Journal of Forest and Livelihood <p>The English journal of ForestAction Nepal. Journal of Forest and Livelihood (JFL) is a peer-reviewed journal, targeted for professionals, policy makers and academicians in the field of forestry and natural resource management. JFL is an open access journal and is published biannually.</p> en-US <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>CC-BY-NC:</strong> This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. </span></p> (Rahul Karki) (Sioux Cumming) Wed, 12 Jul 2023 10:24:30 +0000 OJS 60 Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Forest Fires and their Environmental and Socio-economic Implications in Nepal <p>Forest fire is a global phenomenon, resulting in devastation across regions. Nepal is not an exception where forest ecosystems and environment are vulnerable to forest fires, causing loss of properties and lives. While a range of studies have been conducted on the causes of forest fire and its impact, temporal and spatial dimensions along with ecological and socio-economic implications are largely overlooked. This paper aims to identify the temporal and spatial distribution of forest fire, and its implications on forest ecology, environmental, and socio-economic sectors of Nepal. Data on fire incidences and burnt areas were obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and information pertaining to environmental and socio-economic implications were collected from various secondary sources. The 2001-2020 data revealed increasing forest fire incidences. Seasonally, pre-monsoon appeared to have higher frequencies of forest fires. By province, the Tarai and Siwalik regions of the Sudurpaschim Province, Madhesh Province, Lumbini Province, and Bagmati Province are susceptible to fire. In terms of fire risk, the Tarai-Siwalik region of Sudurpaschim and Madhesh Province are at very high forest fire risk. In terms of environmental loss and damage, every year on an average, 3,098 fire incidences occur resulting in damage to 172,040.65 hectares (ha) of forest and biomass loss of 7.07 million tons per year accounting to emission of 3.30 million tons of carbon per year. During 2020-2021 period, a total of Nepalese Rupees (NPR) 1890000 (USD 15240.70) was lost due to the damage incurred by forest fire. Likewise, from 2007 to 2021, 71 human casualties have been recorded. Both natural and anthropogenic factors are responsible for the occurrence of forest fire in Nepal. Thus, for the protection of forests, properties and lives, strict forest fire mitigation policies and practices ensuring sustainable forest fire management is crucial.</p> Krishna Bahadur Bhujel, Ramesh Prasad Sapkota, Udhab Raj Khadka Copyright (c) 2022 Wed, 01 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Forest Fire in the Hindu Kush Himalayas: A Major Challenge for Climate Action <p>Forest fire has been one of the compelling issues in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. To promote regeneration, clearing fields for agriculture, hunting, and security reasons, local people deliberately set forests on fire. In this paper, active fire incidents, temperature, precipitation, and the changes of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Carbon monoxide (CO) value associated with forest fire were evaluated. The active forest fire incidents obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite are supplemented by the ERA5-land dataset to see the relation between precipitation and temperature with forest fires. MODIS and Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) sensor datasets were used to see the changes in AOD and CO in the region. MODIS sensor detected more than 30,462 active fires incidents in March and April 2021 in the study areas. Shan State of Myanmar recorded the maximum number of active fire incidents which is due to the practice of shifting cultivation and minimum in Bhutan due to the awareness campaigns and technology improvement. The temperature recorded in the study sites shows an increasing trend as compared to the reference period (2010-2020). Apart from Shan and Bago of Myanmar, precipitation in the study sites is also less during the study period. AOD and CO values show prominent peaks in a fire season which coincide with days of the maximum number of fire counts inferring the influence of forest fire on air quality. Developing countries like Nepal, India, Myanmar, and Bhutan are willing to take part in climate finance and are bound to accept expensive insurance premium due to forest fire incidents. Unless forest fires are effectively managed and mitigated, achieving Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and global agendas, including United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration is onerous.</p> Nabin Bhattarai, Sishir Dahal, Sunil Thapa, Saurav Pradhananga, Bhaskar Singh Karky, Ranjeet Sing Rawat, Kai Windhorst, Teiji Watanabe, Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, Ram Avtar Copyright (c) 2022 ForestAction Nepal Wed, 01 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Status and Practical Implications of Forest Fire Management in Nepal <p>Forest fire occurs globally on various scales every year, causing economic, social, ecological, and environmental damage. In a developing country like Nepal, a critical review of policy envisions and its translation concerning the prevailing wildfire scenarios is lacking which is crucial for sustainable forest fire management. We examine the existing disaster management policies relevant to forest fire, and analyse forest fire incidences and their impact on forest cover loss and eCO<sub>2</sub> (equivalent carbon dioxide) emissions using the data from Global Forest Watch (GFW) between 2001 to 2021. We also assessed