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Analysis of timber production and institutional barriers: A case of community forestry in the Terai and Inner-Terai regions of Nepal : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry Economics at Lincoln University

Rai, Chandra B.
Fields of Research
Community forestry in Nepal is intended to facilitate both improved forest conditions and the alleviation of poverty, by increasing community participation in forest resource management. While this programme has been successful in improving forest conditions, the economic returns to local people from community forests are not as apparent, especially in the case of the Sal forests in the Terai and Inner-Terai regions of Nepal. Despite having several advantages; high value forest, fertile land, connection with the transportation network, and being close to the regional markets, there is very little timber production from these forests. This research has analysed the problems inherent in the institutional structure of the community forests that would explain why such a high value timber was not being fully utilized. In particular, the research has looked at two aspects of the structure. The first is, whether the size of community forests has a negative effect on the efficiency of commercial timber production, and thus whether there is a need to develop cooperative or joint management structures with other user groups. The second aspect of the research is to look at whether the internal management structures of community forest user groups, and relationships with government institutions, affect their ability to make production decisions within the user groups, or affect their ability to make external commercial contracts with other user groups, log buyers, or contractors. The findings of this research are expected to increase the understanding of the timber production process and the institutional problems of community forestry in the Terai and Inner-Terai regions. Research findings may also be helpful in other regions of Nepal, other parts of the world, and other sectors, such as fisheries, where similar resource management settings exist.