On 26th September 2015, Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN – the BirdLife International Partner in Nepal), in collaboration with the Department of Forests (DoF) and Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), organized a regional workshop in Pokhara on “Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services into Community Forestry in Nepal” funded by the UK’s Darwin Initiative.

The main objectives of the regional workshop was to identify the status of the biodiversity conservation and environment services and explore how well have these issues been addressed into the community forestry systems of seven different districts (Chitwan, Baglung, Parbat, Myagdi, Tanahu, Syanja and Kaski) in mid-hill region of Nepal. The workshop was attempted to assess how the Operational plan and constitution of the CFUGs have incorporated the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services? What are the provisions in the Operational plans? How far they implemented and what are the linkages between biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods?

The workshop was opened by a short welcome speech along with highlighting the objective of the project delivered by Dr. Narendra M B Pradhan, CEO of BCN, before being formally inaugurated by Mr. Krishna Prasad Pokharel, DDG, DoF. 

Kalidash Subedi, Chairperson, FECOFUN Kaski added that many plant species and their value are unknown to people in many community forest. Similarly, Ghanendra Khanal, AFO, Regional Forest Directorate stressed on the immediate need of measuring our natural resources to manage the biodiversity and ecosystem services properly.

Mr. Krishna Prasad Pokharel, DDG, DoF illustrated the role of both people and department of forest in the conservation of community forest. He also mentioned that, the more people conserve the biodiversity the more they gain benefit from it to improve their livelihood.

Group discussion about status, challenges and issues of the biodiversity and ecosystem services in different community forests and their provisions in community forests operational plan and constitution along with successful examples of the biodiversity, positive and negative impacts on rural livelihoods was carried out among all the participants to gain and share detail knowledge and information.

From the group discussion it was concluded that although many conservational activities have been carried out in community forests for their protection, it is still insufficient to get desired achievement due to limited content of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services in operational plan , lack of knowledge on community level, illegal felling, poaching etc. so there is need of including many things related to biodiversity conservation in operational plan to protect both flora and fauna and launching various awareness programme through meeting, workshop, tour, training in the community level to mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services into community forestry.

At the end, Dadhi Kandel, Under Secretory (Tech.), DoF closed the session by accepting that the conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecosystem services in community forests have been given very little attention in policy forum and by forestry technicians. It is essential to think about maximum utilization of forest resource but at the same time we should concern about maintaining biological diversity and conserving the ecosystem services in the forest.