Journal Article

Rights, Rewards, and Resources: Lessons from Community Forestry in South Asia

Priya Shyamsundar and Rucha Ghate

in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy

Published on behalf of Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Volume 8, issue 1, pages 80-102
Published in print January 2014 | ISSN: 1750-6816
Published online January 2014 | e-ISSN: 1750-6824 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/reep/ret022
Rights, Rewards, and Resources: Lessons from Community Forestry in South Asia

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Large-scale experiments with the decentralization of forest management in South Asia have changed the relationship between forests, public institutions that manage forests, and rural households. But have these institutional changes led to reductions in forest degradation and improvements in welfare? It is important to ask this question because reducing deforestation and degradation is a public policy goal, and rural households depend on forests to meet their subsistence needs. This article examines the literature on the Joint Forest Management program in India and the Community Forestry Programme in Nepal. The emerging evidence suggests that community forest management may indeed be contributing to improved forest health in South Asia. However, the impacts on household welfare appear to be far more varied but have also been less carefully studied. The article concludes that policies that further clarify resource rights and support local monitoring would strengthen and improve community forestry. (JEL: O13, Q23, Q28, Q56)

Journal Article.  9442 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Economics

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