More than 80 percent of Nepal’s population of 30 million lives in rural areas with agriculture as their main livelihood. About 39 percent of Nepal’s land area of 5.5 million ha is defined as forest land whereas the forested area with 10 percent crown cover is estimated at 25 percent or 3.6 million ha of the land area. Most of the forests are located in the hills and low mountains, where the bulk of the community forests are also found. Recent data from the Department of Forests (DoF) indicates that 18 334 user groups, involving 2.24 million households, presently manage 1.7 million ha. The management of community forests has made a significant contribution to the stabilization of the overall forest area and the improvement of forest conditions.
This publication is one in a series of RECOFTC country engagement strategies that analyses the community forestry (CF) situation, challenges and development potential in Nepal. Adhering to RECOFTC's vision and mission, the report presents the organization’s strategic programme framework and how RECOFTC in Nepal can effectively contribute to the advancement of CF in the country.