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Adaptive Community Forest Management: An Alternate Paradigm

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Nayak, Prateep Kumar
Conference: Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Conf. Date: July 11-14, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1303
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
community forestry
conservation
livelihoods
forest policy
institutional change
policy analysis
land tenure and use
collaboration
Abstract: "Over the last couple of decades the increasing instances of community action in restoring degraded forests has remained a unique phenomenon. This took shape on the backdrop of large-scale depletion of forests due to centralization of forest administration leading to exclusion of local communities, politics of land distribution, maximization of forest revenue resulting in exploiting of timber and incoherent forest policies. In India, as in other parts of the world, a vast majority of the rural population depends on forests critically for a vast range of forest products and services. This critical dependence shapes and defines the relationship of people with forests. On one hand, these dependencies drive resource dependent poor to exploit forests for subsistence and livelihood and often abets the process of degradation, while on the other, it also prompts local people to take positive steps to conserve these resources. Many forest neighbouring communities have responded to the process of forest degradation by evolving local arrangements to conserve and manage forests. These local arrangements seek to regulate access and control over neighbouring forest patches and in effect bring open access forests under CPR regime of the communities. As they evolve these local arrangements also start adapting to the changing complexities in the micro as well as macro policy environment and, today in India, thousands of such community efforts have laid the foundation of an alternate forest management system. This is commonly known as adaptive community forest management."

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