Widening the Gap between Terai and Hill Farmers in Nepal
Widening the Gap between Terai andHill Farmers in Nepal: The Implications of the New Forest Policy 2000
Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal
Community forestry programs in Nepal have implemented successful policy programs that encourage peoples’ participation in decision making and benefit sharing within poor and marginalized communities. Government policies, such as the Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (1988), the Forest Act (1993) and the Regulations of 1995 are key foundations for community forestry in Nepal. They have the potential to promote decentralization, devolution, participatory democracy, democratic governance, human rights, improve livelihoods of the poor and sustainable forest management in the country. However the more recent Forest Policy of 2000, along with the Collaborative Forests Management Plan (CFMP) in 2003, discourage the handover of national forest to communities in the Terai, Churia, and inner Terai regions and impose a system of collaboration between government and communities instead of allowing communities to determine how their local resources can be utilized. The Forest Policy of 2000 and the CFMP guidelines are highly debated policies in Nepal and are seen to be causing further inequities between Terai and hill people in Nepal.
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