The introduction of Community Forestry (CF) program in Bhutan is a courageous, innovative and promising step towards participatory forest management and this has been well recognized throughout the world as a successful people centered program.
The FNCR 2006 provides a clear regulation of the CF and the process of handing over forest to the local communities by forming management groups called Community Forest Management Groups (CFMGs). This Rule defines community forest as a part of national forest handed over to a CFMG for its development, protection, conservation, and utilization for collective benefits. The government transfers responsibility to CFMG for managing the national forest and the right to use forest products in a sustainable way with the ultimate objective of improving livelihoods of rural communities. The CFMGs have been recognized as social institutions, legal entities and self-governing autonomous bodies which have legal rights to formulate their constitutions (legal documents based on which they operate) and to take decisions regarding CF management.
Community Forestry Program of Samtse is well-renowned throughout Bhutan. Over 1404 hhs, 35 forest management group have been formed and almost 2500.36 Ha of the national forest handed over to the community forest management group (CFMG) under Samtse Dzongkhag till date. The Primary objective of the community forestry program as envisioned by the Master Plan for Forestry Sector is to fulfill the basic needs of forest products, and it is often claimed that it has fulfilled the objective in a large extent. Keeping all this in mind, on 9th September, 2014 in an auspicious day the Dzongkhag Forestry Sector handed over Dhakal Goan CF under Norgaygang Geog and Amalay CF under Tendruk Geog. The Dhakal Goan CF under Norgaygang Geog consists of 17 hhs with an area of 53.8 Ha and Amalay CF under Tendruk Geog consists of 39 hhs with an area of 63.3 Ha.
– Submitted by: Ugyen Takchu, Sr. Forest Ranger, Dz. Forestry Sector, Samtse
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