Indigenous Sherpas & Bhitteri CFUGs

Grazing yaks on the pastureland of Boch VDC, Dolakha, is an indigenous practice of the sherpa ethnic group and has been such for generations. Grazing yaks is one of the main ways that the sherpalis earn their livelihoods. Yak owners believe that grazing yaks is their right; the life style is one that has been passed on from their forefathers. However, the forest users of Bhitteri CFUGs did not see the situation in the same way. The sherpas’ yaks were depleting the forest resources and threatening sustainability of the forests. The users groups m ade series of efforts to halt grazing and the yak owners contravened to defend their rights against the encroachment.  

The dispute brought no resolution and was not productive for either party; rather both groups were losing neighborhood cooperation and, most significantly, the trust and balance that had once existed among the two groups. To reconcile the escalating discord, ANSAB, the District Forest Office, Dolakha, and FECOFUN worked together to find a solution to which both the yak owners and the CFUGs would be amenable. Both groups were brought in to discuss the situation. The FUGs agreed to set aside 83 ha of forest area for yak grazing and yak owners undertook the responsibility of conservation and management of the forest. As part of the agreement yak owners now sow seeds for grass on the pastureland and the District Forest Office and District Veterinary Office are required to provide seeds for this purpose. As decided, a portion of the revenue of the yak owners shall be used for the grazing management. A grazing management committee was also created to make necessary future decisions. Now, both yak owners and users group are please to see their discord turning into a more fruitful outcome.