Observation Tour by Nepal (April 15th - 20th, 2013)

Updated:2014/4/21 15:34:45



Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN)

Supporting to Develop New Forest Sector Policy and Strategy through Consultation with Civil Society Organizations and Local Communities in Nepal

Observation tour of international policy practice




Place

? Pu'er City, Yunnan Province of China


Duration

? 15 - 20 April


Introduction

Nepal’s historic 22-year Master Plan for the Forestry Sector (MPFS) expired in 2011 leading to inclusion of proposal in the  Three Years Interim Plan and Approach paper for development of new forest sector policy and strategy in line with the changing context. Realizing the need for developing new forest sector strategy in order to guide governance, conservation and management and economic development through forestry, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC) has been working on development of new forest sector strategy and policies. In order to gain acceptance and common ownership of people along with wide stakeholders involved in forestry sector, consultation with local communities directly involved in conserving and managing forests as well as those involved in development of forestry sector would be highly necessary. The need for such strategy is especially critical as forest rights and institutions are being negotiated at constitutional levels, and also because donors and forestry related agencies are planning to move through new cycles of funding and programming in the forestry sector. FECOFUN can provide the critical analysis and ground suggestion with CSOs and local community mobilizations to the MFSC so that government agencies can come together for planning and developing coordinated new forest sector policies and strategies that can be implemented without hurdles. There is now an opportunity for FECOFUN and MFSC to develop forest sector strategy that informs, and is sensitive to, the transitional politics of the country, while aiming to institutionalize recent political achievements to transform forest sector of Nepal.


Unlike earlier forest sector plans, the proposed Forest sector strategy will go beyond the confinements of traditional forestry domain, and will address several crosscutting issues climate change, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, active and sustainable forest management, economic development and local livelihoods, social inclusion and democratic governance, tenure and rights issues. Nepal’s forestry sector has been facing unprecedented transitions in various respects. The political-economic and global context of forest governance changed dramatically since the inception of the MPFS, and also after the Interim Plan was formulated. More specifically, the country has been rapidly moving through political transition in which issues of rights, inclusion, governance, economic development and equity have surfaced more vehemently than ever before. The entire structure of the state has been challenged, while visions for democratic and inclusive governance are being articulated at different spheres of polity, through various forms of resistance politics and policy negotiations. Over the past 40 years, local communities dependent on forests have emerged as the key players in the forest governance, mostly as a result of the visionary guidance of the MPFS and periodic plans created by Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC) and the National Planning Commission (NPC).

The emergence of local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs) as the key players of forest governance has posed significant challenge to established institutions and knowledge about forest and forestry, opening up possibilities for people-centered and equitable management of forest resources. Yet, as the process of drafting the new constitution of the country proceeds, albeit slowly, there is now an intensified debate on how rights over forest and related resources management should be defined and secured in the context of emerging federal structure of the state.  Apart from these endogenous politics, the way forest is governed and managed is also significantly influenced by the emerging crisis of climate change, which is creating additional challenges to local communities, and to some extent opportunities through possible carbon financing.

Observation tour of international policy practice will be organized for key representatives from CSOs, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and Local Communities to learn from the experience of forest sector planning in China to learn the forest tenure reform, enterprise and market development. Collecting, reviewing and learning from experience with diverse approaches in different conditions and countries will help to provide powerful insights to gain a new perspective, and will be documented as report for larger audience and dissemination.  


Objectives of Observation Tour

The main objective of this observation tour is to learn community forest management and local forestry enterprises and understand the policy issues in one forestry provinces of China.

The specific objectives are:

? To experience sustainable community forest management through filed observation.

? To learn forest tenure reform, enterprise and market development.

? To understand the processes involved to establish successful local forestry enterprises.

? To understand the effect of forestry policies in sustainable development of forest and people through communication with forestry officials and community people.  



Expected output

? Collecting, reviewing and learning from experience with diverse approaches in different conditions and countries will help to provide powerful insights to gain a new perspective, and will be documented as report for larger audience and dissemination.  



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