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Decentralization and environmental conservation: gender effects from participation in joint forest management


  • Agrawal, Arun
  • Yadama, Gautam
  • Andrade, Raul
  • Bhattacharya, Ajoy


"This paper analyzes how women's participation affects institutional outcomes related to the decentralized governance of community forests in Madhya Pradesh, India. The analysis is based on data from a representative sample of 641 cases of joint forest management, India's flagship program to involve communities in forest governance. We focus on two outcomes relevant for local livelihoods: control of illicit grazing and control of illicit felling in the forest. The paper statistically estimates the effects of women's participation on outcomes, and also the source of this effect in terms of women's representation in committees and action in protecting forests. We find that women's participation has substantial positive effects on regulating illicit grazing and felling, even after controlling for the effects of a range of independent variables. We also find that the “action effect” is more important than the “representation effect,” confirming some major arguments advanced by feminist environmentalists. Our statistical results are robust to different specifications and provide considerable empirical support for promoting women's participation in community-based protection of natural resources." Author's Abstract

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  • Agrawal, Arun & Yadama, Gautam & Andrade, Raul & Bhattacharya, Ajoy, 2006. "Decentralization and environmental conservation: gender effects from participation in joint forest management," CAPRi working papers 53, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:53

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
    2. Ruth Meinzen-Dick & Margreet Zwarteveen, 1998. "Gendered participation in water management: Issues and illustrations from water users‘ associations in South Asia," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 15(4), pages 337-345, December.
    3. Cornwall, Andrea, 2003. "Whose Voices? Whose Choices? Reflections on Gender and Participatory Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1325-1342, August.
    4. Adhikari, Bhim & Di Falco, Salvatore & Lovett, Jon C., 2004. "Household characteristics and forest dependency: evidence from common property forest management in Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 245-257, February.
    5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612, June.
    6. Skonhoft, Anders, 1998. "Resource utilization, property rights and welfare--Wildlife and the local people," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 67-80, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peterman, A., 2010. "A review of empirical evidence on gender differences in nonland agricultural inputs, technology, and services in developing countries," IWMI Working Papers H043605, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Pandolfelli, Lauren & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Dohrn, Stephan, 2007. "Gender and collective action: A conceptual framework for analysis," CAPRi working papers 64, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. B Kelsey Jack, "undated". "Market Inefficiencies and the Adoption of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries," CID Working Papers 50, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    4. 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.
    5. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Pandolfelli, Lauren, 2010. "Promising Approaches to Address the Needs of Poor Female Farmers: Resources, Constraints, and Interventions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 581-592, April.
    6. Davis, Kristin & Negash, Martha, 2007. "Gender, wealth, and participation in community groups in Meru Central District, Kenya:," CAPRi working papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Bryan, Elizabeth & Behrman, Julia A., 2013. "Community–based adaptation to climate change: A theoretical framework, overview of key issues and discussion of gender differentiated priorities and participation:," CAPRi working papers 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Kaaria, Susan & Osorio, Martha & Wagner, Sophie & Gallina, Ambra, 2016. "Rural women’s participation in producer organizations: An analysis of the barriers that women face and strategies to foster equitable and effective participation," Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment, vol. 1(2), March.
    9. Meinzen-Dick, R., 2010. "Engendering agricultural research," IWMI Working Papers H043604, International Water Management Institute.
      • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Quisumbing, Agnes & Behrman, Julia & Biermayr-Jenzano, Patricia & Wilde, Vicki & Noordeloos, Marco & Ragasa, Catherine & Beintema, Nienke, 2010. "Engendering agricultural research," IFPRI discussion papers 973, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Peterman, Amber & Behrman, Julia & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2010. "A review of empirical evidence on gender differences in nonland agricultural inputs, technology, and services in developing countries," IFPRI discussion papers 975, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).


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