The Tamang community is one of the poor groups living in Middle Mountain of Nepal. It pre-dominantly resides in Buffer Zone of Langtang National Park, located in north-central Nepal. The Buffer zones is areas of settlements and agriculture surrounding the core area set aside for wildlife habitats and rare flora. Access on buffer zone programs depends greatly on their representation on local institutions. There are three tiers of local institutions viz. Syaubari Buffer Zone Community Forest User’s Group (SBZCFUG), Laharepauwa Buffer Zone User’s Committee (LBZUC) and Buffer Zone Cooperative (BZC). 13.8% households represented in SBZCFUG. Likewise, 5.2 and 2.1% households represented in LBZUC and BZC, respectively. As per Buffer Zone Management Directives (1999), LBZUC is the most important institution among all as it distributes the revenues to buffer zone communities. The Park office prepares a Forest Operational Plan (FOP) and hands over a patch of community forest to a buffer zone community. The FOP outlines harvestable quantity of forest resources, harvesting blocks, price and prescribed forestry works. 84% households were involved in FOP preparation. In return for revenue sharing, the park office expects in-kind (labour) contribution from community in biodiversity conservation. 17% respondents said that the park office highly emphasized local consultation for fixing price of forest resources. 32% said that park’s emphasis was fine while 50% were not aware. The half of respondents having no idea of consultation was a big gap. Yearly in-kind contribution of a household for biodiversity conservation was nearly 2 days. The share of forest committee meeting was the highest (58%). Despite park’s much talked focus on people’s participation, reality is bleak. The study recommends that that contribution should be increased and be more focused on fighting forest fire, plantation, creating water holes for wild animals, non timber forest products (NTFPs) utilization, fire line construction etc. No significant relation was found between in-kind contribution with income level, education and landholding. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative survey methods. Two stages sampling techniques were applied. Sample households were randomly selected and every third household was approached for survey.
Key words: Buffer zone, biodiversity conservation, in-kind contribution, household income, community forest.
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