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Rights, Responsibilities and Resources: Examining Community Forestry in South Asia

  • Priya Shyamsundar
  • Rucha Ghate
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    This paper seeks to understand whether decentralized management of forests can reduce forest loss in developing countries. In South Asia, large-scale experiments in decentralization -- Joint Forest Management in India and community forestry in Nepal, in particular - have changed the relationship between forests, the forest departments and rural households. However, have these institutional changes lead to a decline in forest degradation? Have they empowered households with stronger access rights and contributed to household well being? These are important questions to examine because rural households depend on forests to meet numerous subsistence needs. The emerging evidence suggests that community forest management may indeed be contributing to improved forest health. However, the impacts on household well-being are less carefully studied and seem to be far more varied. The paper suggests that clarity over rights, local monitoring and recognition of differences in intra-community needs are issues that require policy support if community forestry is to meet both livelihood and forest conservation expectations.

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    File URL: http://www.sandeeonline.org/uploads/documents/publication/933_PUB_Working_Paper_59_Rucha_Priya.pdf
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    Paper provided by The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics in its series Working papers with number 59.

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    Handle: RePEc:snd:wpaper:59
    Contact details of provider: Postal: South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics PO Box: 8975, EPC: 1056 Kathmandu, Nepal

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    1. 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, March.
    2. Alexander Karaivanov, 2009. "Heterogeneity, returns to scale, and collective action," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 771-807, May.
    3. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2000. "Determinants of collective action on the local commons: a model with evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 181-208, June.
    4. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons: Part I: The Unregulated Case," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 451-82, October.
    5. Holden, Stein T. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Wik, Mette, 1998. "Poverty, market imperfections and time preferences: of relevance for environmental policy?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-130, February.
    6. Kant, Shashi, 2000. "A dynamic approach to forest regimes in developing economies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 287-300, February.
    7. Salvatore Di Falco & Charles Perrings, 2003. "Crop Genetic Diversity, Productivity and Stability of Agroecosystems. A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 207-216, 05.
    8. E. Somanathan & R. Prabhakar & B.S. Mehta, 2002. "Collective action for forest conservation: Does heterogeneity matter?," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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