Abstracts



International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(2):101-122.


EQUITY AND LIVELIHOODS IN NEPAL’S COMMUNITY FORESTRY


Ambika P. Gautam

Abstract

Community forestry in Nepal was specifically designed to address the problem of environmental degradation and enhance livelihood opportunities through increased supply of forest products, generation of income and empowerment of the rural forest-dependent communities. The concept behind such design is that people's access to the forest and their involvement in decision making directly affects distribution of goods and benefits and, therefore, their livelihoods. Although the community forestry approach in the country has demonstrated notable successes in many cases, it still has several shortcomings. The difficulties relate to the inclusion and full participation of traditional users, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized groups, and the distribution of benefits to them. Based on the data collected from seven community managed forests using the International Forestry Resources and Institutions research protocols, this paper examines various ways in which community forestry is contributing to sustainable livelihoods, explores the status of equity in community forest management, and looks at the nature of dependence of the forest users on their community forest and how this is likely to change over time. Finally, the paper provides some recommendations for enhancing the contribution of community forests and forestry towards achieving sustainable livelihoods and improving equity in community forest management.

Keywords:
community forestry, rural livelihoods, equity, forest dependency, Nepal.  
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(2):123-148


AN INSTITUTIONAL MODEL TO EXPLAIN UTILISATION PROBLEM OF COMMUNITY FOREST PRODUCTS


Bhubaneswor Dhakal and Binod Bhatta

Abstract
This study examined utilisation problems of community forest products (firewood and timber quantity harvested, and fodder collection days) on an institutional model. The data for this study were collected from forest user groups of three mid hill districts in Nepal. The results showed that the problems and practices of product utilization were determined by many factors of forest user group institutions. This study identified that the forest product utilisation is a double hurdle decision process. The first hurdle is to decide whether or not to utilize the products. The second hurdle is how much to utilize for those who decide to utilize. Some factors played a positive role in the first decision step and for some products and a negative role in the second decision step and for other products, or vice versa. Some institutional factors exhibited endogenous roles in determining the outcomes of other institutional factors. The findings imply that improvement of institutional factors can increase in some extent, the rural households’ access to forest products in Nepal. Improvements of the determinants for better utilization of the forest products require technical supports specific to the conditions of each decision step.

Keywords:
institution, product utilisation, selection, outcome decision model, double hurdle, Nepal.
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(2), 149-166


EVOLUTION OF FOREST POLICIES IN BANGLADESH: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS


Mahbububul Alam

Abstract

Bangladesh has a low forest cover, but those forests are diverse in nature and of significant importance for the national economy and local people’s livelihood. Under the circumstances of severe forest degradation and depletion like in many other developing countries, the existing national forest policy was announced in 1994 after exactly one hundred years of the first forest policy announcement in 1894. This article aims to critically analyze the evolution of the national forest policy from the historical perspectives. The earlier versions of forest policy were characterized by commercialization of forest use for maximization of state revenue. The current policy is significantly departed from its previous versions and recognized the importance of people’s participation in forest management. Yet the formulated policy, though rich in content, is not properly implemented because of a number of impediments. Future focus is recommended to be on eradicating the hurdles to implement the existing one rather than formulating new policies.

Keywords:
policy evolution, implementation, impediments, forest management, Bangladesh  
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(2), 167-184


FOREST FRINGE COMMUNITIES’ PERSPECTIVE ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND LAND USE IMPACTS OF GRANTING TIMBER RIGHTS: CASE STUDY OF GHANA


Eric Lartey

Abstract

The adoption of Timber Utilization Contract (TUC) policy may be associated with a range of social, economic and land use impacts in the areas of rural infrastructure, sustainable land use, tourism, income generation and employment. This research examines, from the community perspective, how the award of timber rights affect the socio-economic wellbeing and land use of forest fringe communities since policy inception, and thereupon provides recommendations to serve as a basis for policy review. Eight forest fringe communities and six forestry related institutions in two forest districts in the High Forest Zone of the Western region of Ghana were investigated using the perception survey method. A sample of 50 respondents were taken from each forest district out of which 10 constituted heads of institutions and 40 were community members. The study compared the situation that pertained at the time when timber rights were concession lease based (1970-1998) to the situation at the time of adopting the TUC policy. This policy recorded improvement in provision of social services by the timber firms. For example communal employment improved with timber firms being more environmentally responsible especially with regard to protecting freshwater ecosystems and reducing the impact of logging. However, forest fringe communities have been marginalized as regards participation in the negotiation of Social Responsibility Agreements (SRAs). Most timber firms in the region have not performed responsibly in the area of reforesting logged out areas. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission urgently need to master adequate political will to effectively enforce the provisions of the Timber Resource Management Regulation.

Keywords:
communities, forest, impacts, land use, socio-economic, timber rights.  
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(2), 185-208.

CHANGES IN COMMUNITIES’ LAND-USE PATTERNS AND FOREST CONCESSIONAIRES: A STUDY IN EAST KALIMANTAN


Eli Nur Nirmala Sari

Abstract

The increasing number of forest concessionaires in Indonesia have contributed to the deterioration of natural resources and reduced the availability of land for forest communities. This condition has changed the land-use in forest communities. The villagers in Punan Bengalun and Seputuk in East Kalimantan have engaged in land-use management for many generations based on their habitation of remote forest areas and their practice of shifting cultivation in the jakau (a local name referring to land that lies fallow in the forests, claimed by forest communities during its utilization for shifting cultivation). This study was conducted to identify land-use changes and patterns in forest communities and the effects of forest concessionaires. The research applied several participatory techniques and questionnaire interviews to collect the data. In relation to land-use management, forest concessionaires took the initiative to implement interactive planning for land-use through the concessionaire-developed Social Forestry Program (SFP) in Seputuk. The initiative was designed to improve the use of jakau in forest communities. This SFP was addressed to be an income source and a long-term community development program. As there were obstacles encountered in the implementation of SFP, forest concessionaires were challenged more to make a success of SFP.

Keywords: forest communities, forest concessionaires, land-use management, Social Forestry Program  

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