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Contested forest management and the Nepalese Government’s forest policy

Bhagwan Dutta Yadav, Krishna Kumar Shrestha and Bishnu Prasad Acharya

World Development Perspectives, 2021, vol. 23, issue C

Abstract: Community forest resources have huge potential for improving economic and social outcomes to enhance the livelihoods of local communities. The diversity of stakeholder power and preferences are vital but inconsistent in forest production, distribution management, access, utilisation, and stability among stakeholders at inter-community levels because of defective management of forest resources under existing forest policy. This study aims to find real-life problems of individual categories of stakeholders trying to achieve their preferences. We analyse the preferences and contested roles of the powerful, including forest specialists, and non-powerful actors, including poor, regular users (disadvantaged and socially weaker women). The data are from a random sample of 310 households and 31 Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGs) in Siraha, Saptari and Udaypur Districts, Nepal. We examine the linked Operational Community Forest Management Plan (OCFMP) that determines firewood and timber distribution to households. Descriptive analysis reveals that only 32.5% and 27.4% of households achieved their basic needs for firewood and timber, respectively. Non-powerful stakeholders received significantly less firewood and timber than powerful stakeholders. Econometric analysis indicates that greater per household forest area, age of household head, tree stand pole size and older handed-over and amendments OCFMP of community forestry are significant variables showing that end-user and disadvantaged households receive an inadequate amount of firewood and timber despite sufficient accessible harvestable amounts in the forest. Powerful society members include Executive Committee (EC) members who influence decisions to sell firewood and timber outside the CFUG. It is often assumed that when the prescribed conceptual model and OCFMP are implemented, economic and social, outcomes will flow to end-user households and support local and national development. We provide critical information to policy makers and managers for designing appropriate plans to improve CF economic and social outcomes that make for good CF governance.

Keywords: Community forestry; Economic outcomes; Powerful; Non-powerful; Stakeholders; Management plan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wdp.2021.100353

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