Forest Rights Program (FRP)

Rights-based Community Forestry Programme (FRP), the third undertaking, seeked to establish access to the forest resources as the rights of the people as stipulated in the Community Forestry Provisions of the Government while asserting that it is people's responsibility to protect them. With the financial assistance of Churia Forest Development Project (ChFDP) of GTZ, it started working in the ChFDP's project area since January 2001. It supported local NGOs to equip community forest user groups (CFUGs) with necessary social attitude, legal information and technical skills in order to strengthen the community forestry so that the community can reap the harvest equitably while taking charge of the protection of forests for sustainable use. 
 

Approach

Viewing community forest as user's rights, it worked together with the local NGOs to conscientize them as parts of the civil society by providing hands on trainings, workshops, study tours and on-the-spot coaching so that they could support the communities especially women, dalits, janajatis and disadvantaged groups of people to demand and manage the community forests from teh forest offices. It worked to build social capital for community forestry and exploring/advancing forest-based economic opportunities particularly for and with marginalized groups of people. It sought to generate support in favour of the forest users by sensitizing the local governments in the process of acquiring the community forests and watching their management and the distribution of benefits. It also tried to bridge the gap amongst the concerned including between the government and other stakeholders in the community forestry process. It also sought build networks for solidarity in order to promote the exchange of experiences and ideas and protect the interests of the forest users. Training, workshops, exposure visits and on-the-spot coaching were the main activities of FRP. Being flexible to accomodate the intersts and suggestions of the concerned agencies, its working approach was refined over the time. Expansion and intensification of the work was based on the dialogue with ChFDP together with the feedback by the enthusiasm of the forest users. 
 

Achievements

Some the achievements made by the program were:
  • Enhanced capacity of several local collaborating NGOs (CNGOs)
  • Increased number of local NGOs started working on community forestry
  • CF users started asserting rights over their community forests
  • Developed rights based community forestry local resource persons- included CF resource persons, dalit resource persons and gender resource persons
  • Increased inclusion, access and influence of dalits in CFUGs
  • Increased inclusion, access and influence of women in CFUGs
  • Created forest-based income generation opportunities
 
FRP together with CNGOs and Alternative Herbal Products (AHP), for the first time in Nepal, added value to wild, underutilized bael fruits by designing and developing marketable finished product (Bael Sorbet) from it. Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos) was one of the underutilized NTFP not only in the area but also in other parts of the country. Bael, widely found in the Churia and its surrounding areas was used as fuel wood and was threatened of overexploitation by local industries involved in baking of bricks, tiles and drying of tobacco as the fuel wood from bael tree gave off much heat.
 
Two local initiatives processing bael fruits to bael sorbet (brand name: Marmelous) were started in collabioration with AHP in 2002. Many different organization such as DF Office in Baglung and Sarlahi districts, CARE-Nepal, SDC, BDS-MaPS etc came to visit the enterprises and learn about commercial processing of bael fruits. Later, several organizations such as BDS-MaPS (a joint project of IDE, WINROCK INTERNATIONAL, ANSAB, LOTUS Opportunities and WWF), AEC/FNCCI-ICUC- FECOFUN, LFP/SLOVE Nepal, ITDG Nepal, GEM-Nepal, SDC, WWF-Tal, etc started promoting bael processing enterprises in different parts of the country. GoN also started supporting community-based bael fruits processing enterprises in Siraha district under its One Village One Product (OVOP) program. When the bael fruits started providing employment opportunities locally,  local people stopped cutting down the trees for fuelwood and started conserving it for fruits. 
 
 

Collaborators

International Collaborators

  • Churia Forest Development Project (ChFDP)/GTZ

National Collaborators

  • Churia Forest Development Project (ChFDP)/GTZ
  • Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN)
 

District Collaborators

  • Samaj Seba Kendra, Chaudandi- 4, Udayapur
  • Jagriti Club, Hadiya- 7, Udayapur
  • Janajagriti Yuba Samuha, Jogidaha- 8, Udayapur
  • FECOFUN-Udayapur, Gaighat, Udayapur
  • Jalpa Yuba Samuha, Jalpa Chilaune- 3, Udayapur
  • Udayapur Ekata Bikas Kendra, Katari- 4, Udayapur
  • Chetanshil Mahila Samuha, Tribeni- 6, Udayapur
  • Everest Memorial Yuba Club, Badaharamala- 7, Siraha
  • Udaya Yuba Club, Chandralalpur- 6, Siraha
  • FECOFUN-Siraha, Golbazaar, Siraha
  • Himalaya Yuba Club, Muksar- 7, Siraha
  • Samaj Seba Samiti, Dhodana- 9, Siraha
  • Batabaran Samrakshan Kon, Hardiya- 9, Saptari
  • Shreepuraj Yuba Club, Kusaha- 2, Saptari
  • Gaunle Jagaran Samaj, Mahuli- 9, Saptari
  • FECOFUN-Saptari, Mahuli, Saptari
  • Lotus Youth Club, Fattepur- 3, Saptari
 

Local Collaborators

  • Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs)
  • Community-based enterprises such as bael fruit processing enterprises
  • Dalit focused netwroks
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