30th Sharing Meeting of NNN

30 March, 2007

ANSAB meeting hall

List of Participants:

  • Mr. Amrit Lal Joshi, Forester Mr. Bhawani P. Kharel, IUCN
  • Dr. Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB Mr. Bhola Khatiwada, COFSUN
  • Ms. Bina Shrestha, COFSUN Mr. Birkha B. Shahi, FECOFUN
  • Mr. C.L. Chaudhary, CECI Mr. Indu B. Sapkota, ANSAB
  • Dr. K.K. Shrestha, TU/ESON Mr. Kumud Shrestha, FCWG
  • Mr. Pradeep Maharjan, Winrock International Mr. Bhairab Risal, NEFEJ
  • Dr D.B. Shakya, AEC/FNCCI Mr. S.K. Jha, NFA
  • Dr. Bharat Kumar Pokharel, NSCFP Ms. Helga Duhou, SNV
  • Mr. Bill Cocus, IDE Dr. Nirmal Bhattarai, MAPPA/ICIMOD
  • Dr. R.B.S. Rawat, ICIMOD Mr. Maksha R. Maharjan, CARE Nepal
  • Dr. Kayo Yami, NAST Mr. Rana B. Rawal, BIRD
  • Mr. Parbat Gurung, NEHHPA Mr. Raj Bahadur Shrestha, MEDEP
  • Mr. Ram Hari Subedi, ANSAB Ms. Shova Adhikari, ANSAB
  • Mr. Suhrid Pd Chapagain, NSCFP Dr. Tirtha B. Shrestha, Nepal Academy
  • Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma, MFSC

Agenda :

  1. Guide for organizing community for NTFP management, value addition and marketing
  2. Update and briefing on NTFP policy and
  3. Sharing from NNN members

Summary:

Policy Makers, donor communities, representatives from government, private companies, businesspersons, and concerned stakeholders working in the sector discussed on the need and requirement of NTFP guideline. The participants had common consent that the guideline should finally contribute to the goal of forests conservation and poverty alleviation, capacitating the grassroots communities to work for themselves. Participants emphasized the need of policy implementation of ‘Herbs and NTFP development Policy’, that was designed through wider consultation from grassroots to policy makers. The guideline should be developed in a way that should make use of national resources, use tremendous manpower, prioritize major species in terms of volume and value are important. Need of strengthening of HNCC and coordination among relevant stakeholders, to bring out results
simultaneously though the guideline and respective endeavors was underscored in the meeting.

Participants also emphasized roles of private, government, donor and communities for the promotion of NTFP resulting in conservation and poverty alleviation. The participants emphasized the issues of income generation, biodiversity conservation, value to the indigenous knowledge, and community benefit while preparing the community guideline.

The meeting was chaired over by Dr. RBS Rawat,
Coordinator of MAPPA.
Major Highlights:

Dr. Bhishma P. Subedi welcomed all the participants. Presenting glimpse of Nepal’s conservation efforts and achievements in line with community forestry, Dr. Subedi said, over 14 thousand users groups are managing a large ha of areas. But the sad part, as he put it: ‘their capacity for sustainable management of forests is limited, and yet in many contexts, they have shown capacity to manage. Under the scenario, NTFP guideline and its use will be crucial to address poverty and conservation’. Building on the successes, now we need to move on. The importance of NTFP guideline is burgeoning for its need to be used. Government’s interest in poverty reduction and conservation; a large organized network of users group, and promising efforts from development organizations are the potential factors contributing to its development, use, and impact. Certain detail is already worked out, and we need to build on it, added Dr. Subedi.

Dr. D.B. Shakya from AEC/FNCCI said, we must have an alliance for linking CFUGs with enterprises, energizing them in business perspective. In the context, we have advocated for a new industrial policy and lobbied ministry of Industry. Agro‐business policy is already in effect. We should work as pressure group for the community forest users group, now is the situation that they can’t run their own enterprises. One of the participant raised concern for registration of the NTFP guideline prepared. Responding to his query, Dr. Nirmal K. Bhattarai, said, Dr. Subedi from ANSAB is representing International Non‐governmental Organizations in the Herbs and NTFP Coordination Committee (HNCC), chaired over by Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation. HNCC will be a good medium for it to get approved by the government.

Mr. Indu B. Sapkota, of ANSAB said, the target audience for this guide should be practitioners at the field level to enable them to develop, implement, and monitor community forests management operational plans towards sustainable use of timber and non‐timber products, and key components of the guide should be: organizing communities, natural resources management including FSC experiences, enterprises development, and marketing and BDS. Due consideration should be paid to integrate local ecological knowledge and scientific practices. Moreover, this guide should be useful as a resource book for NGOs, entrepreneurs and other commercial concerns interested in NTFPs ‐ based enterprises, local community organizations, and forest managers or government personnel involved in NTFPs harvests.

