Sita Aryal, Nepal
- Employment: Report Writing Facilitator, Forest Resource Assessment for the Nepal Project in Kathmandu, Nepal
- Scholarship: North-South-Dialogue Scholarship; Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development – APPEAR
- Duration: 10/2006 – 10/2008 (M.Sc.); 10/2010 – 08/2014 (PhD)
- Philosophy of life: "It is better to travel well than to arrive" – Buddha
Sita Aryal completed her Master and PhD studies at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna. Her research focus was on the social Inclusion of marginalized groups and alternative management strategies in community forests in Nepal. After she had received her PhD degree in August 2014 she returned to her home country and started her work as a Report Writing Facilitator in the Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) Nepal Project. In this position, she is responsible for Nepal's forest resources report preparation based on the National Forest Inventory.
In Nepal, one of the developing countries, people are suffering from a lot of problems such as lack of drinking water, lack of medical facilities, lack of proper education and lack of infrastructure. About 82 per cent of Nepalese people live in rural areas; most of them (about 80 per cent) are purely dependent upon the forest resources as their subsistence and livelihood. Though the forest covers 25 per cent of the total area, most people also suffer from a lack of multiple forest products (timber and non-timber) and ecosystem services (e.g. grazing, water, etc.).
The reasons behind that lack of forest products and ecosystem services are diverse: people are still stuck in the protection mode, weak forest management planning and decision making procedure, lack of proper forest management strategy with respect to potential forest resources, and poor implementation of planned activities. In this context, I was lucky to get an opportunity to study in Vienna for my Master Degree in Mountain Forestry and my Doctoral Degree in Forest Management. This provided me with new knowledge, techniques and skills regarding multiple forest resource management, which is very urgent in the context of Nepal for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM).
I was also very lucky to have international friends and well-wishers in Austria, from whom I received moral and technical support during my study period. Moreover, I got all kinds of support from professors at BOKU University. So, I can proudly say that my study period in Austria is a very valuable and memorable experience in my life. As regards my personal life, it was my first stay in Austria, as well as in Europe, in 2006, when I got the chance of studying in Vienna through an OeAD grant. It was really interesting and indeed a very good opportunity for me to be with such hospitable people. I enjoyed the delicious food and the tremendously beautiful landscape of Austria.