Community Forest Management as Climate Change Adaptation Measure in Nepal’s Himalaya
This paper analyses the community forest management practice and its outcome, the increased forest cover and quality, as climate change adaptation measure in Nepal’s Himalaya. Change in forest cover is measured by applying Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing comparing 1990s and 2010, and 1992 and 2014 satellite imageries based on supervised land cover classification of four sites covering all three types of forest management regimes – community, government and privately managed forests. The paper demonstrates that community forest management practice has resulted in a change in forest cover in a relatively better way, mainly in the creation of new forest, improvement in forest condition, reduction in the rate of deforestation and degradation. This change has contributed directly to the conservation of biological diversity, ecosystem management, integrated water resource management, forest-agriculture interface and ultimately to overall livelihoods of people dependent on forest resources. The paper concludes that community forest management practice has not only contributed to increase the formation of natural capital, forest cover, but also other livelihood capitals such as human and social capital, strong grassroots level organizations and capacity of local communities to manage forests, which eventually contribute to increase adaptive capacity of local communities to the increased threats of climate change.
KeywordsCommunity forest management Forest cover change Climate change adaptation Deforestation Degradation
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, Right and Resource Initiatives (RRI) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) deserve special thanks for providing authors opportunity to invest some of their time to do this study.
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