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Forests to the People: Decentralization and Forest Degradation in the Indian Himalayas

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  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Bardhan, Pranab
  • Das, Sanghamitra
  • Mookherjee, Dilip

Abstract

Summary This paper assesses degradation of forests managed by local communities (Van Panchayats (VPs)), relative to state protected and open access forests in the Indian state of Uttaranchal. It is based on ground-level ecological measures of forest quality (including canopy cover, biomass, lopping, and regeneration) in forest areas adjoining a random sample of villages, and controls for unobserved village heterogeneity, possible endogeneity of management regimes and cross-forest spillovers. Controlling for these factors, VP forests are found to be 20-30% less lopped, and similar on other dimensions. The lopping differences are greater the longer the forest has been under a VP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1642-1656

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:11:p:1642-1656

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: Asia India Himalayan forests community management;

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References

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  1. Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
  2. Beck, Tony & Nesmith, Cathy, 2001. "Building on Poor People's Capacities: The Case of Common Property Resources in India and West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 119-133, January.
  3. Agrawal, Arun & Chhatre, Ashwini, 2006. "Explaining success on the commons: Community forest governance in the Indian Himalaya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 149-166, January.
  4. Jean-Marie Baland & Pranab Bardhan & Sanghamitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee & Rinki Sarkar, 2006. "MANAGING THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF GROWTH Forest Degradation in the Indian Mid-Himalayas," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-054, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha, 1996. "The economics of the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 387-428, October.
  6. Jean-Marie Baland & Pranab Bardhan & Sanghamitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee & Rinki Sarkar, 2010. "The Environmental Impact of Poverty: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Rural Nepal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 23-61, October.
  7. Wade, Robert, 1987. "The Management of Common Property Resources: Finding a Cooperative Solution," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 219-34, July.
  8. Edmonds, Eric V., 2002. "Government-initiated community resource management and local resource extraction from Nepal's forests," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 89-115, June.
  9. Ballabh, Vishwa & Balooni, Kulbhushan & Dave, Shibani, 2002. "Why Local Resources Management Institutions Decline: A Comparative Analysis of Van (Forest) Panchayats and Forest Protection Committees in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2153-2167, December.
  10. Varughese, George & Ostrom, Elinor, 2001. "The Contested Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: Some Evidence from Community Forestry in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 747-765, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Robin Burgess & Matthew Hansen & Benjamin Olken & Peter Potapov & Stefanie Sieber, 2012. "The Political Economy of Deforestation in the Tropics," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 037, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Keijiro Otsuka & Ridish Pokharel, 2014. "In search of appropriate institutions for forest management," GRIPS Discussion Papers 13-25, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  3. Bouma, Jetske A. & Joy, K.J. & Paranjape, Suhas & Ansink, Erik, 2014. "The Influence of Legitimacy Perceptions on Cooperation – A Framed Field Experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 127-137.
  4. Dilip Mookherjee & Sanghamitra Das & Jean-Marie Baland, 2010. "Forest Degradation in the Himalayas: Determinants and Policy Options," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-038, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. James Copestake, 2010. "Microfinance and development finance in India: research implications," Working Papers CEB 10-028, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Narayan Raj Poudel & Nobuhiko Fuwa & Keijiro Otsuka, 2014. "The impacts of a community forestry program on forest conditions, management intensity and revenue generation in the Dang district of Nepal," GRIPS Discussion Papers 13-24, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

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