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Community-Based Forest Management in India: The Issue of Tenurial Significance

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Nayak, Prateep Kumar
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Globalisation, the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Conf. Date: June 17-21, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1253
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
forest management
community forestry
forest policy
land tenure and use
property rights
Abstract: "The policies corresponding to the Community-based forest management systems in India have not yielded significant results. One preeminent cause for this is the lack of an appropriate tenurial arrangement in favour of the forest managing communities. The National and State Governments have responded to the prolonged demands for community rights over forests by way of various policy formulations. However, tenure on forestland still remains the most contentious issue in the field of forest management in India. "An attempt has been made in this paper to analyze the context within which forest tenure is being sought for. In order to do that it is important to examine the local, policy and external environments in their historical as well as current contexts. The community concerns for the state of forest resources and their efforts at conservation, poverty conditions requiring a better tenure, access and livelihood benefits in favour of the community and condition of the resource are important elements for understanding the local environment and assigning forest tenure. "The policy and external environments are also important to understand forest tenure in India. In this context, relevant forest policies of the national and state governments have been discussed with specific reference to the recent Joint Forest Management programme in order to examine the presence or absence of various elements of secure tenure in them. While these policies do not show substantial elements dealing with secure forest tenure, they certainly provide some leads that may help in defining an appropriate tenurial arrangement on forestland. Based on a number of research interactions with the forest managing communities, efforts have been made to present certain elements that may form the rudimentary basis for a secure and significant forest tenure."

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