Workshop on Private Forest Promotion in Nepal

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A national workshop on Private Forest Promotion in Nepal was held from 13–14 March at the Local Development Training Academy in Kathmandu. The workshop was organized by the National Forum for Advocacy Nepal and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), with financial support from the Multi Stakeholder Forestry Programme (MSFP), Nepal. ICIMOD provided technical support for the workshop. The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss policy, legislation, and implementation issues in promoting private forestry and to recognize the important role the private sector can play in promoting private forestry. 

Laxmi Dutta Bhatta, Ecosystem Management Specialist, represented ICIMOD at the opening ceremony and made a presentation on ‘Engaging the Private Sector in Forestry Sector, Nepal’. Dr Manohara Khadka, Gender Specialist at ICIMOD, made a presentation on ‘Gender inclusion in private forestry: Prospects, issues and ways forward’. The objective of the gender presentation was to sensitize stakeholders about gender issues in forestry, forest management, and private forestry promotion in Nepal and the need to consider the gender dimensions from the conception of private forestry programmes and in knowledge exchange forums such as this workshop. 

ICIMOD’s involvement in this workshop is a part of its activities to engage the private sector with the forestry sector being taken up by the Transboundary Landscape Regional Programme. The Transboundary Landscape Regional Programme of ICIMOD is exploring the possibility of a partnership with MSFP on activities of mutual interest in the near future. 

The two-day national workshop was the first of its kind in Nepal. Participants, especially private forest owners and forest entrepreneurs, acknowledged the workshop as an important milestone in the ‘private forestry’ movement with due emphasis on making Nepal’s forestry sector policies and practices conducive to private forestry promotion. Participants included representatives of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, the Private Forestry Development Association, civil society, non-government organizations, donors, representatives of the private sectors, private forest owners, and forest enterprises, and representatives of community-based forestry institutions. Around 25% of participants were women.