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Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal hails decision to repeal Scientific Forest Management Work Procedures

Photo: Social Media

KATHMANDU: The Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) has welcomed the government’s decision of repealing the Scientific Forest Management Work Procedures, 2071 BS.
The meeting of the Council of Ministers on January 24 decided to do away with the SFM on the recommendation of the Ministry of Forests and Environment. The then Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation had implemented the scientific forest management programme six years back and also prepared the Scientific Forest Management Work Procedures aimed at increasing the production of timber and decreasing timber import from abroad so as to making the country self-sufficient in timber.
However, FECOFUN had been from the beginning demanding to implement the sustainable forestry management programme instead of the ‘scientific forest management programme’. Hailing the latest decision of the Council of Ministers, FECOFUN has thanked the government for opening the utilisation, and sale and distribution of forest based products by scrapping the Scientific Forest Management Work Procedures, 2071 BS that was ‘forcibly implemented’ in the forestry sector challenging the principle of sustainable management of forests.
FECOFUN president Bharati Pathak said the community forestry users should be allowed to optimally use the rights they have got through the implementation of the sustainable forest management programme.
The sustainable forestry management principle says that forests should be managed by maintaining balance among the social, economic and environmental aspects while fully respecting the supreme rights of the local users.
She expressed happiness that what FECOFUN had been demanding from the very beginning has been heard by the government through its latest decision.
Saying the FECOFUN has strong determination on the issue of increasing production from forest and creating employment to locals, Pathak urged the government to make arrangement of extracting fallen and very old tress and forest products for users by relying on the forest product laws after formulating national guideline of sustainable forest management immediately.
With this decision, the restriction imposed on cutting of sal trees and timber and its distribution has been lifted after eight months. The government has taken decision to utilize, distribution and supply of timber of forests managed by the government, community forests and partnership forests except the forest where scientific forest management programme has been implemented after fulfilling the process.
The cabinet meeting held on May 28, 2020 decided to immediately prohibit the cutting, collection, supply of timber immediately after it received the complaint that trees were being cut down wantonly in the name of scientific forest management.

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