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Nepal: Ban Imposed on Commercial Tree Felling, Sales, and Exports

(June 2, 2010) It was reported on May 26, 2010, that Nepal's Forest Ministry had ordered district forest offices in 74 districts, especially in the Taraj and Chure regions, to ban the “cutting, selling and export of trees and other forest products for commercial purposes” in government- and community-managed forests. (Ministry Outlaws Tree-Cutting, THE KATHMANDU POST, May 26, 2010, available at

The ban was prompted by “rampant forest encroachment and timber felling by smugglers,” and on May 21, 2010, the Ministry “suspended four forest officers working in Sarlahi and Panchthar on the charge of timber smuggling and promoting deforestation as well as corruption.” (Id.)

The ban will remain in force until a Ministry team finalizes a report on its investigation into the cases of destruction of forests in various regions of the country. The Nepal Federation of Forest Products Entrepreneurs, however, issued a statement urging the government to rollback the decision on the ban. According to Federation Chairperson Udhav Prasad Mainali, the decision has had an adverse impact on Nepali consumers, and he called upon the Prime Minister “to immediately scrap the decision and implement the ban only in those districts where deforestation is rampant.” (Id.)