Profile of Chairperson

Profile of Ms. Bharati Kumari Pathak

Ms. Bharati Kumari Pathak is the Chairperson of Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), a passionate and long-time Community Forestry User Group member, a seasoned leader, and a powerful activist in the field of community forestry rights, advocacy, women empowerment, human rights and social justice movements in Nepal. She has more than 25 years of experience in building partnerships, collaboration, prudent alliances and cooperation to grip outcomes in expanding relationships with key partners and stakeholders to strengthen Community Forest User's voice.

Her prime responsibility at FECOFUN lies in securing the resource rights of community forestry users group and to provide guidance and mentorship to district and local FECOCUN committee in strengthening proactive engagement in forest management with securing the community forestry rights of users. She also proactively engages in facilitating and providing capacity building trainings to forest professionals, women, indigenous people and local communities. Not only this, Ms. Pathak provides overall guidance and support strategic management of FECOFUN as per the approved policies and strategies by the board of governance.

Additionally, Ms. Pathak actively participates in environment and climate change related program at National and International level. She regularly conducts dialogues/meetings with public representatives regarding forestry, environment, law enforcement, good governance, gender equality and social inclusion. She works closely with local, national, and international foresters and land policymakers to design and implement policy, institutional frameworks to support sustainable biodiversity conservation within the community forest of Nepal. Also, Ms. Pathak facilitate to develop scientific and technical advice to formulate science-based policy positions in national and international forest policy forums. She works with government, NGOs, INGOs and non-external partners to support international efforts to strengthen forest science, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, watershed conservation and community forest land restoration worldwide.

Ms. Pathak has led several projects till date. She has worked with the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), The Tenure Facility (TF), Pani Project, USAID, Hariyo Ban Program to secure the community rights to forest and deliver diverse programs on agrobiodiversity, disaster risk deduction, forest fire, climate change, GESI and IP governance, and pro-poor development in Nepal.

Her early career at FECOFUN begins with Treasurer in 2064 B.S. She served in the same position for two terms. She got nominated as the General Secretary of FECOFUN in 2071 B.S. Eventually, she got nominated as Chairperson of FECOFUN in 2075 B.S. During her tenure, she plays an anchor role in eliminating triple taxation imposed to in community forestry products. Now, she is strongly advocating to formulate sustainable forest management principles and guidelines that are locally adaptable and community friendly.

Ms. Pathak is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Federation of Community Forestry Users’ Nepal. She is involved in several organizations and women’s networks. Additionally, she is also serving as the senior fellow of the Global Evergreening Alliance and the global co-chair of the Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM). Regarding other global representations, she is the observer for the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) at the World Bank.

She is currently a PhD scholar at Parul university, India carrying out her research in securing community forestry land rights within the three tiers of government of Nepal. Ms. Pathak has extensive research background in forestry science and social forestry. She had published dozens of research articles in various national and international journals regarding forest tenure, community stewardship and forest policy.

Recently she has been elected as a member of parliament in the Bagmati Province under a proportionate system from the CPN UML party. She is looking forward to working in the policy sector to secure the rights of women over natural resources.

Ms. Pathak strongly believes that FECOFUN has a robust role in sensitizing the public to better understand the meritorious role that community forestry is playing in halting deforestation and degradation, combat climate change and securing the socio-economic integrity.