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Poverty, property rights and collective action: understanding the distributive aspects of common property resource management

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  • ADHIKARI, BHIM
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    Abstract

    This study examines, in a developing-country context, the contribution of community forestry to household income with particular emphasis on group heterogeneity and equity in benefit distribution. The economic analysis of household-level benefits reveals that poorer households are currently benefiting less in absolute terms from community forestry than less poor households. In terms of the contribution of forests to total household income, the study results suggest that the poor are actually less dependent on forests than the rich, a finding that is somewhat contradictory to results from other similar studies. The average poor household obtains Nepalese rupees (Nrs) 7,756 gross income from community forest annually, while the more rich households obtain on average Nrs 24,466 per year. In terms of the contribution of forests to net household income, the study results seem to suggest an inverted U-shaped relationship as income increases dependency on forest resources may decline. Econometric analysis suggests that income from the community forests is related to socio-economic attributes and private endowments of households. Households with land and livestock assets and upper caste households gain more from the commons, while better-educated households depend less on forest resources. Female-headed households benefit less from community forests, further aggravating the inequity in distribution of benefits. The study makes a number of recommendations to improve community forestry in Nepal.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 01 (February)
    Pages: 7-31

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:10:y:2005:i:01:p:7-31_00

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    Cited by:
    1. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2009. "Heterogeneity and Collective Management: Evidence from Common Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 676-686, March.
    2. Chand, Narendra & Kerr, Geoffrey N. & Bigsby, Hugh R., . "Why some community forests are performing better than others: a case of forest user groups in Nepal," 2010 Conference, August 26-27, 2010, Nelson, New Zealand 96827, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Khan, Shaheen Rafi & Khan, Shahrukh Rafi, 2009. "Assessing poverty-deforestation links: Evidence from Swat, Pakistan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2607-2618, August.
    4. Patricia Uberhuaga & Carsten Smith-Hall & Finn Helles, 2012. "Forest income and dependency in lowland Bolivia," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 3-23, February.
    5. Sommerville, Matthew & Jones, Julia P.G. & Rahajaharison, Michael & Milner-Gulland, E.J., 2010. "The role of fairness and benefit distribution in community-based Payment for Environmental Services interventions: A case study from Menabe, Madagascar," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 1262-1271, April.
    6. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2011. "Rural Livelihoods, Forest Access and Time Use: A Study of Forest Communities in Northwest India," MPRA Paper 31060, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Das, Amarendra, 2007. "Poverty Induced Forest Degradation in JFM Regime: Evidence from India," MPRA Paper 18639, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dambala Gelo & Steven F. Koch, 2012. "Welfare and Common Property Rights Forestry: Evidence from Ethiopian Villages," Working Papers 277, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    9. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7744, The World Bank.
    10. Bill Buffum, 2012. "Why is There No Tragedy in These Commons? An Analysis of Forest User Groups and Forest Policy in Bhutan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(7), pages 1448-1465, July.
    11. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2011. "Gendered effects of work and participation in collective forest management," MPRA Paper 31091, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Dambala Gelo & Steven F. Koch, 2011. "The Welfare Effect of Common Property Forestry Rights:Evidence from Ethiopian Villages," Working Papers 201123, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    13. Bluffstone, Randy & Robinson, Elizabeth & Guthiga, Paul, 2012. "Deforestation and forest degradation are estimated to account for between 12 percent and 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. These activities, largely in the developing world, released abou," Discussion Papers dp-12-11-efd, Resources For the Future.
    14. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "Natural capital, ecological scarcity and rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6232, The World Bank.
    15. Weingart, Anne & Kirk, Michael, 2008. "Escaping poverty traps?: Collective action and property rights in post-war rural Cambodia," CAPRi working papers 89, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2013. "Legal exclusions, private wealth and livelihoods: An analysis of work time allocation in protected areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 82-91.
    17. Narain, Urvashi & Gupta, Shreekant & van 't Veld, Klaas, 2008. "Poverty and resource dependence in rural India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 161-176, May.
    18. Kohlin, Gunnar & Sills, Erin O. & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & Wilfong, Christopher, 2011. "Energy, gender and development: what are the linkages ? where is the evidence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5800, The World Bank.
    19. Opschoor, J.B., 2007. "Environment and Poverty: Perspectives, Propositions, Policies," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18757, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    20. Taruvinga, Amon & Mushunje, Abbyssinia, 2012. "Buffer zone income dynamics for the sub-district producer community: Implications for rural off-farm income, income inequality and the development of household agriculture," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126377, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    21. Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal & Johnsen, Fred Hakon & Konoshima, Masashi & Yoshimoto, Atsushi, 2013. "Community forestry in the hills of Nepal: Determinants of user participation in forest management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 6-13.
    22. Ermanno C. Tortia, 2011. "The firm as a common. The case of accumulation and use of common resources in mutual benefit organizations," Department of Economics Working Papers 1112, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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