Mr. Jog Raj Giri, Chairman AFFON (Association of Family Forest Owners Nepal), hold informal meeting with the honorable minister Mr. Agni Sapkota, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation-Government of Nepal.
The meeting mainly aimed to abreast the minister on the issues relating to the family forest owners. However, the discussion was mainly concentrated on the following issues:
The Distance of the forest based enterprises from the forests in the hilly regions:
There exists a policy hurdle for the establishment of enterprises which has a provision of maintaining 1 km from the forest stand in the hill regions and 3 km in the terai regions. However, for the hilly regions maintaining this distance is a great constrain to establish forest based enterprises.In order to promote forest based enterprises, this distance is to be reduced towards 0km distance from the forest stand.
Easing the ban on trade of Nepalese alder (Alnus nepalensis):
Nepalese alder, known as uttis in the Nepalese language, is a very common species of the Himalayas occurring from about 500m to 3000m elevation, tolerating a wide variety of soil types and growing quickly even on the hill slopes. It is one of the common key species of the Nepalese family forest. However, the government has put a ban on the trade of the alder which has limited the use of the tree only for the house hold purpose. Upon releasing the ban, family forest owners could get economic benefits to enhance their livelihood.
Mr. Giri, urged for removing such policy hurdles so as to promote the forest based enterprises which eventually help reduce poverty and enhance the livelihood of the farmers as farming is the major occupation of the Nepalese.Honorable Minister was very much positive throughout the discussion and has promised to ease such hurdles. However, AFFON will continue with its efforts towards making the policies farmer friendly.