Nepal's Middle Hills are home to 44 per cent of the country's population, with more than two-thirds relying on a combination of agriculture and forest products for their livelihoods.
Over the last 40 years, 25 percent of forest lands have been handed over to 19,000 Community Forest User Groups under a Nepali national program. But the management of community forests and associated agricultural systems in the Middle Hills is sub-optimal and the Government of Nepal would like to see greater wealth being generated from these important community-managed forests.
Livelihood opportunities remain limited and good insecurity is widespread as a result. Forest management has not responded effectively to new socio-ecological risks, nor integrated advances in planing sand governance knowledge. Underlying these problmens are inequitable planning and governance of community forestry; gender inequities in decision-making; and an emphasis on the protectiong rather than the active management and sustainable use of forest products.
The project's overall aim is to enhance forest management practices in community forests and private land to improve livelihoods, social equity and environmental impacts.
The specific objectives are to :
- Enhance adoption and benefits from Active and Equitable Forest Management (AEFM) and Improved private forestry practices.
- Develop and institutionalise community forestry planning, governance and gender equity frameworks within the context of new local government system.
- Design and facilitate the establishment of pro-poor small-scale forest enterprises.
- Geater application of active and equitable forest management in Nepal's community forests, leading to significantly increatsed incomes for local communities from sale of forest products.
- Enhanced silviculture skills of government foresters/ technicians being used to provide institutional support for silviculture practice. Men, women and poor households having enhanced skills in managing local forest enterprises.
- Framework for pro-poor and gender equitable governance being used to enhance effectiveness of Nepal's community forests.