Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 32–41 | Cite as

Community participation in forest resource management in Nepal

  • Keshav L. Maharjan


Livelihood of the people in Nepal hills depends much upon forest resources in addition to farming as forest plays a critical role in the well being of the farming households where access to alternative sources, such as energy for cooking, nutrition for animals, materials for fertilizer and constructing materials for shelter, are limited. Thus, the well being of the people in the hills is directly affected by the management of these forest resources. This issue was addressed in this paper by examining the forest resource management practices and its effect on well being of rural people in two different stages in a village lying in the steep hill of Mahabharat Range in the southern hills of Kathmandu valley, Lalitpur District. The main ethnic/caste groups in the village are Brahmin/Chhetri (high Hindu caste), Magar/Tamang (Tibeto Burmans) and Kami (occupational caste: cobbler). Currently there are four community forest users groups, with mixed ethnic membership, organized to manage the forest resources. The endowments, weak institutional settings, before 1990 helped the Bhramins, Magars and Tamangs to get access into the private forest endowment, which made them easy to get access to the forest resources, mainly fuel wood, fodder and timber in 1990 and enhanced their well beings. But the socially backward Kami could not get benefit from the institutions that existed during that time and had less chance to enhance their well beings. After the set up of different endowments during late 1990s, i.e., hand over of forest management to users groups in line with the concept of community forest, environment to use the forest resources became better for all the groups, along with the management of the forest. This enhanced the well beings of all the groups in the study village. However, the ability of Kami to use the forest resources to enhance their well beings was still lacking behind. The reason was partially due to the difference in endowments carried over from the endowments before 1990, and partly due to their occupational work and location of their settlements.


Nepal hills forest resource management endowment community forest users group caste/ethnicity well being 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agricultural Development Bank. 1984. Highlights on Small Farmer Development Programme in Nepal. Institutional Division, Head Office, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  2. Bajracharya D. 1983. Fuel, food or forest? Dilemmas in a Nepali village. World Development 11: 1057–1074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartlett A. G. and Malla Y.B. 1992. Local forest management and forest policy in Nepal. Journal of World Forest Resource Management 6: 99–116Google Scholar
  4. Basnyat B. B. 1995. Nepal’s Agriculture Sustainability and Intervention: Looking for New Direction. Cip — Data Konkinklijke Biblotheek, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  5. Bongartz H. and D.R. Dahal. 1996. Development Studies. Self-help Organizations, NGOs and Civil Society. Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies for Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  6. Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). 2002. Statistical Pocket Book. His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  7. Dahal D.R. and K. K. Guru-Gharana (Eds.). 1996. Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies. Development Strategy for Nepal. KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  8. Dahal D.R. 1983. Economic development through indigenous means. Contributions to Nepalese Studies 11: 1–20Google Scholar
  9. Domroes M. (Ed). 2003. Translating Development: The Case of Nepal. Social Science Press, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  10. Department of Forest. (DoF) 1995. His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (HMG/MFSC). Community Forest Directive. KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  11. DoF. 1996. Ban Ain 2049 Tatha Ban Niyamabali 2051 [Forest Act 1993 and Forest Rule 1995]. HMG/MFSC, Kathmandu. (in Nepali)Google Scholar
  12. DoF. 1999. Forest Resources of Nepal 1987–1998. HMG/MFSC, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  13. Ishii H. 1980. Recent economic changes in Newar village. Contributions to Nepalese Studies 8: 157–179Google Scholar
  14. Ishii H. 1987. Social change in a Newar village. In Gutschow, N. and Michaels, A. (Eds.) Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. VGH Wissenschaftsverlag, Sankt Augustin pp. 335–353Google Scholar
  15. Ishii H. 1991. Agricultural labour recruitment and the caste system — A perspective from Newar, Parbate Hindu and Maithili society. The Japanese Journal of Ethnology 56: 131–158 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Rajendra K.C. 2000. Development Management of NGO. Reda Nepal, Kathmandu (in Nepali)Google Scholar
  17. Leach M., R. Mearns, and I. Scoones. 1999. Environmental entitlements: Dynamics and institutions in community-based natural resource management. World Development 27: 225–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maharjan K. L. 1995. Nogyo no Kozoteki Teitai to Kaihatsu Seisaku. [Structural stagnation of agriculture and development policy of Nepal]. In: Kawai, A. (Ed.) Hatten Tojokoku Sangyo Kaihatsu Ron [Industry Development of Developing Countries in South Asia], Hoso Daigaku Kyoiku Shinkokai, pp. 118–138 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  19. Maharjan K. L. 1997. Impacts of Irrigation and Drainage Schemes on Rural Economic Activities in Bangladesh. Research Center for Regional Geography, Hiroshima University, JapanGoogle Scholar
  20. Maharjan K. L. 2003. Peasantry in Nepal: A Study on Subsistence Farmers and Their Activities Pertaining to Food Security, Research Center for Regional Geography, Hiroshima University, JapanGoogle Scholar
  21. Maskey B. K. 2000a. Development Governance: Agenda for Action. Centre for Development and Governance, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  22. Maskey B. K. 2000b. Non-governmental Organizations. I. Development: Search for a New Vision. Centre for Development and Governance, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  23. Niroula C. B. 1997. Case Study in Land Use Change in Lele Watershed Area in Lalitpur District by Applying GIS. Unpublished Dissertation, Tribhuvan University, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  24. Panday D. R. 1990. Nepal’s Failed Development: Reflections on the Mission and the Maladies. Nepal South Asia Centre, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  25. Paudyal D. P. 1994. Strategies for Local Level Planned Development in Nepal: An Evaluation of the Decentralization Act 1982 From the Local Perspective. Prabesh & Pratik, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  26. Regmi M. C. 1978. Land Tenure and Taxation in Nepal. Ratna Pustak Bhandar, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  27. Rigg D. 1993. The World Food Problem. Blackwell Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Sen, A. 1981. Poverty and Famines: An Assay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  29. Shrestha S. K. 1992. Baseline Survey Report of Gusel & Dal Choki VCDs, Lalitpur. Man-Tech. Consult, Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  30. Slater R. 1991. From Farm to Firm: Rural Diversification in the Asian Countryside. Avebury Academic Publishing Group, EnglandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS(IMHE) and Science Press 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keshav L. Maharjan
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School for International Development and CooperationHiroshima University, Higashi-HiroshimaHiroshimaJapan

Personalised recommendations