Advancing equity in community forestry: recognition of the poor matters
Abstract:The community forestry program in Nepal has been advancing as a successful means of improving the condition of forests. However, as in other areas around the world, Nepal's community forestry initiative continues to face unresolved equity issues. This paper seeks to explore underlying causes of inequity using contemporary theories of justice. Examining two community forest user groups in the middle hill districts, the study finds that lack of recognition in interpersonal and public spheres exacerbated the powerlessness of marginalized people, reducing their participation in decision-making. The paper argues that, while distributional rules advanced by the program are crucial, the problem of recognition remains an unaddressed but necessary pre-condition for achieving equity. This suggests that policy and practice in community forestry needs to focus on broader political questions, including representation in decision making, making space for the voice of members to influence decisions, and transforming socio-economic and political institutions and cultural practices.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: ForestAction Nepal, Satdobato, Lalitpur, P.O. Box 12207, Kathmandu, Nepal. 2: Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, Building 132, 0200, ACT, Australia.
Publication date: December 1, 2010
- The International Forestry Review is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes original research and review papers on all aspects of forest policy and science, with an emphasis on issues of transnational significance. It is published four times per year, in March, June, September and December. Theme editions are a regular feature and attract a wide audience.
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International Forestry Review has a 5-year impact factor of 1.540
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