Institute of Forestry
The history of forestry education is not very old in Nepal. It started with the establishment of Nepal Forestry Institute at Singh Durbar in Kathmandu in 1947 under the Department of Forests. Later, it moved to Suping (Bhim Phedi) in 1957 and again to Hetauda in 1965 for better physical facilities established by the Indian Co-operation Mission.
The Institute merged into Tribhuvan University in July 1972 and got a new name “Institute of Forestry (IOF)” committed to the education and training in Forestry and Natural Resource Management. If offered a two-year Certificate Level course in Forestry only at Hetauda until 1981 when it expanded its academic programs to Pokhara, where the infrastructure for the Dean’s Office and Pokhara Campus was developed with the technical and financial assistance from the World Bank, International Development Agency (IDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The distinguished history of access and quality of the IOF continues today, providing graduate and undergraduate students with unique opportunities to make a difference through technically sound and competent and socially amicable and yielding services to the nation in Forestry and Natural Resource Management. Teaching and Research at IOF preserve and enrich creative traditions through well designed educational programs that address the current needs and interest of civil society in the country in the area of forestry and allied fields.
The IOF is committed to producing competent and efficient human resources that can conserve natural resources ingeniously and manage them properly. With the help of its enthusiastic teaching faculty and spirited staff, it has always endeavored to ameliorate its academic environment and administer well designed educational programs that can address the current needs and interest of civil society in the country in forestry and allied fields. It is intended to to satisfying student’s quest for knowledge and pragmatic skills that will make all the difference in their professional career. In addition, the IOF encourages research and extension activities that can address the practical problems of farmers and communities at large and carries out problem solving type of forestry research and develop technology for use in the Nepalese context. Internationalization has always remained a priority at the IOF through various levels of research collaboration and starting double degree program committed to offer quality education.
Design and implement educational programs that can address the need and interest of the country in the area of forestry and allied fields;
Prepare competent and practically oriented professional foresters and efficient managers in the area of natural resource management;
Develop academic environment by encouraging faculty members and students in their professional and career development activities;
Encourage research activities that can address the practical problems of farmers and communities at large; and
Develop IOF as the Center of Excellence in forestry and natural resource management education
Admission Policy and Evaluation System:
Interested and eligible candidates can apply for admission to the BSc, MSc and PhD program of study by filling out the prescribed application forms along with the documents and credentials as mentioned in the IOF website www.iof.edu.np. Application forms and program brochures are available upon request. Applicants for BSc and MSc program are required to pay an entrance examination fee with the application. The completed application along with the documents and credentials should reach the Admission Committee within the specified time electronically through the internet (started since last entrance). Candidates will be selected on the basis of their merit acquired in their last degree and entrance examination. Provisions are made for normal fee, capitation fee and high tuition fee paying students. Special quota systems are allocated for female, Dalit, Muslim, Madhesi and Janajati/Aadddibasi students and designated class of the government. For admission in a PhD program students can submit an application together with a first draft research concept note anytime of the year clearly specifying the subject committee. The IOF Research Committee meets twice annually, first in the month January and the next in the month of July every year, for making decisions on accepting students for admission.
The evaluation of both the BSc and MSc is under a credit based semester system. Each subject is assigned certain credits. One credit unit, earned in 20 lecture hours or its equivalent work, carries 25 full marks. One lecture hour may normally require an hour lecture, three to five hours of laboratory work or its equivalent of field practical work. A BSc student will earn a total 132 credits and MSc student will earn a total of 60 credits. The 8th or final semester in BSc and 4th or final semester in MSc are fully dedicated to proposal, dissertation, seminar and thesis equivalent to 8 credits and 12 credits respectively. The mode of evaluation of the students is based on combination of methods where strong emphasis is laid on internal assessment, term paper, excursion, field exercise and final paper based examination in each semester. The students are required to make their written and oral presentation and defend their thesis work.
Past and Current Research Projects
A number of research projects of short and long term duration have been in operation at the IOF since the inception of the undergraduate program in early 1980s. The projects that have phased out since the early 1990s until the recent past are namely the Infrastructure and Institutional Capacity Building of Institute of Forestry Project (IOFP) funded by USAID 1982-1995; Training and Manpower Development in Community Forestry Management funded by International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Japan 1994-2000; Conservation Leaders Memorial Centre of Excellence funded by Higher Education for Development, USAID 2008-2013; Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Himalayan Watersheds funded by Norwegian Universities Fund (NUFU), NORAD 2007-2012; Enhancing Livelihood and Food Security from Agroforestry and Community Forestry funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) 2013-2017; Community Based Forest Management in the Himalaya (ComForM Project) funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs/DANIDA 2003-2014. Currently, Four Research projects are undergoing at the institute of Forestry. Major project activities that are in operation are highlighted below.
Faculty and Collaborative Research:
Four faculty strategic research grants have been awarded to the Pokhara Campus as well as Heatuda Campus.
Research Project 1: “Sustainable natural resource management for climate change adaptation in the Himalayan region: A collaborative project among Norway, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan”
Duration: 5 years (start date January 1, 2014 - end date: December 31, 2019)
The project is a 5-year collaborative project among 5 institutions in 4 countries, namely, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway; Kathmandu University (main partner in the South), Institute of Forestry, TU, Nepal; Karakoram International University, Gilgit, Pakistan; and, College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan. It is an academic-cum-research capacity building and institutional strengthening project aimed at both North-South and South-South collaboration and exchange.
