Weak financial governance ails forest consumer’s groups

Gulmi, Apr. 11: The financial administration within the Community Forest Consumers Groups is alleged to be weak as there have been cases of lack of accounting management and organisational capacity within the community forest user groups. Secretary of the Ministry of Forest, Environment, Tourism, and Water Supply, Lumbini Province Government, Mohan Raj Kafle, emphasised the significance of adhering to laws within the community forest users’ committees and maintaining economic governance.

During the capacity development workshop organised for the Community Forest Consumer Groups at Resunga Municipality of Gulmi, Kafle said that there are issues regarding the management of revenue generated from community forests. 

He emphasized the need for tree plantation, construction of fire lines, and other activities to prevent deforestation and ensure the protection of forests. He also highlighted the facilitation and coordination efforts being made for the conservation of national forests.

Dadhi Lal Kandel, Director at the Forest Directorate Lumbini Province Butwal, Rupandehi, said that forest fires and fire incidents occur in Nepal only due to human causes. Besides causing extensive forest fires, all the forest fire incidents that occur here are man-made incidents, he added. He said that 58 per cent of Nepal’s forests are destroyed by grazing cattle in forests, illegal hunting of wild animals in forests, and people collecting herbs and non-timber forest products.

Prabhat Sapkota, Divisional Forest Officer of Divisional Forest Office, Rupandehi, informed about the concept of community forest, arrangement of laws and regulations, protected forest and its meaning, potential of forest area in Gulmi, agricultural forest and species like Shrikhanda, Uttis, Khair, Okhar, Timur, Tejpat that accrue good income of the district.

Khildhwaj Panthi, Mayor of Resunga Municipality, said that the private sector and the government sector should work together, saying that forests should be linked to raising standard of living of citizens and creating jobs.

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