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Research Report

Improving forest benefits for the poor: Learning from community-based forest enterprises in Nepal

Bishnu Hari Pandit
Adrian Albano
Kumar Chetan
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Pages: 60
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    The handing over of management responsibilities for forests to local communities, more commonly known as community-based forest management (CBFM), is the prevailing forest management platform in government controlled forests in most developing countries (FAO 1999; Alden Wily 2002; Nurse and Malla 2005). The practice came about as a result of the inability of governments to manage the forests themselves. Along with the handing over of responsibilities has come the granting of some resource-use rights that aim to provide for the needs of forest-dependent people. CBFMs often explicitly give forest and livelihoods protection and improvement as their primary objectives as they...

  2. (pp. 4-8)

    Alleviating poverty in a specific area or community requires economic growth and income distribution: there has to be an increase in the overall income and this increase should not be confined to a few people but be distributed to include the poorest members of the community (Bourguignon 2005). Economic growth has to be prioritized in order to generate the income that is to be distributed, and under a market economy economic growth is achieved primarily by encouraging innovative enterprises (Schumpeter 1961 in Kaplinsky 2000).

    The term ‘enterprises’ refers to business entities engaged in productive activities that are aimed at generating...

  3. (pp. 9-12)

    Forest User Groups (FUGs) have a legal personality and, to some extent, are authorized to do business as a group. They are registered under and regulated by the District Forest Office (DFO) and they maintain a group fund (e.g. Community Forest User Group (CFUG) Fund). Thus, they could be considered to be business enterprises. The FUGs have begun to form networks for various purposes including the expansion of their (business) activities and promotion of their interests. Networks, however, are limited in their ability to make business transactions – especially with formal organizations, which require greater accountability and liability from any...

  4. (pp. 13-39)

    Twenty-eight enterprises were selected for study. They are presented below according to enterprise type and membership (Table 1).

    LFUGs can engage in an enterprise as a group registered under the District Forest Office (DFO) or as individuals. One LFUG was included as a case study.

    The Kataharepakha Leasehold Forestry Group, established in 1995, is composed of seven households who received a total of 3.5 ha of degraded ‘forest’ land. Being part of the Leasehold Forestry (LHF) programme, this LFUG received support of different kinds, particularly from the DFO (e.g. land and nursery-management training), District Livestock Service Office (DLSO) (forage and...

  5. (pp. 40-40)

    This study examined the potential to improve income from forests in the context of community-based forest management (CBFM) by studying the various constraints on and practices of existing community-based forest enterprises (CFBEs) in Nepal. The survey of existing enterprises and their practices shows various ownership models that have been established involving Forest User Groups (FUGs) or their members. Based on their level of formality and ownership, four basic types were identified: FUG-based enterprises, networks, cooperatives and private companies. These four types are not mutually exclusive but share a development pathway that starts with their organization as FUGs and their expansion...

  6. (pp. 41-45)

    The recommendations made below try to identify a way to encourage enterprise development, taking into account the various perspectives from which the constraints on and opportunities for the development of community-based forest enterprises (CBFEs) have been shown. This use of different points of view may result in overlaps in the recommendations, but an attempt is made to present the recommendations in the most comprehensive way. The aim of the recommendations is to replicate the good practices and lessons learned, overcome the constraints or weaknesses, and maximize the opportunities identified in the case studies.

    Generally, the direction of support required for...