During the nationalisation of private forests during the 1960s, the Private Forests Nationalization Act (1957) legislated for all forests to be controlled by the state, which enforced bureaucratic control over all forests (IFPRI, 2009). The Panchayat Forest Regulations (1978) constitute the first devolution of rights over managing forests to local communities through the Panchayat, an elected body. After the enactment of the Constitution of Nepal (1990), the state adopted a decentralized resource management system. The Forests Act (1993) and Forest Regulations (1995) are the most progressive reforms with regards to policy innovations in the forestry sector and were enacted following political transformation in the 1990s. The Forest Act (1993) was enacted to support strong, autonomous and self-governed community institutions (CFUGs) and the clarification of appropriate property rights arrangements for community members (IFPRI, 2009).
The Local Self-Governance Act (1999) includes measures for local governments to have rights to use forest products from the forestlands in their areas of jurisdiction. The National Park and Wildlife Reserve Act (1973) gives rights to manage forests to the government (in National Parks). The Land Act (1964), the Land (Measurement) Act (1963) and the Land Revenue Act (1978) also define ownership of land in Nepal. Land entitlement provisions are also found in the Mine and Mineral Act (1985), the Water Resources Act (1992) and the Public Road Act (1974). Environmental protection in Nepal is regulated by the Environmental Protection Act (1997). Nepal is a signatory to the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) since 1997, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2005, the UNFCCC since 1994 and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) since 1994.
An Interim Constitution of Nepal (2007) is operational, and the Constitution of Nepal is expected to be developed by the Constitutional Assembly over the next few years. The Constitution of Nepal will have significant impacts over the federal structure of the country, and subsequently all forest management regimes.
INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE. 2009. Community Forestry in Nepal A Policy Innovation for Local Livelihoods.