The study examines the importance of community forest resources for income and employment in rural areas of Nepal by studying the effect of current forestry policy on forestland use. Using data from 259 households in six community forest user groups in three hilly districts (Dolakha, Kavre and Nuwakot), the results show that the resources available from private lands and community forests with current policies are inadequate to fully utilize the family labour force of many rural households and are insufficient to meet the bare survival income of the poorest households. Current government policy dictates the use of all community forestland for limited timber production and environmental conservation, and provides little scope for fodder and firewood production. The study shows that community forestland management with an agroforestry model could overcome rural unemployment problems and increase incomes.


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