Gigi Otten

Community Forestry Management in Nepal: Critical Factors for Success

On the southern boarder of Nepal, there is a forest that is managed by the communities it serves. In the buffer zones of Chitwan National Park, 21 villages organized into Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) that have taken on the responsibility and benefits of now well-established Community Forestry Management (CFM) programs. This project was established to conserve the process that communities took on to conserve and expand a biodiverse forest and its associated ecosystem services. Oral histories from three folks deeply involved in the creation and continuation of the CFMs showed that the main factor leading to success or failure of CFM is community buy-in and participation. Additional factors are long term organization and support from administration and financial and social empowerment of community members.