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Sheltering forests for people

International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated worldwide on May 22 to further our understanding of biodiversity issues. This year, the International Day for Biological Diversity highlights ‘Forest Biodiversity’ to complement the International Year of Forests 2011, declared by the UN General Assembly. The International Year of Forests gives us an opportunity to renew our awareness of the state of the world’s forests, and to realize their role in greening the environment, sustaining life, and providing for people’s needs and wellbeing.

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Apr 15, 2011

Comparison of improved and traditional cooking stove user in terms of firewood consumption

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13 JAN 2011

Neither forests nor trees

The current political disarray is resulting in calamitous deforestation across the country, and threatens to roll back Nepal's internationally acclaimed community forestry success story.

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December 27, 2010

Forests for food security and livelihood sustainability: Policy problems and opportunities for small farmers in Nepal

Title: Forests for food security and livelihood sustainability: Policy problems and opportunities for small farmers in Nepal
Authors: Bhubaneswor Dhakal
Authors: Hugh Bigsby
Authors: Ross Cullen
Source: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 35(1):86-115

This study used a novel empirical model of common property to examine problems of forest policy on food security and livelihoods in Nepal. At the opening section, the paper well described agro-ecological rationalities for maintaining some forest areas in each mountain communities. Then it reviewed progression of forest policies that constrained use of resources and services from local forests, and escalated starvations and miseries in disadvantaged communities. The paper nicely articulated progression of forest policies and marginalization of poor people and disadvantaged communities. It has modeled impacts of current and alternative policies of community forestry for rural food security and livelihoods. The intention for introduction of the Nepalese forest policies and their consequences can be a heart breaking for some readers.

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December 2010

Advancing equity in community forestry: recognition of the poor matters

The community forestry program in Nepal has been advancing as a successful means of improving the condition of forests. However, as in other areas around the world, Nepal’s community forestry initiative continues to face unresolved equity issues. This paper seeks to explore underlying causes of inequity using contemporary theories of justice. Examining two community forest user groups in the middle hill districts, the study finds that lack of recognition in interpersonal and public spheres exacerbated the powerlessness of marginalized people, reducing their participation in decision-making. The paper argues that, while distributional rules advanced by the program are crucial, the problem of recognition remains an unaddressed but necessary pre-condition for advancing equity. This suggests that policy and practice in community forestry needs to focus on broader political questions, including representation in decision making, making space for the voice of members to influence decisions, and transforming socio-economic and political institutions and cultural practices.

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25 August 2010

Poorer nations hit with 'exorbitant' consultancy fees for carbon offset projects

Nepalese government has paid a Norwegian consultancy €150,000 (£123,000) to get UN certification for biogas projects.

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Valuing natural capital for development decisions

DFID in its conceptual frameworks of Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches (SLAs) defines five types of asset: human capital, social capital (the ability to draw on support through membership of social groups), natural capital, physical capital, and financial capital for achieving poverty elimination. But most services provided by the natural environment (natural capital) to human society are not captured by GDP or other conventional macro-economic indicators, because, they are not directly traded in markets.  Provisioning services (food, fibre and water) and a few cultural services (such as recreation and tourism) are somehow calculated but value of regulating services (water and climate regulation) is not calculated yet, although research on regulating services is developing rapidly.

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August 2010

Forest Resource Assessment in Nepal: An Assessment of Data Needs

Forestry sector of Nepal requires reliable, accurate and updated forestry information for strategic planning, policy and management decisions. However, forestry information management system in Nepal is poor due to scattered data in different organizations, lack of periodic data updating policy and the respective actions, and insufficient institutional capacity for data management. The last National Forest Inventory (NFI) was carried out in early nineties in Nepal. Since then, forests data have not been updated yet at national level and early nineties data do not represent present situation and growing demands of national/international data needs.

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ICIMOD opens office to monitor REDD

KATHMANDU: The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development today launched a Project Management Unit (PMU) in Kathmandu to coordinate and manage a project for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in community forests.

The four-year project (2009-2013) carries out demonstrations on developing a REDD payment mechanism and related activities with aiming to strengthen the capacity of civil societies to take part in the REDD process.

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June 19, 2010

Nepal bans logging for two months

KATHMANDU — Nepal has banned people from cutting down trees for two months after reports of massive deforestation in its lawless southern plains, a government spokesman said Friday.


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by Dr. Radut