Commodifying the community forestry: a case from scientific forestry practices in Western Hills of Nepal

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  • Bijendra Basnyat

This research explains the distributive effect of the implementation of scientific forestry practices in the community forests of Nepal. Taking a case from two community forests of Nepal, the study conducted financial analysis of scientific forest management, followed by semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and observation. Scientific forest management can be beneficial to forest user groups in rhetoric. However, forest user groups are selling timber at a price far below the cost of production and thus efficient economic model of scientific managment is compromised. Users should either pay the price at par with the production cost or increase their labor contribution. Surprisingly, forest user groups give priority to selling timber either in the market or to local elites, instead of distributing to the poor and marginalized members. Both elite capture and bureaucratic control take place during implementation. Paradoxically, scientific management is defeating the primary purpose of community forests, i.e. assisting local communities in fulfilling the basic needs of forest products and facilitating an equitable sharing of benefits. In Nepal, the forest bureaucracy has not only commodified community forestry for timber production but also succeeded to seize official and un-official revenue from the decentralized forests.

TidsskriftJournal of Forest Research
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)69-75
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 249866570