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16 December 2019 Forest Certification and FSC Standard Initiatives in Collaborative Forest Management System in Nepal
B.P. Bhattarai, R.M. Kunwar, R. Kc
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The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles and criteria have been implemented in over 80 community forests in Nepal over the last decade. However, the total size of community forests certified under the FSC certification is relatively small (0.1% of the total area of the country), which limits the overall benefits they can provide to the surrounding communities. The national government has instituted the Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) initiative to maintain forest connectivity and give local communities jurisdiction over the nearby forests that they and their ancestor have lived with and managed for many generations. The CFM policies strive to ensure the restoration of large and continuous patches of forest, equitable benefit sharing of forest products and good governance, yet these policies do not certify the forests as sustainably managed, and thus cannot provide increased prices on the international market for products from these forests. Two collaborative forests were assessed in the Tarai region of Nepal to understand how well these community managed forests already follow the FSC principles and where changes must be made for these forests to be certified in the future. Field observations were undertaken, focus group discussions held, and semi-structured interviews carried out in order to understand current management practices in these two collaborative managed forests. Findings showed that the CFM helped improve biodiversity and benefit sharing from the forest amongst the wide range of communities. Collaboratively managed forests and FSC principles were shown to have complementary objectives: to sustain forests, strengthen forest governance and conserve indigenous species and knowledge, and it is argued that these plans can be synchronized for the benefit of both forests and people.

B.P. Bhattarai, R.M. Kunwar, and R. Kc "Forest Certification and FSC Standard Initiatives in Collaborative Forest Management System in Nepal," International Forestry Review 21(4), 416-424, (16 December 2019).
Published: 16 December 2019
collaborative forest
sustainable forest management
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