October 27, 2016 - May 31, 2018
Green Foundation, Nepal
2,000 FECOFUN and Green Foundation members were elected in Nepal’s first federal elections. These representatives now hold positions such as mayors and deputy mayors in local, state, and federal governments. This SRM activity builds on this momentum to both advocate for a new Forest Rights Law in Nepal as well as facilitate a high-level visit of Nepali parliamentarians, policymakers, and influential civil society leaders to Mexico. These leaders will be instrumental in advocating for a new Forest Rights Law that is inclusive of Community Forest Enterprises, and thus the visit highlighted the positive social, economic, and political gains from Mexico’s rich community forestry experience.
The members of parliament were particularly interested in Community Forestry Enterprises in Mexico and the successes observed there, where nearly 80 percent of forests are ejidos or community forests and as a result, communities generate substantial revenue from the forests, much of which is reinvested into the ejido. The high-level visit added value to existing activities currently being undertaken to pass a new Forest Rights Law in Nepal and garnered support from parliamentarians for the proposed Forest Rights Law. There is an unprecedented opportunity to create a coalition of allies and champions who support community forest rights in this beginning stage.
This exchange visit is innovative as the high-level exchange between Nepal and Mexico represents the first time RRI facilitated a comprehensive attempt to unify various locally elected government officials to learn from the experience in Mexico to create more sustainable, economically viable, and climate friendly policy. There is a complete shift in government structures—and for the first time Nepal will have a federal government and moreover, for the first-time local governments and decision makers will be responsible for creating rights-based forest policies.