Economic Empowerment of Women through Forest Solutions (WEE-FS), an action research project led by ForestAction Nepal in consortium with HIMAWANTI Nepal, AFFON, and FenFIT and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada, has been carving out eco-friendly products like bio cups and plates from Sal (Shorea robusta) leaves and aesthetics from Thakal (Phoenix acaulis) leaves. To ensure resource-based sustainable harvesting, leaf inventory was conducted in Nawalparasi (E).
In Nepal, 44.74 % of the area is covered by forest, where Sal is the dominant species of the Sub-Tropical/ Terai region. Forest act 2079 stated that extracting any form of forest product should be provisioned on the Community Forest Operational Plan. Internalizing the fact, an inventory of Sal leaves was conducted in Deurali CFUG, Amarjyoti CFUG, and Sankhadevi CFUG in Gaidakot Municipality and Thakal leaves inventory was carried out in Namuna CFUG-Devchuli Municipality. The inventory was designed in close technical coordination with the Divisional Forest Office, Nawalparasi (E); besides, Community Forestry Inventory Guideline, (2061), NTFP Inventory Guideline (2069), and Forest Regulation (2079) were referred in the design process. This inventory ensures ecological integrity, economic viability, and resource-based sustainable harvesting techniques, all these while developing enterprises to economically empower marginalized women.
This inventory, therefore, enables the comprehensive evaluation of the resource base and sustainable harvesting method to address the escalating subsistence and commercial requirements of marginalized women groups involved in the NTFP-based enterprises identified by the women entrepreneurs.