Forest sector a major base of prosperity


Kathmandu, Feb 18. The work plan for reform in the forest sector prepared by the Ministry of Forest and Environment has contributed to preparing a solid base for the national campaign of prosperity the government has launched.

Immediately after the assumption of the post, Minister for Forest Shakti Bahadur Basnet had initiated the work plan on reform in the forest sector in view of the national campaign and resolution of prosperity.

The Ministry informed that the forest sector collected the revenue as per target and made achievement on job creation. As much as Rs 1.7 billion was collected as revenue with the transaction of woods, timber, medicinal herbs and ecotourism this passed one year. Similarly, Rs 900 million is the institutional income, said Ministry Spokesperson Dr Sindhu Prasad Dhungana.

Similarly, medicinal herbs and non-timber products of Rs 7.7 billion has been exported from Nepal, creating numerous jobs. “Increase in the export of herbs and non-timber products has contributed to reduce growing trade loss, creating jobs to the unemployed ones,” he added.

Similarly, the Ministry as per the annual plan collected 42 metric tons of woods which help make country self-reliant on woods. In the same period last year, Nepal had imported the wood and timber products of Rs 5 .75 billion.

Eco-tourism to boost visits 
The eco-tourism is also contributing to the national economy. As per the Ministry record, over half million visited the protected areas, similar number of people visited botanical gardens, and Rs 1 million plus visited the central zoo. It has increased revenue and created jobs at local levels, the Ministry shared.

A long term plan for the construction of zoological park at Suryabinayak of Bhaktapur has also been forwarded.

Moreover, a total of 650 industries were set up based on forest last year. A total of 481 hectares of forest lands were provided for various development projects on hydroelectricity, road, cement factory and irrigation.

This very year, President Bidya Devi Bhandari attended and addressed the COP 24th meeting in Poland. In her address, the President shed light on various aspects of climate change in the global, regional and national fronts.

The Ministry also handed over 11,000 hectares of national forest to 121 community forests users’ groups. Access of 26,000 households to the forest products was also ensured. Even the earthquake survivors were provided woods and timber.

Other activities of the Ministry include production and distribution of 19 million tree samplings, conduct of tiger census and endorsement of the National Forest Policy 2075.