public finance scenarios for forest fire management in Nepal and correlated and compared these data with each other. Our results find that the ‘Forest Fire Management Strategy 2010’ is the only comprehensive policy document that guides forest fire management in Nepal. Despite having low political and financial support (dedicated forest fire management budget is &lt;0.5 per cent out of all forestry sector), awareness raising programme such as celebration of forest fire management week, broadcasting awareness raising messages and information, use of forest firefighting tools and equipements are some of the ground level interventions to prevent and control forest fire. GFW data shows that 29443 visual infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS) fire alerts record (available only for 2012 to 2021), burns 207956.5 hectares (ha) area, 3.28 ha of forest cover loss, and 1132 Mg eCO<sub>2</sub> emissions every year on average. These figures are 0.07 per cent, 0.05 per cent, and 0.0176 per cent compared to total forest cover loss, total emission (eCO<sub>2</sub>) from the forest, and proportion of tree cover loss to burnt area, respectively. Results entail that the existing forest fire management policy requires a revisit considering the changed national and international context, forest fire should be considered as a high priority by all sectors and actors because of its widespread socio-economic, ecological, and environmental impacts. Ignorance of forest fire management could severely hinder the target for national and international commitments including performance-based carbon trading and maintaining forest cover. The findings would provide insights for policy decisions to manage forest fires sustainably.</p> Hari Prasad Pandey, Narayan Prasad Pokhrel, Prakash Thapa, Naya Sharma Paudel, Tek Narayan Maraseni Copyright (c) 2022 Wed, 01 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Forest Fire Risk Assessment and Proposal for Fire Stations in different Geographical Regions of Central Nepal <p>Forest fire is considered as the most persistent terrestrial disturbance affecting ecosystems, natural resources and threats to human life. Nepal predominantly faces forest fires during dry seasons (November-June) with increasing trend in the recent years that need proper management interventions. In line to this, our paper aims at assessing fire risk zones in four districts of central Nepal representing different geographical characteristics, through hotspot analysis and further proposing potential fire stations. Data acquired from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was projected through the Projected Coordinate System and integrated into ICOUNT for hotspot analysis using Neighbor Count Tool and Getis-Ord Gi* tool, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) technique and neighborhood function for proposing fire stations from ArcGIS. It was observed that hotspots and cold spots are demonstrated by points with the values 6.969622 &gt; z &gt; 0.926061 (red) and -1.705619 &lt; z &lt; -0.926060 (blue). Likewise, in terms of physiography, Chure zone has the highest concentration of hotspots followed by Terai whereas cold spots are mostly concentrated in the Hilly region. In order to mitigate the problem of forest fire, establishment of fire stations for the areas with road access is pertinent, while in areas with poor, or without road access, formation of Forest Fire Management Committee (FFMC) is recommended. These management interventions can serve as a milestone for prevention and control of forest fire in the days to come, for Nepal.</p> Saara Ranabhat, Amrit Pokhrel, Ashish Neupane, Bikram Singh, Saru Gahatraj Copyright (c) 2022 Wed, 01 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Unravelling the Local Dynamics of Increasing Fires in Community Forests of Mid-hills of Nepal <p>Forest fire is a global phenomenon and is having unprecedented impacts across continents. Nepal is not an exception to the increasing impacts, where hundreds of acres of forests is lost, or damaged, to forest fire. The severity of forest fire is on the rise in recent decades, wherein community forests have witnessed effects of the calamity over the recent years. This paper investigates the local factors behind the increasing frequency and severity of forest fires in mid-hills of Nepal. The paper draws on three separate cases from the research sites, involving five years of ‘Enhancing Livelihoods from Improved Forest Management in Nepal (EnLiFT2)’ project's team observations in Bhumlu rural municipality and Chautara Sangachokgadhi municipality of Kavrepalanchok and Sindhupalchok district respectively. This is complemented by informant interviews taken with 25 individuals. The paper primarily examines forest-people-fire relationship to demonstrate the weakening collective actions among the community forest user groups (CFUGs) as an important factor for increasing forest fires in the mid-hills of Nepal. We found the changing forest-people relationship, weakening CFUG governance, and increasing regulatory impositions as important factors driving the alienation of users from the forest thus, undermining collective action in forest management. We argue that strengthening collective action on better forest management to prevent forest fire is crucial over adopting mitigation techniques. The alienation of forest user groups from their forest in the changing socio-economic and forest management context can be addressed to strengthening the collective action for better forest management and ultimately to forest fire prevention and management.</p> Sarada Tiwari, Naya Sharma Paudel, Jocelyne Sze, Rahul Karki Copyright (c) 2022 Wed, 01 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0000