of Forest and Livelihood 7(1) December 2008 pp.6-18


Download data is not yet available.

How to Cite

Acharya, K. P., Adhikari, J., & Khanal, D. (2009). Forest Tenure Regimes and Their Impact on Livelihoods in Nepal. Journal of Forest and Livelihood, 7(1), 6–18. Retrieved from