13th Sharing Meeting of NNN

November 30, 2001

The thirteenth sharing meeting of Nepal NTFP Network (NNN) was held on November 30, 2001 at ANSAB office, Baneshwor Kathmandu. The meeting was held in an informal setting, and NNN Coordinator Mr. B. P. Subedi facilitated the meeting process.

Those who participated in the meeting were:

  1.  Arjun Dhakal, NEFEJ
  2.  Bhairab Risal, NEFEJ
  3.  Bhaweshwar Das, SION
  4.  Bhishma P. Subedi, ANSAB
  5.  Bigyan Acharya, USAID
  6.  Dharma Paudel, CRT
  7.  Dibya Gurung, SDC
  8.  Dr. Don Messerschmidt, USAID
  9.  Dr. N. K. Shrestha, WATCH
  10.  Hari P. Dhungana, ANSAB
  11.  Hari P. Neupane, FECOFUN
  12.  Karl Schuler, SDC
  13.  Ken Nicholson, SNV
  14.  Meena Pandit, HICAJ
  15.  Pradip Maharjan, HPPCL
  16.  Ram Hari Subedi, ANSAB
  17.  Sagendra Tiwari, IUCN
  18.  Sony Baral, ANSAB

AGENDA

  1.  Recap of 12th sharing meeting and follow-up on developments
  2.  Sharing on Task Forces
    a. Sharing on NTFP activities and issues by members
    b. Discussion on government allocation of funds for NTFPs
    c. Sharing about the Dakshinkali workshop and its objectives
    d. Any other points suggested by the members
    · Complications/controversies in NTFP trade regulations and practices
    · Contribution to Tenth Five-Year Plan

SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE MEETING

1. Recap of 12th sharing meeting and follow-up on developments

Mr. Bhishma Subedi briefly reviewed the discussions and outcomes of the twelfth NNN sharing meeting held on Sept 7, 2001. He mentioned some the discussions of the earlier meeting that need to be considered and discussed in this meeting. He shared the discussion with the Director General of Department of Forests on cessation of the publication of NTFP information for the last three years, and the response was that this task was now assigned for the General Manager of HPPCL Mr. Dhruba Bhattarai. Mr. Pradip Maharjan stated the process is said to have been in slack due to lack of funds at DoF. 

Mr. Bhairab Risal mentioned that he received the information on density of naturally distributed yarshagumba to be 250 number/ha, and that social unrest has been hindering field research on yartsha gumba according to DPR.

It is not yet confirmed of Srikhanda forest in Bajhang. Srikhanda has been introduced and a nursery established at Brindaban forest in Makawanpur (For this Mr. Dwarika Nath Lakhe, or likely predecessor Mr. Kedar Ranjitkar of DPR may be contacted). It was noted that Srikhanda is in CITES list, and Bajhang case should be properly verified. It was decided to bring herbarium collection and timber sample of Srikhanda of Bajhang as the species is not generally expected to be found naturally in this region.

2. Updates on task force activities

Updates on NNN Task Force on Current Regulations in NTFP Royalty. Mr. Bhishma Subedi updated on activities of the Task Force on Current Regulations in NTFP Royalty. The Task Force is reviewing species name contradictions in royalty list of Forest Regulations, and a complete list is prepared. A set of criteria has been worked out to determine the royalty rates. Based on discussions of Himali Jadibuti Sarokar Samuha and drafts prepared by the Task Force, Mr. Subedi informed, ANSAB has forwarded the recommendations to the Department of Forests.

Mr. Das added that there are lots of confusions in the present royalty list (e.g., same species having different rates in different names, while a range of species included in the same generic name), and expressed the need for proper taxonomic verification of the lists. The Task Force nearly completed the list of over 90 species. 

Mr. Karl Schuler noted that royalty is not officially applied in community forests. There are cases where collectors are required to pay royalties to VDCs, District Forest Offices, or to DDC. Frequently multiple taxation also exists. We have to strive to ensure that benefits really reach to local people. Mr. Bhishma Subedi clarified that the royalty rates are not meant to apply in cases of community forests. Mr. Schuler also raised the issue of frequency of review of FUG operational plan in relation to the inclusion of NTFPs so that the group can have control over these resources. 

