Logo Tropentag

Tropentag, October 5 - 7, 2004 in Berlin

"Rural Poverty Reduction
through Research for Development and Transformation"

Innovative Policy Options for Poverty Alleviation: A Case of Leasehold Forestry of Nepal

Basundhara Bhattarai1, Hemant R. Ojha2, Clemens Wollny3

1Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Tropical and International Forestry, Germany
2University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
3Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Animal Breeding and Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany


In Nepal, forest is a very important resource for the livelihood of poor people. Since 1991, Community Based Leasehold Forest Policy (CBLFP) is formulated and implemented aiming to alleviate poverty of the rural poor and to rehabilitate degraded forest land. Degraded land is transferred to the poorest people to plant forest crops as well as forage to support livestock production. The user rights to the forest are provided over a period of 40 years. In addition to the cultivation of forest and forage crops, provision for credit, training for entrepreneurship development and institutional supports are linked to the programme. It is expected that this type of integrated and decentralised CBLFP should have an increased impact on poverty alleviation compared to conventional community forestry programmes. The main research question of the study was whether such a innovative policy intervention is able to address the poverty through allocating exclusive use right of the resource to the poor people.
In this case study, eight leasehold groups of Kavre district of Nepal were surveyed, addressing the poverty situation of the target group. Different tools of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) were implied to collect and triangulate the data.The main findings of the study are that after the implementation of CBLFP, poor people are in contrast to its objective excluded and further marginalised and occurrence of severe conflicts over the resource tenure were noted. As a policy recommendation, community based leasehold forestry programme should be integrated into existing community forestry programme with the inclusion of poverty alleviation component. Further, there should be the provision made to transfer user rights for well stocked forest to address poverty issues adequately to create incentive to the resource poor people to develop the degraded forestland.

Keywords: Leasehold forestry, Nepal, poverty alleviation

Contact Address: Basundhara Bhattarai, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Tropical and International Forestry
current address: , e-mail: basundharao@yahoo.com

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