Poverty and Resource Degradation Under Different Common Forest Resource Management Systems in the Mountains of Nepal

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Different types of forest management systems in the study area are analyzed, followed by an assessment of nontimber forest products (NTFPs) use systems and collection practices under the government and community-managed systems, and their implications for the status of forests and NTFPs. Confronted with severe poverty arising from small landholdings and scarce nonfarming employment opportunities, villagers in the upper portion of the watershed have benefited considerably from the income derived from NTFPs. Findings indicate that various components of a common forest resource can be managed differently and undergo degradation at different rates. NTFPs are undergoing degradation more seriously than timber under both government and community forest management systems. However, NTFP degradation is more serious in government forests than in community forests. Such degradation is due primarily to a lack of proper institutional arrangements, including the lack of a comprehensive government policy framework for sustainable use and management of NTFPs.

Keywords: Nepal; common forest resource; community forests; forest user groups; government forest; nontimber forest product collection practice; watershed

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920490247209

Affiliations: School of Environment, Resources, and Development, Rural Development, Gender, and Resources, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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