United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Government and Public Land Management in Nepal
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Most of the rural population in Nepal is engaged in subsistence farming. There is a high rate of migration of poor landless people from the mountains to the plains and from rural to urban areas in search of better land for farming and better livelihoods. This has resulted in heavy encroachment on government and public land. There are several legal arrangements for the preservation and management of government and public land, but the lack of a comprehensive land policy, an integrated land act and a bureau responsible for their preservation and management has resulted in their continuous depletion. This article makes a recommendation for improved management of government and public land in Nepal.Nepal is a small mountainous landlocked country in South Asia. Lying between India and China, it has an area of 147 181 km2 and a population of 23.4 million inhabitants. It has a rich human culture and natural biodiversity with more than 60 ethnic groups and 70 spoken languages. Occupying only 0.1 percent of the earth, Nepal is home to 8 percent of all the world’s population of birds (more than 848 species), 4 percent of the world’s mammals, 11 of the world’s 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species), 2 percent of all flowering plants in the world, 600 indigenous plant families and 319 species of exotic orchids. However, economically, the situation is not that encouraging. Per capita income in Nepal is a mere US$240 per year. Worst of all, the single indicator showing the condition of people in Nepal is the percentage of the population living below the poverty line – 38 percent (Nepal Tourism Board, 2002). Some 30.7 percent of the population is engaged in subsistence farming (SD–CBS, 2004). The country consists of five physio graphic regions: the Terai (or the plains with a minimum altitude of 68 m), the Siwaliks, the Middle Mountains, the High Mountains and the Himalayas (with a maximum height of 8 848 m). Most of the fertile agricultural lands lie in the Terai plains and the river valleys in the Siwaliks and the Middle Mountains. These regions also have more significant economic and development activities. With almost all the road network located in these areas, they are also home to all the 58 major urban centres (municipalities and sub-municipalities) in the country. Therefore, there is heavy population pressure on these areas. A natural consequence is the growth of migration of the poor and landless from the higher and less fertile rural mountains to the more fertile plains and urban centres in search of land for tilling and jobs to provide a livelihood.
FAO ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 FAO : Food and Agriculture Organization
04.01.01  -  Agricultural Economics And Policy; Rural Sociology
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