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Why, Who, and How of Jointness in Joint Forest Management: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Insights from the Western Ghats of Karnataka

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lele, Sharachchandra
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14, 1998
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2078
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
participatory management
joint management--theory
institutional design
Abstract: "Joint Forest Management (JFM) has become the new catchphrase in forest management in India today, being regarded as a beacon of hope by the pro-people lobby and as a donor-imposed fashion by many hardline foresters. Neither characterization is entirely inaccurate, but JFM is probably best seen as an experiment with institutional arrangements for achieving the goals of forest policy; an experiment that is now being attempted in at least 15 states of the country, covering most of the forested regions. "There is now an extensive literature on the ongoing experiments and experiences with JFM in India (SPWD, 1993; Poffenberger and McGean, 1996, Wasteland News, various issues). Much of the discussion naturally focuses on specifics -- the manner in which the concept is being implemented in various regions and concerns therein. There are also attempts to draw some generalizations from these specific experiences on the ecological, economic or institutional issues (the categorization currently in vogue) of JFM. "I shall focus here on the conceptual basis of JFM, not on any of its specific implementations. In keeping with the objectives of this workshop, I shall focus particularly on the question of 'jointness' in management, and shall examine three broad questions: the why, who, and how of joint management. I shall begin by presenting what appear to be the currently accepted answers to these questions. I shall then use a combination of theoretical and empirical arguments (the latter based largely on ongoing research in the Western Ghats forests of Karnataka) to critically examine these answers and to present an alternative perspective."

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