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Global Solutions and Local Feasibility: A Framework of Analysis for Understanding Feasibility of New Initiatives in Forest Management

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Krishna, N. Hari; Mehra, Anandi
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: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/375
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
forest management
community participation
forest dwellers
Abstract: "Indian forest is fast depleting. The gigantic set up of forest department could hold on exclusive rights and powers over forest but could not prevent its continuous destruction. The department's powers came in between forest dwellers and their only livelihood source, thus inviting their contempt. The realization that the common natural resources like forests can not be protected under exclusive government control had prompted the policy makers to a revolutionary change in the approach of forest management. Joint Forest Management (JFM) as it is called has proved to be the most agreeable understanding between the forest department and local people in India today. "The strength of JFM lies in enabling local communities to have control over resources and making them partners in the decision making process. However, participatory nature of JFM alone can not ensure its success and the successful example can not be easily replicated in other areas. The process of JFM binds two different cultural entities together and also calls for different groups in the villages around a forest area to come to a common understanding. More importantly it requires willingness of the community to regulate their forest use behavior. "Willingness of the community can not be inspired in the absence of socially and ecologically conducive environment. The conducive environment or lack of it will have its roots in the past, present and social, cultural and economic domains. In the absence of the understanding of social, ecological and economic conditions in a village and willingness and capacity of community to organise itself for forest management in association with FD, the efforts of JFM initiation & expansion may not yield the expected results. "Apart from the willingness, capacity of the community, conducive environment the fourth and foremost condition for JFM initiation is the need of the community to have such arrangement. How to gauze the fulfillment of these conditions in the scenario of globalisation whose impact is making inroads even into the areas of forest dwellers. "JFM arrangement that has resulted into a harmonious relationship between the forest dwellers and the forest department for over a decade is now facing a new challenge vowing to changing policy environment, which will have direct impact on rural livelihood patterns in the context of globalisation and liberalisation. "An extensive study was conducted from July to November, 1999 in four villages (only two villages are discussed here for want of space) of Northern Gujarat state in India to assess the feasibility of JFM expansion in the context of several changes influenced by the process of globalisation. The study used an innovative framework of to understand the feasibility conditions for JFM expansion in the changing scenario."

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