The study entitled 'The Role of Local Political Leaders in Community Forest Management' is aimed to explore the role of local political leaders in CF development and management. The study was specifically aimed to identify and analyze political composition of the CFUC, attitude and perception of local political leaders towards CF, and the attitude and perception of users towards the leaders' and their role. Additionally, it tried to assess the role of political leaders in promoting participation, raising awareness and decision making and implementation. The study was conducted in one CFUG (Piple Pokhara) of Makawanpur District and two CFUGs (Chandrapala and Nayachautari) of Salyan District. Primary and secondary dada, both quantitative and qualitative, were collected to address the objectives. Primary data were gathered through focus group discussions, semi-structured interview, structured interview, key informant's interviews etc. The data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively, and presented in figures, charts, diagrammes, and descriptive texts. Major findings of the study were; indirect influence of local leaders in CF formation and another activities were common, the level of influence was exceeded by that of the local leaders than that of the district level leaders, the most positive aspect of the leaders' involvement was that there was no bias found based on political ideology and party affiliation in benefit sharing, fines and penalties. Similarly, users are found to be satisfied with the role of local political leaders vice versa. Some of the major recommendations that can be made based on these findings are that political interference in CF management should be avoided but it is necessary for them to take constructive interest in CF management activities. Formal and informal interaction about CF is necessary among different stakeholders including the leaders.
Community Forestry, Politics