The project has 4 main components: Masters Education (develop new courses and course programs as well as update existing programs); PhD degree work (enroll 2 candidates each from among the faculty members at the South partner institutions at KU or IOF, TU); Post-doctoral research (provide post-doctoral fellowships to 3-4 candidates from the South partner institutions); and, Training/upgrading of administrative and technical staff (finance, library, ICT, and laboratory training). NORHED-IOF project has provided scholarship for 3 PhD candidates and partial scholarship for 10 Masters Students at IOF.
Research Project 2: Science and Power in Participatory Forestry (SCIFOR)
Duration: 5 years (start date January 01, 2014 – end date Dec 31, 2019)
Project Goal: To promote participatory forestry planning and management approaches that support equitable, environmentally sound, and economically rational forest management.
Specific research objectives of SCIFOR are to understand:
The justifications and functions of scientific forest management planning and the values attributed to it, from the perspective of the forest bureaucracy.
The role of scientific forest management planning in forest communities’ forest management and planning practices.
How scientific forest management planning affects communities’ relations to the forest bureaucracy.
How scientific forest management planning affects people’s participation and inclusion in participatory forestry at the CFUG level.
Major Activities: Award 4 PhD degrees (2 at IOF, Nepal and 2 at SUA, Tanzania); short term research grants; develop and implement teaching curricula in adaptive forest management planning; develop practical guidelines on adaptive participatory forest management planning; disseminate project results (Nepal and Tanzania).
Funded by: Danish Consultative Research Committee on Development Research (DANIDA)
Budget: DKK 9 million
Collaborators: Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania; IOF, Tribhuvan University, Nepal; Aarhus University, Denmark; IFRO, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Biome Health Research Project: February 2019 to January 2020:
The cost of project £64,738
Biome Health Project is investigating the response of wildlife to differing levels of fragmentation and forest management regimes in Nepal. It aims at collecting data and building upon existing research to provide novel insights into the responses of mammals to different levels of deforestation, fragmentation and forest management regimes. We envisage the results of our research to be relevant for conservation policy, forest management action plans, and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict.
Aim of the project
1. The Biome Health Project is to develop a field-based study system that provides new evidence on how biodiversity responds to human pressures and how conservation interventions can be utilized to reduce the impacts of these pressures. Through this study system, we aim to develop a long-term monitoring programme to ensure the conservation of wildlife communities and sustainable use of natural resources.
2. Species are not expected to respond equally to forest degradation. We seek to evaluate changes in wildlife community responses in different levels of deforestation and under different levels of protection at 3 sites in different management areas. To monitor the response of wildlife across different levels of deforestation, we will use camera traps and acoustic sensors (which can also monitor anthropogenic activity) at each site. We will compare the occupancy and density of taxonomic groups between sites, and by conducting our study over multiple years, investigate how this change over time to response to changes in the pressure / conservation interventions.
3. Spring shed Management Research Project: Water sources assessment in Pokahra Valley Lakes and recharges study. Funded by Hariobon-WWF/USAID Nepal (Ongoing till 2019).
4. Evaluation (On-going 2019) of the President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Program (PCTMCDP): President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Board (PCTMCPD) Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Field Research and Outreach Stations
The IOF maintains its long term biophysical and socio-economic research station in the four physiographic locations of the country as shown in the figure below. The field research and outreach/extension stations area basically distributed in the Narayani Basin in the West and Central Region of the country in the Districts of Mustang, Gorkha, Kaski and Chitwan. A total of 380 dynamic permanent sample plots (PSPs) of 25m x 20m dimension have been established in these locations where basic tree characteristics such as diameter at breast height (DBH) and height have been recorded periodically at an interval of 3-5 years since 2005. Similarly, in these four locations a total of 836 households as the main users that are next to these community managed forests are periodically monitored since 2005 at the same interval like the PSPs following the CIFOR’s PEN prototype questionnaire. A number of IOF faculty and international students had used and have been actively using these research sites for carrying out research in connection to their postdoctoral , doctoral and masters level studies.
Human Resource Generation and Publications:
Since its inception, the IOF has produced
Over 4,000 forestry graduates comprising of more than 2500: ISc/TCL; 1800: BSc; 210 MSc and 6 PhD
Over 80% of the IOF graduates are employed with GO and I/NGOs in Nepal
A number of IOF graduates are now serving abroad
IOF regularly publishes an annual journal of forestry coordinated by the faculty and two annual professional journals (Journal of Forestry) coordinated by the students as dissemination materials. The IOF also hosts annual scientific stakeholder forum meetings and periodically organizers national and international seminars which is also documented as dissemination materials. The regular scientific publications contributed by the IOF faculty in national, regional and international journals can be seen across the individual faculty at the websites: www.iofpc.edu.npwww.iofhc.edu.npand www.iof.edu.np. There is an increasing trend of research based empirical publication by the IOF faculty based on their individual and institutional research.
The IOF, together with the Federation of Forest User Groups (FECOFUN) and associate partners like Agriculture and Forest University and the TU’s Central Department of Botany, organized in Kathmandu from November 30 to December 2, 2017, an international conference entitled Wild Harvest, Governance in Livelihood in Asia with over 200 participants and jointly hosted by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and the Ministry of Population and Environment, Nepal.
Networking and MOU with National and International Partners National:
Ministry of Forest and Environment, Government of Nepal.
President Chure-Terai Madhesh Conservation Development Program (PCTMCDP), Government of Nepal.
Faculty Exchange and Student Study programs:
Virginia Tech, USA
Yale University, USA
Principia College, USA
Michigan State University, USA
Agriculture University/University of Life Sciences, Norway
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
University of Adelaide, Australia
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu
University of Gottingen, Germany
Technical University of Dresden, Germany
Chinese Academy and Science