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Stakeholders' perception on indigenous community-based management of village common forests in Chittagong hill tracts, Bangladesh

Mohammad Nizam Uddin, Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, Yong Chen, Wapakorn Siriwong and Jaruntorn Boonyanuphap

Forest Policy and Economics, 2019, vol. 100, issue C, 102-112

Abstract: Village Common Forests (VCFs) are patches of tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen hill forests in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs), Bangladesh that are conserved through voluntary community participation for community perceived sustenance of ecosystem services. VCFs are currently under informal management without any optimal model of Community-Based Management (CBM). By using strength, weakness, opportunity, threat (SWOT) technique combined with the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), this paper assessed the perceptions of four major stakeholder groups. Their perceptions were analyzed to ascertain the priority factors related to CBM adoption in VCFs of CHT. The four stakeholder groups were – researchers from academia, government officials, NGO staffers and local indigenous community leaders. Results indicated an overall negative perception among all the stakeholders regarding the adoption of CBM in VCFs. “No land tenure security” was the most serious weakness factor for the implementation of CBM in VCFs among all stakeholder groups except government officials. “Unity and easy decision process”, “Positive community attitude” and “Low management cost” were the most important strength factors respectively from academia, government, NGOs and community leaders. All the stakeholder groups identified “Relationship development between government and community” as the most important opportunity factor for CBM of VCFs. “Uncertainty of peace accord 1997 and 1900 CHT regulation implementation” was treated as the most damaging threat factor against the adoption of CBM in VCFs. Therefore, rebuilding indigenous peoples' confidence in government initiatives by counting them in the high-level decision-making process, ensuring land tenure security have been identified as the key initial interventions.

Keywords: Village Common Forests (VCF); Community-based Management (CBM); Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT); Stakeholders' perception; SWOT-AHP analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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