Himalayan Bioresources: Volume 4, Issue 1

Volume 4, Issue 1: April-May-June-July 2013

Importance and opportunities of locally controlled forest enterprises in Nepal

Locally controlled forest enterprises involve the engagement of the local communities in forest-based activities as their primary sources of income. These enterprises are established close to the forest, often by or with – and employing – local people, and are inherently tied to the communities in which they operate.

The characteristics of the smallholder and community-scale economic activities as – they tend to be labor intensive, and they cater to local and domestic markets – make them an important positive and long-term contributor to employment and economic development. When these smallholder activities include forest-based actions, they typically contribute more benefits because of the range of the products and services they offer.  To name them, they offer tangible source of incomes as wood and non-wood forest products.  The forest enterprises also offer opportunities on payments for ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, watershed protection, and biodiversity conservation, in the arena of the global climate change.

The characteristics of the smallholder and community-scale economic activities as – they tend to be labor intensive, and they cater to local and domestic markets – make them an important positive and long-term contributor to employment and economic development. When these smallholder activities include forest-based actions, they typically contribute more benefits because of the range of the products and services they offer.  To name them, they offer tangible source of incomes as wood and non-wood forest products.  The forest enterprises also offer opportunities on payments for ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, watershed protection, and biodiversity conservation, in the arena of the global climate change.

The scope and potential. In several cases, development of locally controlled forest enterprises is seen to provide products and services for local subsistence and income and employment opportunities to local communities while contributing to poverty reduction, national economies and conservation of biodiversity.

Clearly, the scope and potential in Nepal is huge and the following facts can give some idea on it.

  • Rich Natural Resource Base: The varied ecological conditions prevailing due to altitudinal and climatic variation have resulted to the rich diversity of natural resource products, upon which rural communities rely for food, medicines and other products. It consists over 7,000 species of higher plants, out of which over 700 species are medicinal and aromatic plants.
  • Market Scope: Nearly 1,000 plant species of known uses: 700 for MAPs, 440 wild food, 30 spices, 71 fibers, 100 fodder.  More than160 species, some unique and high value products are in trade; generating over Rs. 2.5 billion ($35 million) in 2002
  • The positive experience of over thirty years of community-based natural resource management and policy reforms showing unique advantages of community based forest management and enterprises.

Economic Incentives to conservation. Evidence gathered from ANSAB’s enterprise-based biodiversity conservation programs in Nepal suggest that small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) create economic incentives for conservation. Communities that are not getting meaningful benefits from forest resources were found to be indifferent to the conservation practices. Enterprise based biodiversity conservation programs changed the conservation dynamics of the harvesting and processing of valuable NTFPs and income of the local harvesters. For example, in highlands, local people used to burn their forest and pasture, destroying valuable medicinal and aromatic plants, such as Jatamansi (Nardostachys grandiflora), to promote growth of grasses for their livestock grazing. Despite several temptations from the government and project rangers they were not interested in community forestry. With the introduction of a community based enterprise in their locality, due to which they got opportunity to sell NTFPs harvested from adjacent forest, they became interested to get tenure of forest so that they can be assured of regular income from the sustainable collection of NTFPs. The enterprise oriented community forestry allowed them to exclude outsiders and manage their group members. It was worthwhile to establish enterprises that added value to the resources and allowed communities to perceive they were making economic gain from their biological resources.

Emerging opportunities. Community based forest enterprises and SMFEs are getting more and more attention from governments, donor agencies, development organizations and private sector. The community right over forest products and resources under the community forestry system has been recognized by the Government of Nepal.

Besides, there are emerging opportunities at all levels. At local level, paradigm shift is taking place from subsistence oriented, state control to enterprise oriented community-based resource management. At national level, shift towards policies in favor of community based natural resource management is evident in Nepal. This has resulted in experimentation on community based enterprises development and providing us the successful and innovative models of community organization and community based forest enterprises. Even in small number, the successful community-based enterprises that have been able to harness the opportunities as building blocks for commercially viable and sustainable long term livelihood option offer us the ways forward.

