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13.02.2020

Understanding the Barriers to Community Forestry Delivering on its Potential: An Illustration From Two Heterogeneous Districts in Nepal

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Management
Autoren:
Lok Mani Sapkota, Hari Dhungana, Bishnu Hari Poudyal, Binod Chapagain, David Gritten
Wichtige Hinweise

Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00267-019-01224-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Community forestry (CF) is increasingly recognized as one of the key solutions to forest management and governance challenges in the developing world. At its heart is the participation of local communities in forest management, bringing multiple benefits in forest health as well as the wellbeing of the local community and the wider society. However, CF in Nepal is felt by many to not be delivering on its potential. This paper presents illustrative examples from a capacity development needs assessment (CDNA), which was conducted to understand challenges CF in Nepal faces, focusing on two districts: Rupandehi and Sindhupalchok. The application of the CDNA framework revealed the multiple challenges facing the CF program. They range from lack of multi-stakeholder platform at high level for discussion and resolution of CF-related issues, lack of system to review the program as well as systematic capacity development opportunities for stakeholders and weak governance, altogether contributing to costly and complex process for local community to participate and benefit from the program. We argue that behind these challenges underlie the distrust to local communities and tendency to retain power inequality that is tilted toward techno-bureaucracy, limitation of the program within sectoral boundary of forestry as well as lack of political commitment and overall weak capacity of the status apparatus. We highlight that revitalizing the CF program requires utilization of state restructuring process to expand its scope and improve its governance. Similarly, we emphasize the need for coordinated efforts among stakeholders to relax regulatory burdens, to engage local communities in policy processes, and to set up a capacity development system for supporting community rights mainly in the commercial management of community forests—to ensure that CF delivers.

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