Evolving Perspectives of Sustainability in the Case of Community Forestry in Nepal

  • Mani Ram BanjadeEmail author
  • Naya S. Paudel
Part of the Strategies for Sustainability book series (STSU)


Nepal’s community forestry has evolved from afforestation, forest conservation, social inclusion and equity to harnessing economic potentials. It has shown immense potential for forest sustainability by integrating ecological, social and economic dimensions but historically these dimensions received shifting focus hence one or more dimensions received inadequate attention. The donor priorities, discourses spanning from national and international arenas and shifting government policies had an effect on inflated treatment to one or the other dimensions of sustainability. We argue that by granting clear, strong and perpetual tenure rights to local communities would help better integrate ecological, social and economic dimensions of sustainability of forest commons.


Community forestry Sustainability Community rights Forest governance Nepal 


  1. Agarwal B (2001) Participatory exclusions, community forestry, and gender: an analysis for South Asia and a conceptual framework. World Dev 29:1623–1648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agarwal B (2009) Gender and forest conservation: the impact of women’s participation in community forest governance. Ecol Econ 68:2785–2799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agrawal A (2001) Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Dev 29:1649–1672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Agrawal A (2005) Environmentality: technologies of government and the making of subjects. New ecologies for the twenty-first century. Duke University Press, Durham and LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Agrawal A, Chhatre A, Hardin H (2008) Changing governance of the world’s forests. Science 320:1460–1462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arnold JEM (2001) Forests and people: 25 years of community forestry. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  7. Bajracharya D (1983) Deforestation in the food/fuel context – historical and political perspectives from Nepal. Mt Res Dev 3(3):227–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Basnyat B, Treue T, Pokharel RK, Lamsal LN, Rayamajhi S (2018) Legal-sounding bureaucratic re-centralisation of community forestry in Nepal. Forest Policy Econ 91:5–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhattarai B (2016) Community forest and forest management in Nepal. Am J Environ Prot 4(3):79–91. Google Scholar
  10. Bryant RL, Wilson GA (1998) Rethinking environmental management. Prog Hum Geogr 22:321–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chadwick MT, Seeley JA, Sherchan GR (1995) Preliminary comments on a wealth ranking exercise performed with forest user groups from three geographical areas of Nepal. Nepal-UK Forestry Research Project, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  12. Chambers R (1983) Rural development: putting the last first. Longman, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. DCSI (2016) Industrial promotion statistics 2015/16. Department of Cottage and Small Industries. Ministry of Industries Government of Nepal, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  14. DFRS (2015) State of Nepal’s forests. Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) Nepal, Department of Forest Research and Survey (DFRS), KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  15. Eckholm EP (1976) Losing ground: environmental stress and world food prospects. World Watch Institute, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Fabricius C, Koch E, Magome H, Turner S (eds) (2004) Rights, resources and rural development: community-based natural resource management in Southern Africa, First edn. Earthscan, London/Sterling, VAGoogle Scholar
  17. FAO (2011) Reforming forest tenure: issues, principles and process, FAO forestry paper. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  18. Feeny D, Berkes F, McCay BJ, Acheson JM (1990) The tragedy of the commons: twenty-two years later. Hum Ecol 18:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fisher RJ (2000) Decentralization and devolution in forest management: a conceptual overview. In: Enters T, Durst PB, Victor M (eds) Decentralization and devolution of forest management in Asia and Pacific. FAO and RECOFTC, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  20. Gilmour DA, Fisher RJ (1991) Villagers, forests and foresters: the philosophy, process and practice of community forestry in Nepal. Sahayogi Press, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  21. Graner E (1997) The political ecology of community forestry in Nepal. Verlag fur Entwicklungspolitik, SaarbruckenGoogle Scholar
  22. Guha R (1989) The unquiet woods: ecological change and peasant resistance in the Himalaya. Oxford University Press, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  23. Guthmann J (1997) Representing crisis: the theory of Himalayan environmental degradation and the project of development in post-rana Nepal. Dev Chang 28:45–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hobley M (1996) Participatory forestry: the process of change in India and Nepal. Rural Development Forestry Network, Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  25. Ives JD, Messerli B (1989) The Himalayan dilemma: reconciling development and conservation. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Jain S (1984) Women and people’s ecological movements: a case study of women’s role in the Chipko movement in Uttar Pradesh. Econ Polit Wkly 19:1788–1794Google Scholar
  27. Joshi O, Parajuli R, Kharel G, Poudyal N, Taylor E (2018) Stakeholder opinions on scientific forest management policy implementation in Nepal. PLoS One 13(9):e0203106. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kanel KR (2004) Twenty-five years of community forestry: contribution to millennium development goals. In: Kanel K, Mathema P, Kandel BR, Niraula DR, Sharma A, Gautam M (eds) 25 years of community forestry: contributing to millennium development goals. Proceeding of the fourth National Workshop on community forestry. Department of Forests, Kathmandu, pp 4–18Google Scholar
  29. Khadka M (2009) Why does exclusion continue? Aid, knowledge and power in Nepal’s community forestry policy process. Shaker Publishing, MaastrichtGoogle Scholar
  30. Larson AM, Barry D, Dahal GR (2010) New rights for forest-based communities? Understanding processes of forest tenure reform. Int For Rev 12:78–96Google Scholar
