Issue Date: Feb 29, 2000
In 1993, the Nepal government decided to hand over certain forest areas to rural communities. Six years later, 8,559 such communities are managing 621,942 hectares of forest land in the country. They are bent on accomplishing what the government has not been able to do -- regenerate the fast-depleting forest cover. While government-protected forests go from bad to worse, those managed by communities are getting a new lease of life. Unfortunately, a recent government circular threatens to bring the story of Nepal's community forest management (CFM) to an abrupt end.