Report And Case Studies

Shree binayak pimidanda community forest: More than a paper tiger

Author: Hukum B. Singh
Publisher: FAO
Language: English
Date of Publication: 2002
Number of Pages: 10
Price: Free

Few would imagine that the path to good forest management could be paved with small sheets of plain hand-made paper. But this is exactly the case for a vibrant community forest in the far reaches of western Nepal. “The Shree Binayak Pimidanda Community Forest in Bajhang is unquestionably one of the best managed forests in the country,” commented Rama Kanta Yadav, a ranger with the District Forest Office. “It has become an excellent example of how a forest should be managed, largely as a result of the establishment of a paper factory. The members of the local Forest User Groups are very serious about sustainable forest management, as well as managing the commercial assets of the forest. With minimal support from outsiders, the community has dispelled the common belief that industries in the high mountains cannot operate profitably.”

It is unlikely that first-time visitors to the factory premises of Malika Handmade Paper Industry, which the villagers refer to simply as “the Company,” could imagine that a viable industry could be established in such a remote area. Nor could they expect that such an enterprise could substantially raise the standard In search of excellence of living for the inhabitants of the isolated village. But such is reality. Even more impressive is the fact that the villagers have established the paper industry themselves.