Managing Public Lands in a Subsistence Economy: The Perspective from a Nepali Village

"Over 240 million cubic meters of soil are estimated to be eroded from the hills of Nepal annually. The human and environmental costs of this erosion are staggering. In upland areas, landslides kill humans and livestock and destroy crops; tons of fertile top soil are lost; and the water regime is seriously disrupted. In valleys and flood plains, streams are choked with sediment, raising flood stages, shortening the lifespan of dams and other water impoundments, killing fish, and degrading water quality. Geology and climate account for much of the erosion in Nepal. Yet natural erosion rates are being accelerated by man's use of these hilly lands for agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry. The chief cause of accelerated erosion in Nepal, as in many Asian, African, and Central American nations, is the large number of people and livestock dependent on fragile hill lands for their existence. In these countries the force behind land degradation is the drive for survival."
land tenure and use, village organization, forestry