Recent initiation from government and other partners including ANSAB for the inclusion of carbon and other payment of ecosystem services to the community managed forest system in Nepal shows that there are opportunities to generate income from locally based eco-tourism, hydrological services, and other forest services (biodiversity, water and soil quality).

Inventory of Forest products: ANSAB’s experience in Participatory Inventory

Inventory has been an important component towards sustainable forest management, as it determines the existing stock of the forest products and their growth rate. Participation of the forest users during inventory process is important for many reasons. One reason is that it provides the users an idea about the production potential of their forest and they can then develop the forest management plan accordingly. Also, it gives disadvantaged groups an opportunity to express their requirements and expectations; and it helps the users to assess the forest condition and analyze possible decisions for improvement.

Over the last two decades, ANSAB has developed and tested simple and participatory forest inventory methodology in community forest user groups in Nepal. The methodology has been used in calculating existing stocks, developing sustainable forest management plan and determining feasibility of community based enterprise development. ANSAB has also been conducting trainings on the easy to understand methodology, which has also been applied by other individuals and institutions working in the forestry sector, including forest user group members, development organizations, and forestry officials.

Recently, ANSAB has documented a toolkit on Participatory inventory of non-timber forest products, which has been used for inventory at national and international levels. In 2012/13, the toolkit was used during the preparation of sustainable harvesting plan of selected NTFPs at Gaurishankar Conservation Area of Nepal, and for resource inventory of Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in the Swat district of Pakistan. Upon the request of USAID Entrepreneurs Project/Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA) – Pakistan, ANSAB also conducted trainings on participatory MAPs inventory to their technical staff and community persons.

PROJECT/STUDY AWARDS

blue moon fund (bmf) awards ANSAB for the Ecosystem-based Commercial Agriculture program

The blue moon fund (bmf) has recently funded ANSAB for the next round of Nepal Center of Excellence in Rural Development project to design Agribusiness Model for Ecosystem-based Commercial Agriculture in Nepal and contribute to national policy reform and program design. ANSAB has previously implemented two years of the Nepal Center of Excellence in Rural Development with bmf.

Read more on first year of the project >>>
Read more on the second year of the project >>>

Two major forestry projects award ANSAB to conduct studies in Nepal

USAID/Hariyo Ban and Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme (MSFP) have recently awarded ANSAB for conducting studies. USAID/Hariyo Ban has awarded ANSAB a study to assess Carbon Stock in the Chitwan Annapurna Landscape for REDD+, while MSFP has awarded a study to identify the opportunities and constraints for private sector involvement and investment in Nepal’s forestry sector. The Hariyo Ban program is a five-year program that responds to the USG Presidential Initiative for Global Climate Change and aims to reduce adverse impacts of climate change and threats to biodiversity. MSFP is an initiative of the Government of Nepal that builds on its achievements of the past 20 years of work in forestry sector and is supported by the Governments of Finland, Switzerland and UK.

Read more on ANSAB’s current projects >>>

MARKET PRICES

Nepal
India
Aconite
700
-
934
Up
Chiretta
725
Down
790
Down
Cinnamon
57.5
-
97.25
Up
Dried ginger
170
Up
199.5
Down
Indian mastiche
575
-
1140
Up
Long piper
837.5
Down
1144
Down
Madder
97.5
-
143.5
Up
Prickly ash
172.5
Up
238
Up
Rock foil
42.5
Up
72
Down
Soap nut
24.5
-
38.75
-
Spikenard
412.5
-
940
Up
Wild asparagus
400
Up
510
Down
Indian valerian
215
Up
530
Up

March 2013 prices in NRs./Kg. Average of two markets (Kathmandu and Nepalgunj) for Nepal; and four (Delhi, Tanakpur, Lucknow and Kolkata) for India. Variations calculated from the previous month.

