Securing and Deepening Community Forest Rights in Nepal through Local Government and Coordinated Local Actions

Ongoing

From: 01/01/2023

To: 31/12/2025

Budget: 2,000,000 USD

Proponents: Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN)

Partners: Green Foundation Nepal (GFN)
Centre for Indigenous Peoples Research and Development (CIPRED)

Stakeholders: Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) which include Indigenous Peoples.

Local communities and Indigenous Peoples have contributed significantly in the protection and management of forest areas in Nepal, but their contribution is rarely appreciated. Despite having successful outcomes of community forestry in Nepal, Indigenous Peoples and  local communities lack full security of tenure over forests and land resources and are restrained by restrictions and controls imposed by forest bureaucracy and their exercise of discretionary power in the interpretation of legal frameworks. For example, the forest bureaucracy still retains powers to withdraw community forestry and maintains administrative and technical control over harvesting and sale of forest products (mainly timber) from community forest areas. The government recently passed new federal Forest Act 2019 and Regulation 2022, but both are regressive in terms of devolving power to local communities, and securing and promoting land rights.

At global level, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities has been further strengthened through various interventions such as in 2021, COP-26 of UNFCC where governments and private funders have pledged 1.7 billion US $ to support tenure rights and forest guardianship of Indigenous Peoples and local communities globally. Similarly, ILO 169, UNDRIP, and FPIC are all unfolding around the world that contribute towards securing, reviving and continuation of customary forestland of indigenous peoples and local communities. This project takes reference of these entire global phenomenon’s unfolding.

To read a brief overview of Nepal, click here.

For a timeline of land and forest rights in Nepal, click here.

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