Mr. Pradip Maharjan and Mr. Hari P. Neupnae emphasized on the need to include management of NTFP in community forest operational plans, otherwise users are required to continuously pay royalties. 

Updates on Developing Nepali Field Manual for Enterprise Development. Mr. Hari Dhungana updated on the activities of NNN Task Force on Nepali Field Manual. He mentioned that the Task Force met on Sept 21, 2001 to discuss on processes and methods of the manual writing. It recommended to organize a workshop with extended participation of NNN members so that detailed manual outline could be prepared and writing action plan developed. A two-day workshop was organized during November 20-21, 2001 in DakshinKali with participation of 15 members, and manual details were discussed. Four theme groups will lead the write up: a) resource management; b) market and economy; c) social, institutions and policy and d) technology. Each theme group consists of a coordinator, and ANSAB will make necessary arrangements and facilitate the write-up process. 

Mr. Karl Schuler mentioned that SDC is developing a material for NTFP inventory; it is now in draft form. The idea is to spread it out around the country. This material can be consulted in the writing up of the manual. Mr. Ken Nicholson mentioned that the workshop involved multiple expertises, and might be in a form better than the generic MA&D manual. 

3. Sharing of NTFP activities/issues 

Complications/controversies in NTFP trade regulations and practices. Mr. Bhaweshwar Das deliberated on complication and hurdles in NTFP export due to conflict of authority across DPR and DoF. Traders have to pass through multiple windows for export of their materials. The DoF does not presently have the capacity to certify plant products, but certification authority has been transferred to it. 

Mr. Pradip Maharjan informed that MFSC Secretary has assured that they are trying to bridge the technical capacity and regulatory authority across DPR and DoF. 

Mr. Karl Schuler argued that in Nepal’s forestry sector, it always seems to be the tendency to over-regulate the matters. Dr. Kaji Shrestha noted that even such educated entrepreneurs are facing a number of challenges, and wondered if we think of uneducated general public. 

Contribution to Tenth Five-Year Plan. Mr. Karl Schuler stated that NNN could contribute to include issues relating to NTFP sector in the tenth five-year plan in pipeline with the National Planning Commission. Mr. Hari Neupane expressed the need for greater interface between policy authorities and the ordinary people, notably the forest user groups, so that our efforts would be fruitful. Dr. Kaji Shrestha proposed to constitute a Task Force. A NNN Task Force to provide Policy Feedback for Tenth Five-Year Plan was then constituted with the members given in Box 1. 

It was agreed that ANSAB would compensate for the reasonable time of the Task Force Coordinator requiring in the Task Force work.

4. Miscellaneous

General Sharing on recognition of NTFP issues in general media. Mr. Bhairab Risal explained cut pieces of some newspapers and explained that initiatives on NTFP sector is being increasingly covered in general media. He also mentioned his own works on NEFEJ publication Hakahaki such as ‘Simal: Dalar phalne rukh’ and yo yugko srot: khetibinako khadya, kath binako ban.

Issue of Sustainable Development. Mr. Arjun Dhakal discussed initiatives of NEFEJ in promoting debates over issues of sustainable to minimize confusions of the phrase at operational levels. They are planning to hold interactions so as to provide feedback for having the stand of developing countries in the Rio + planned for Johannesburg, South Africa. NEFEJ will inform the interaction date in near future.

Information: DPR Publication of Plants Catalogue. It was shared that Department of Plant Resources (DPR) has recently published a catalogue of flowering plant species of Nepal. This publication can be interest to NNN members. 

NEXT MEETING 

Date: The fourteenth NNN Sharing Meeting will be held on Friday February 1, 2002 at 1300 Hrs.

Venue and Chair: The meeting will be held at SNV Nepal office. Mr. Ken Nicholson agreed to host and chair the 14th NNNSM.

Agenda: Among other points to be identified later, the following agenda will be included:

  • Recap of 13th NNNSM
  • Sharing on 8th NNNCC meet
  •  Updates on NNN Task Forces
  •  Other issues to be suggested by members