Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Community Forests: Issues, Challenges, and Strategies

A half-day workshop on “Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Community Forests: Issues, Challenges, and Strategies” was successfully held in Hotel Himalaya on 24th March 2022. The program was jointly organized by the Department of Plant Resources, ForestAction Nepal, and Kathmandu Forestry College. The workshop was attended by officials from Ministry of Forest and Environment, NGOs, Academia and members of local communities working on biodiversity and forest management in Nepal. The participants represented a total of 25 different institutions.

The presentations, discussions and comments highlighted biodiversity significance of community forest, policy environment around community forest and status of invasive alien species in Nepal. Officials, researchers and participants discussed on challenges of integrating biodiversity conservation in community forests.  The participants suggested developing a minimum requirement for biodiversity inventory in community forests. Biodiversity significance was demonstrated through case of a DI UK funded project.

Dr Lila Nath Sharma, Prof Ambika Gautam and Kalpana Sharma Dhakal presented papers and Prof Bharat Babu Shrestha of TU and Dr. Rajendra KC, Director General of the Department of Forest and Soil Conservation commented on the presentation. Shiva Kumar Wagle, Chief of Planning and Monitoring Division, Ministry of Forest and Soil conservation, Dr Buddi Sagar Paudel, Director General of Department of Plant resources and Dr Mark Watson of Royal Botanical Garden Edinburg provided their remarks and highlighted need for scientific research on biodiversity and conservation in community forests.

 

Report Launch: Revitalising community forestry in the changing socioeconomic context of Nepal

‘Revitalising community forestry in the changing socioeconomic context of Nepal’ report launch event was successfully held at Hotel Himalaya on 15 March 2022.

The report was jointly launched by the Secretary of MoFE, Dr Pem Kandel, and HE Felicity Volk, Australian Ambassador to Nepal. There were over 35 participants from various institutions including joint secretaries from the MoFE, Divisional Forest Officers, Under Secretaries, Dean of Institute of Forestry, University Professors, Chair and representatives of FECOFUN, and representatives from NGOs and INGOs.

Secretary of the MoFE and HE the Ambassador, highlighted that the report is very timely and gives a strong basis to framing community forestry policies in the days to come and would provide crucial direction to strengthen the sector. They also acknowledged the collaborative effort of both Australian and Nepalese researchers on this report.

 

Origins and early development of community forestry in Nepal

A webinar on ‘Origins and early development of community forestry in Nepal’ was organized on 14 March 2022. The speakers involved pioneers and early advocates of community forestry in Nepal. The experiential insights of the four pioneers (Dr Don Gilmour, Mr. Stephen Midgley, Dr TBS Mahat, Dr Narayan Kaji Shrestha) threw light on the historical context of community forestry in Nepal, and provided footing to advance community based natural resources management in the challenging time and rapidly changing contexts.

The webinar was jointly organized by the EnLiFT2 project and the Nepalese Association of Agriculture, Forestry, and Environment in Australia. The full video to the webinar is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbIBuPsIg5w&t=23s

Click here to download the transcription of the webinar

 

Celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD)-2022 at ForestAction Nepal

On 8th of March, 2022, ForestAction team celebrated the “Break the Bias” and “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” to mark the International Women’s Day 2022. The program started with a brief presentation about IWD, followed by a group learning on “my organization, my pride” through a participatory group work, cutting an “IWD 2022” cake and felicitating two women support staff in the organization.

Among other issues, the origin, history, the journey of women’s advancement throughout various international conventions, treaties and national commitments of the Government of Nepal, was highlighted during the gathering. Moreover, the importance of IWD 2022 motto on the need of today to break the bias to achieve equality was underlined. Subsequently, one of our female staff members recited a poem on, “Naari” (woman). It was followed by cutting the “IWD 2022” cake and celebration among the entire team. Likewise, two of our women support staff were felicitated in recognition of their support to the ForestAction team.

Ms. Kanchan Lama led a group work involving a participatory exercise to work out on the image, champions/villains, rituals and culture of ForestAction in regard to equity and equality. The staff were given colorful cards to write one answer in one card only, then to paste them in the sketch of a half cut onion. The objective of the exercise was to motivate the ForestAction team members towards their self-responsibilities to shape an “equality for creativity” type of organizational culture by contributing to building an enabling environment for all.  The ForestAction team members appreciated the efforts to achieve gender equality.