Collaborative forest management in Nepal: Tenure, governance and contestations

Sindhu P Dhungana, Poshendra Satyal, Nagendra P Yadav, Bhola Bhattarai

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Collaborative forest management (CFM) is a ‘community-based’ forest tenure regime that works in partnership between the central government, local government and local forest user groups in Nepal’s Terai, particularly in the management of large, contiguous forests. It has been in practice since the early 2000s in the form of ‘pilot initiatives’ and is gradually receiving greater legal attention. Through our own experiences, available literature and policy reviews, we document the evolutionary history of Terai forest and CFM’s current issues. We found that the management aspects of the Terai forests have been weak throughout its history. We also found a number of issues and challenges in the implementation of CFM. Some of the prominent issues include ambiguity in tenure rights and security, lack of appropriate and uncontested policy provisions for cost and bene t sharing among collaborators, limited decision-making space for forest-managing communities and local governments, and limited capacity of collaborators for the productive management of forests. We suggest tenure reform in terms of legal, institutional, technical and financial arrangements, so as to make CFM effective forest management in the Terai.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Forest and Livelihood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Forest governance
  • collaborative forest management
  • Terai
  • benefit sharing
  • decision making
  • tenure

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