International Development Planning Review

The vacillating evolution of forestry policy in Nepal: Historically manipulated, internally mismanaged

International Development Planning Review (2002), 24, (3), 315–338.

Abstract

The history of Nepalese forestry reveals that very little progress has been made in effectively integrating people's needs with forest management objectives through forestry policy mandates and practices. This paper critically examines Nepal's forestry policies and use practices during the pre-unification period (pre-1769), the Rana regime (1846–1950), planned development (the 1950s), the Panchayat regime (1960–90) and post-democracy (1990 to the present). This historical critique finds that political posturing, rhetoric and personal profiteering have taken precedence over public duty, regardless of whether autocratic or pseudo-democratic regimes were in power. Thus far, forest policy studies have focused on the hill zone of Nepal. This paper focuses on Tarai forestry, and exposes the geopolitical and political economic forces in play. It concludes that a lack of fiscal transparency and accountability on the part of the government, and the monopolistic control of the sale of forest produce by the Timber Corporation of Nepal (TCN), are the major underlying causes of dwindling forest resources in the Tarai region.

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Details

Author details

Bhattarai, Keshav

Conway, Dennis

Shrestha, Nanda