This chapter discusses the value of Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) as key local institutions for community development in rural Nepal. The implementation of community forestry (CF) is a valuable development process for building the economic opportunities as well as the natural, social and human capital within a community and creating positive change. In general terms, CF provides livelihood opportunities for members of CFUGs by enhancing their personal capacity, supporting income generation and providing funds to support a range of community-oriented activities. Our analysis of three case studies indicates that CF can lead to community development via increasing knowledge and skills, increasing participation in decision-making processes and strengthening social networks. While CFUGs are useful institutions for managing community development and forest governance, achieving equity in committee membership, decision-making and capacity building remain challenging. More equitable distribution of CFUG funds and selection of high-priority projects may not occur until poorer members of village communities are more actively engaged in decision-making processes and development opportunities of CFUGs. Thus, careful consideration of the composition and dynamics of CFUGs are needed if CF is to make a stronger contribution to community development in rural Nepal.
|Title of host publication||Community forestry in Nepal|
|Subtitle of host publication||Adapting to a changing World|
|Editors||Richard Thwaites, Robert Fisher, Mohan Poudel|
|Place of Publication||Oxon, UK|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|