Consult the complete price list (33 products) >>>

EVENTS

Third International Forest Connect Workshop

ANSAB in partnership with the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) and the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) organized the third Forest Connect International Workshop from February 12-15, 2013 in Kathmandu Nepal. A total of 30 individuals and institutions from 19 countries participated the workshop.

During the workshop, the country teams from Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Congo, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Brazil and Mexico presented forward-looking reports in response to increasing threats of global climate, biodiversity loss and excessive nitrogen use associated with changes in forest land use. Invited forest institutions concerned with farm forest enterprises from Indonesia, Myanmar, Guatemala, Uganda, Mali, Ghana, Canada, USA, Finland and United Kingdom also gave presentations presented about their current state of activities and support

During the event, participants made a field trip to the Charnawati CFUG – Dolakha that is involved in national level REDD+ demonstration activities and production of FSC certified handmade paper, Sikre briquette enterprise  – SIndhupalchok that is manufacturing briquettes at community level, and Himalayan Biotrade – Kathmandu that processes and trades handmade paper and essential oils.

The first two International Forest Connect Workshops were organized in Edinburgh, Scotland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Visit FCN webpage >>>

Visit Forest Connect page >>>

36th NNN meeting

ANSAB organized the 36th sharing meeting of Nepal NTFP Network (NNN) on March 15, 2013 at ANSAB office. During the meeting, sharing of the methodological framework and outcome of study that ANSAB conducted lately on prioritizing NTFP enterprises and support activities that would make the greatest contribution to socio-economic impacts and integrated, intensified and climate smart land use. The participating institutions and individuals also shared their activities and programs in NTFP sectors, and also discussed on harmonizing Community Forestry and IEE/EIA practices and process was done for making the environmental assessment process in community forestry more efficient and less bureaucratic.

Read the minutes of the 36th NNN meeting >>>

Find the archives of the minutes >>>

ANSAB presents at the Annual Meeting of the Asia REDD+ Working Group

Executive Director Dr. Bhishma Subedi presented on the ecological information for community Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES) project with the Nepalese experience in the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asia REDD+ working group (January 8-10, 2013) in West Java, Indonesia. The presentation focused on the REDD+ pilot project’s forest carbon measurement approach and activities of linking payment and forest carbon enhancement. It also focused on the involvement of communities and bundling of community forests to monitor carbon stocks, which provides a rapid and cost-effective way of CO2 sink and monitoring, as well enhancing ownership over the process.

Learn more on the REDD+ pilot project in Nepal >>>

ICRAF’s consultative workshop identifies capacity development needs in Agroforestry for South Asia

Programs Manager Puspa L. Ghimire participated the consultative workshop on World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)’s Capacity Development Strategy & South Asian Partners’ Capacity Needs Assessment in Dhaka from 30 to 31 January 2013. Institutions from Nepal, India, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan were present in the consultation, where ICRAF’s capacity development strategy was shared and capacity needs in Agroforestry (AF) of each of the participating country of South Asia was identified. The identified capacity development needs of Nepal by the consultation workshop are:

  • Support for drafting national agroforestry policy process
  • Piloting of the already envisioned Ecosystem-based Commercial Agriculture including other best practices of AF in different agro-ecological zones
  • Developing organizational capacity on AF and conduction of national level trainings on AF
  • Developing AF network within the country for sharing the issues on AF regularly

ANSAB participates in FSC International Generic Indicator workshop

Dr. Kalyan Gauli-Manager –Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Climate Change participated in a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International Generic Indicator (IGI) workshop on 4 -5 April 2013 in Kuala Lumpur. Eight countries including Nepal that are in the process of developing FSC National Standards following IGI participated in the event and shared on the newly developed IGI and its application to National Standards.

FROM THE FIELD

District coordinator serves as a resource person in Dolakha district, Nepal

Dolakha District Coordinator – Mr. Sagar Godar Chhetri presented on sustainable harvesting technique of Wintergreen at Suspa Kshamawati VDC on 5-6 March 2013 on request of the Dolakha District Forest Office. A total of 20 individuals from the district forest office and community forest user groups participated the event.