Sustainable Forest Management procedure for Bagmati Province signed for action
On 4 January 2023, Honorable Minister Bishal Khadka, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Bagmati Province, enacted the Sustainable Forest Management procedure. The procedure sets guidance on how activities such as forest utilization, protection, development and harvesting can be carried out legally and sustainably. This commitment is expected to restart and accelerate forest management activities which have been delayed for three years.
The learnings along with technical and financial support from RECOFTC-Nepal’s Enhancing Livelihood from Improved Management in Nepal (EnLiFT) I and II projects helped shape the development, preparation and approval of the procedure.
The procedure was developed through a rigorous consultation process with community forest users’ representatives. It was led by the Provincial Ministry of Forests and Environment with vital inputs from the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) Bagmati Province, the Federation of Forest Based Industry and Trade (FENFIT) and government officials in forestry-related agencies like the Divisional Forest Office and Provincial Forest Directorate. The provisions in the procedure meet most of the government's Sustainable Forest Management Standards related to ecological, social, technical and legal compliance.
The Provincial Forest Research and Training Center, with support from RECOFTC Nepal’s EnLiFT II project, will develop trainers within the Ministry of Forests and Environment, FECOFUN and FENFIT to increase understanding of the procedure and translate it into action. To this end, EnLiFT II will also develop and publish a simplified guidebook for foresters and communities.
The approval and rolling out of the procedure are significant for everyone working in the forestry sector and the communities depending on forests. This will also set an example for other provinces to develop similar legally binding provisions.