  31. LFP (2010) The resilience of community forestry user groups in conflict: lessons from Nepal, findings of a study on the impact on forest user groups of Nepals Maoist insurgency (1996–2006). Livelihoods and Forestry Project, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  32. Mahat TBS, Griffin DM, Shepherd KR (1987) Human impact on some forests of the Middle Hills of Nepal. Part 4. A detailed study in southeast Sindhu Palchok and northeast Kabhre Palanchok. Mt Res Dev 7(2):111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Maini JS (1992) Sustainable development of forests. Unasylva 43(169).
  34. Malla YB (2001) Changing policies and the persistence of patron-client relations in Nepal: stakeholders’ responses to changes in forest policies. Environ Hist 6(2):287–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. MSFP (2013) Persistence and change: thirty years of community forestry in Nepal. Multi- stakeholder forestry program. Government of Nepal, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  36. MSFP (2016) Scientific forest management initiatives in Nepal: MSFC experiences and lessons learnt. Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  37. Negi S, Pham TT, Karky B, Garcia C (2018) Role of community and user attributes in collective action: case study of community-based forest management in Nepal. Forests 9(3):136. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nightingale A (2002) Participating or just sitting in? The dynamics of gender and caste in community forestry. J For Livelihood 2(1):17–24Google Scholar
  39. Nightingale A, Sharma JR (2014) Conflict resilience among community forestry user groups: experiences in Nepal. Disasters 38(3):517–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. NSCFP (2011) Two decades of community forestry in Nepal: what have we learned? NSCFP, SDC, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  41. Nurse M, Malla Y (2005) Advances of community forestry in Asia: workshop on capitalisation and sharing of experiences on the interaction between forest policies and land use patterns in Asia. Regional Community Forestry Training Center (RECOFTC), KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  42. Ojha HR (2006) Techno-bureaucratic Doxa and challenges for deliberative governance: the case of community forestry policy and practice in Nepal. Polic Soc 25(2):131–175. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ojha HR, Persha L, Chhatre A (2009) Community forestry in Nepal: a policy innovation for local livelihoods, IFPRI Discussion Paper. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC. 00913Google Scholar
  44. Ojha HR (2009) Science, bureaucrary and politics. The dynamics of community forestry evolution in Nepal: a presentation made during the Community Forestry International workshop, 15–18 Sept. 2009, PokharaGoogle Scholar
  45. Ojha HR, Banjade MR, Sunam RK, Bhattarai B, Jana S, Goutam KR, Dhungana S (2014) Can authority change through deliberative politics?: lessons from the four decades of participatory forest policy reform in Nepal. Forest Policy Econ 46:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action. Political economy of institutions and decisions. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Paudel NS, Adhikary A, Mbairamadji J, Nguyen Quang T (2019) Small scale forest enterprise development in Nepal: overview, issues and challenges. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  48. Plummer R, Fitzgibbon J (2004) Co-Management of natural resources: a proposed framework Environ Manag 33:876–885
  49. Poffenberger M (2006) People in the forest: community forestry experiences from Southeast Asia. Int J Environ Sustain Dev 5:57–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pokharel BK (1997) Foresters and villagers in contention and compact: The case of community forestry in Nepal. Ph.D. Dissertation, Norwich, East Anglia, UKGoogle Scholar
  51. Pokharel BK, Nurse M (2004) Forests and peoples livelihood: benefiting the poor from community forestry. For Livelihood 4(1):19–29Google Scholar
  52. Pokharel BK, Branney P, Nurse M, Malla Y (2008) Community forestry: conserving forests, sustaining livelihoods and strengthening democracy. In: Ojha HR, Timsina NP, Kumar C, Banjade MR, Belcher B (eds) Communities, forests and governance: policies and institutional innovations from Nepal. Adroit Publications, New Delhi, pp 55–91Google Scholar
  53. Pokharel B, Carter J, Parajuli RR, Byrane S, Gurung BD (2009) Community forestry in Nepal as a means of empowering people living in poverty: an assessment of its social, economic and environmental sustainability. Paper presented in Community Forestry International Workshop, Pokhara, NepalGoogle Scholar
  54. Pokorny B, Johnson J (2008) Community forestry in the Amazon: the unsolved challenge of forests and the poor. Nat Resour Perspect 112:1–4Google Scholar
  55. Rai Paudyal B (2008) Agrarian structures and distributive outcomes: a study of community forestry in Nepal. Shaker Publishing, MaastrichtGoogle Scholar
  56. Regmi MC (1999) [1972] A study in Nepali economic history. Adroit Publications, New Delhi (2nd reprint), pp 1768–1846Google Scholar
  57. Rutt RL, Khanal-Chhetri BB, Pokhrel R, Rayamajhi S, Tiwari K, Treue T (2015) The scientific framing of forestry decentralization in Nepal. Forest Policy Econ 60:50–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Springate-Baginski O, Blaikie P (eds) (2007) Forests, people and power: the political ecology of reform in South Asia. EarthScan Forestry Library. Earthscan, London/Sterling, VAGoogle Scholar
  59. Subedi BP, Ghimire PL, Koontz A, Khanal SC, Katuwal P, Sthapit KR, Mishra SK (2014) Private sector involvement and investment in Nepal’s forestry: status, prospects and ways forward. Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme – Service Support Unit, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  60. Thapa GB, Weber KE (1990) Actors and factors of deforestation in tropical Asia. Environ Conserv 17(1):19–27. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Thoms CA (2008) Community control of resources and the challenge of improving local livelihoods: a critical examination of community forestry in Nepal. Geoforum 39:1452–1465. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. THT (2016) Over 80 per cent of timber imported from foreign countries.
  63. World Bank (1979) Nepal: development performance and prospects: a World Bank country study. World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  64. Yadav NP, Yadav KP, Yadav KK, Thapa N (2009) Facilitating the transition from passive to active community forest management: lessons from Rapti Zone, Nepal. J For Livelihood 8(2):51–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NIMS CollegeLalitpurNepal
  2. 2.Forest Action NepalLalitpurNepal

Personalised recommendations