Kathmandu : Ranibari Community Forest is being developed as a single community forest inside the ring road of the capital.
Earlier, there were two community forests inside ring road—Mahipi Community Forest and Ranibari Community Forest. But Ranibari Community Forest has now becomes the only community forest after Mahipi forest was transformed into a religious forest.
Although there are 144 community forests in Kathmandu district, there is only one community forest inside the ring road. Located at Kathmandu Metropolitan City-3, the forest spreads over 6.95 hectares of land. The forest, used by the then kings for some religious functions, is being managed and conserved as a community forest after being registered at the District Forest Office, Kathmandu, on December 25, 2000.
At a time when forests are being deforested along with increasing population in Kathmandu, Ranibari community forest is being developed as a model forest. A total of 39 households have been protecting the forest.
Chairperson of Ranibari Community Forest Users’ Committee, Santosh Bikram Shah, said that different types of saplings were planted to develop the forest as a model forest. The forest is also being developed as a significant place for morning walk where around 800 people visit the forest in summer season and 300-500 in winter season daily for the same, added Shah.
There is also a temple of Ranidevi in the middle of the forest. One can get entry into the jungle free of cost till 9:30 am while he/she has to pay Rs 10 after that.
A biodiversity conservation learning centre has been established at the collaboration of Ranibari Community Forest Users Committee and Bird Conservation Nepal. A total of 67 species of birds are found in Ranibari forest, according to the data provided by the users committee.
Chief of Community Forest Division, Department of Forests, Anuj Raj Sharma, said that there are 19,916 community forests across the nation that cover an area of 1.879 million hectares. Some 2.546 million families directly benefit from these forests. The concept of community forest began in Nepal from August 9, 1973.