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|Title: ||Community forestry policy impacts and alternative policies for poverty alleviation in Nepal|
|Author: ||Dhakal, Bhubaneswor|
|Degree: ||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Institution: ||Lincoln University|
|Date: ||2005 |
|Item Type: ||Thesis|
|Abstract: ||This study examined the effects of existing community forestry policy on household and community income and employment in Nepal. Alternative policies to address income and employment problems are also assessed. To analyse the problem a linear programming model for welfare maximization was developed. The model was used to examine the effects of seven community forestry policy scenarios in three districts of the mid-hill region of Nepal. The data for analysis were collected from 259 farming households of six forest user groups. The model parameters were mainly from secondary sources.
This study shows that current community forest policy has some effects on household income and employment. Current policy dictates the use of community forestland for timber production, which produces little of the firewood and fodder needed daily by local households. The policy restricts timber harvest to less than 30 percent mean annual increment (MAl) for hardwood and generally 50 percent MAl for softwood. This policy affects the income of poor households the most and has made them unable to meet their requirements for minimum calories and other basic, non-food items. The forest policy constrains women from obtaining benefits from community forests. The effects are highest for people in remote areas, high agro-climatic zones, community forest areas in wildlife buffer zones, and other communities where there is no market for timber products from community forests or they are only used for home consumption. This policy increases income inequalities between households and affects poor households the most.
The best community forest management policies for increasing income and employment were either leasing community forestland to households according to their ability to use them or collectively producing firewood, fodder and timber according to household needs. These unconstrained policies benefit all disadvantaged people and these benefits are highest for poor households.
The results show that most of the communities have sufficient forestland to meet the timber, firewood and fodder needs of all households. If the government introduced an unconstrained leasing policy or a collective management policy, the access of poor households to the resources could be increased without affecting the resource needs of other households. About 10 percent of the total land area, including private and community forest area, is sufficient to meet the need for household timber supplies. In situations where sufficient fodder is produced, a small area is required to supplement the firewood needs of households. After meeting basic timber and firewood needs, the most profitable land use is fodder production. Under local technological and geo-ecological conditions profitable fodder production is possible without removing tree cover and affecting environmental conservation. Under alternative forest management policies the income and employment of communities, particularly poor households, can increase to a level sufficient to meet their minimum requirement for basic needs.
This study has many implications. This study explained that the emerging socio-economic problems of community forests are largely determined by the government policies. The implication is that these emerging problems can be solved only a little by community- level support alone. Similarly the study shows socially disadvantaged people are not benefited in the programme with sound socioeconomic goals and a participatory development approach. This means achieving sound development policy goals is not possible only by the participatory development approach if governments introduce policy frameworks for production and distribution of common property goods and services that are inappropriate in given socioeconomic conditions. Another implication is that poor people get most disadvantaged in agricultural dependent countries like Nepal if the government's overriding priority of land based resources management is for environment conservation. This study has developed an analytical model for analysing problems and planning of common forest resources for mountain communities, and has identified some potential areas for future work. These works are a foundation for analysing productive and distributive problems in common natural resources useful particularly for mountain rural communities.|
|Supervisor: ||Bigsby, Hugh|
|Persistent URL (URI): ||http://hdl.handle.net/10182/2510|
|Appears in Collections:||Department of Agricultural Management and Property Studies|
Doctoral (PhD) Theses
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