The participants emphasized that we should prove that what we are doing is right. Things have been changed now. Benefit to local communities is crucial, they can not volunteer their efforts for long, and there should be mechanism for income generation from NTFP management and use. Dr. T.B. Shrestha emphasized special program for special groups including community forests groups, farmers groups and more, e.g. capitalizing products like, cardamom, chiraita and more.

Mr. Bhola Khatiwada from COFSUN said, we are revising community forestry guideline. We are endeavoring to make this a master guideline that can lead other specifics guidelines including NTFP guideline or enterprise guideline. The guidelines can also operate independently. Sharing experiences of working in the field including Banke, Berdia and Kailali, Mr. Maksha Maharjan said skill enhancement of the people is necessary. Dr. Tirtha B. Shrestha put forth, CF in private ownership may be difficult from the perspective of biodiversity conservation and community development.

Sharing on experiences of BDS‐MaPS, Mr. Pradeep Maharjan pointed out, legal reforms, sustainable harvesting practices, legal reforms, and dissemination of policy important. Dr. D.B. Shakya from FNCCI underscored the role of ministry of finances. Inclusion of enterprise in forestry policy would finally be addressed and supported by the ministry of finances. We should work in a way, CFUGs would register themselves as company rather than CFUGs, and we should join hands together, he added. Participants also suggested keeping success cases in the manual. Mr. Parbat Gurung from NEHHPA stated sustainable forest promotes sustainable enterprises; this should be clear in the guideline. Moreover, the guideline should be able to work everywhere throughout Nepal. Some DFOs have been the obstacles for us; they define forests operations to the best of their congeniality. Mr. CL Chaudhary emphasized the necessity of developing guideline and said it should get approved through legal provision that can address all legal complexities at field level.

Mr. A.L. Joshi said, bringing national issue is important, let’s talk now, what’s incomplete in the national issue. Dr. Udaya Raj Sharma, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation called on endeavoring to make Herbs and NTFP Development policy in effect. Implementation of the policy has been a challenge, he stressed. At a time, when policy was developed, it was worked out, consented and appreciated by all, whatsoever weaknesses it does have, and policies are the things: ever incomplete, Dr. Sharma added. He also requested all participants to advocate to stop culture of unhelpfully empowering district authorizes at the grounds. Dr. Sharma also emphasized the role of HNCC.

Mr. Bhairab Risal of NEFEJ thanked Dr. Sharma for exerting to bring out NTFP development policy. He said, policy should be clear so that no one could interpret negatively or positively as much as one feels comfort. Now, each small and small groups or bodies should work mutually in enterprising, manufacturing or marketing. Mr. Bhawani Kharel from IUCN focused on including practical elements in the upcoming guideline, an extensive study is necessary to find out the type for most required NTFP guideline, and there should be collaborative efforts and consent from all relevant stakeholders for the guideline. HNCC is the very appropriate body, and it should be strengthened, he furthered. Mr. Kharel also offered support, especially in the cultivation aspect, when necessary.

Dr. K.K. Shrestha laid emphasis to build on the already worked out guideline rather than preparing a different or new one. Mr. Rana B. Rawal said, the guideline should not be mandatory, rather be to build on what is good and what is not. Community benefit and equity aspects are very crucial, he added.

Mr. Bharat Pokharel of NSCFP said, the guideline is the great and foremost necessity to Minister, secretary and DGs. Our attitude should be changed to empower communities and let them lead to manage forests and NTFPs. The better is: investment and marketing from private companies, resource management form the communities and policy development from the government. The Herbs and NTFP development policy has ensued the spirit. There should be Business Development Services in place for providing services, and there should be clear understanding on who will pay for them. The aspects should be reflected in the guideline. Ensured employment to youths and deprived is necessary, Dr. Pokharel added.

Mr. Birkha Shahi from FECOFUN said, the guideline should made Himalayan region a focus, and especially in the Karnali region. There should be mechanism for respecting indigenous knowledge.

Sharing on MEDEP’s efforts for NTFP based micro‐enterprise development, Mr. Raj Bahadur Shrestha said, sharing of knowledge and learning is important, many people don’t know, what’s there in the NTFP policy. Mr. Suhrid P Chapagain from NSCFP said, the NTFP is in evolutionary mode, and its sure that major issue is the income generation. There may be different working modality, but roles and responsibilities should be allocated and clear among relevant stakeholders.

Dr. RBS Rawat thanked Dr. Subedi for taking initiatives in the guideline development process. We have to make use of national resources and use to the best the manpower. We have to pinpoint priority species. HNCC today is the nodal point, they should take lead and to share all stakeholders what’s happening altogether. We should go with the volume while working for the species. He thanked all participants for joining the discussion and closed the meeting.