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Navigating policy debates of and discourse coalitions on Nepal's Scientific Forest Management

Kishor Aryal, Hari Krishna Laudari, Tek Maraseni and Bhoj Raj Pathak

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 141, issue C

Abstract: The debate over production and protection oriented forest management is long-standing in various part of the world. Taking a case of scientific forest management (SciFM) of Nepal, we aimed to analyze how policy actors, their interests and interactions (networks) shape the discursive shift of forest management practices. We employed the discourse network analysis to diagnose the policy rupture of SciFM, by using various qualitative data collection methods, including experts' consultation (n = 6), key informants' interviews (n = 36 from 9 stakeholders' group), systematic review of Nepal-based literature (n = 30), review of national policy and study reports (n = 12), and experiential observation. We carried out the stakeholder mapping, including their pattern of interactions and inter-dependencies; and analyzed the power and influence over SciFM. Based on the navigation and analysis of the actors' network, pattern of interaction, and coalition for and against SciFM, we have intensively explained how SciFM, which was developed on the background of techno-bureaucrats' dominance for the last 25 years in Nepal, has been demolished within a year because of persistent ideation of the Federation of Community Forest Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), strong and (in) formal networking of politicians, FECOFUN, and high level bureaucrats and investigation committee. The inference that we draw from our study will have policy implications to other countries that have similar socio-political context. Based on our analysis of the discourse network, we suggest navigating the concerns and gaining (in) formal confidence of (possible) policy entrepreneur, including but not limited to political leadership irrespective of the scale and size of their interest (or need) for sustaining policy decision.

Keywords: Discourse networks; Power; Community forestry; Sustainable forest management; Political influence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102768

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