Gender and forest conservation: The impact of women's participation in community forest governance
AbstractWould enhancing women's presence in community institutions of forest governance improve resource conservation and regeneration? This paper focuses on this little addressed question. Based on the author's primary data on communities managing their local forests in parts of India and Nepal, it statistically assesses whether the gender composition of a local forest management group affects forest conservation outcomes, after controlling for other characteristics of the management group, aspects of institutional functioning, forest and population characteristics, and related factors. It is found that groups with a high proportion of women in their executive committee (EC)--the principal decision-making body--show significantly greater improvements in forest condition in both regions. Moreover, groups with all-women ECs in the Nepal sample have better forest regeneration and canopy growth than other groups, despite receiving much smaller and more degraded forests. Older EC members, especially older women, also make a particular difference, as does employing a guard. The beneficial impact of women's presence on conservation outcomes is attributable especially to women's contributions to improved forest protection and rule compliance. More opportunity for women to use their knowledge of plant species and methods of product extraction, as well as greater cooperation among women, are also likely contributory factors.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (September)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Forest conservation Gender composition Community forestry institutions South Asia;
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Women, population, and the age of the â??Black Swanâ??
by (author unknown) in Grist Business and Technology on 2011-10-03 11:14:56
- Colfer, Carol J. Pierce, 2011. "Marginalized Forest Peoples’ Perceptions of the Legitimacy of Governance: An Exploration," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 2147-2164.
- Monica Ogra, 2012. "Gender and community-oriented wildlife conservation: views from project supervisors in India," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 407-424, June.
- Behera, Bhagirath, 2009. "Explaining the performance of state-community joint forest management in India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 177-185, November.
- Pandit, Ram & Bevilacqua, Eddie, 2011. "Forest users and environmental impacts of community forestry in the hills of Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 345-352, June.
- Craig Leisher & Leah H. Samberg & Pieter Van Buekering & M. Sanjayan, 2013. "Focal Areas for Measuring the Human Well-Being Impacts of a Conservation Initiative," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(3), pages 997-1010, March.
- Pete Parker & Brijesh Thapa, 2011. "Distribution of benefits based on household participation roles in decentralized conservation within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Nepal," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 879-899, October.
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