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From Conflict to Collaboration: Local Institutions in Joint Forest Management

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Sarin, Madhu
Date: 1993
Agency: National Support Group for Joint Forest Management, and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development, New Dehli, India
Series: Joint Forest Management Working Paper, no. 14
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4287
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): forest management
Abstract: "This paper examines some of the major issues related to local institutions which will need to be addressed to effectively translate the goals of JFM Into practice. "Part I explains some of the guiding principles on which democratic and effective local institutions need to be based to undertake the resource management tasks expected of them. It also addresses the challenges forest departments will face In nurturing such institutions in the diversity of ecological, historical, cultural and forest dependency contexts in different parts of the country. "Part II deals with the complexity of existing forest-people relationships. Such relationships will need to be comprehended to facilitate consensus-based linkages between groups of users and the forest areas to be managed by them. Without facilitating such a consensual process in each setting, neither the local institutions nor the partnerships they enter into are likely to be sustainable. "Part III examines the internal structure and functioning of participatory local organizations capable of performing the role expected of them in JFM. The importance of the leadership's representativeness, transparency and accountability in decision-making and commitment to principles of equity for the sustainability of autonomous local organizations is highlighted. "Part IV deals in greater depth with the organizational functions of local institutions concentrating on operational rules and procedures necessary to ensure the proper functioning of local institutions. "The paper emphasizes the participatory process of nurturing and empowering diverse and autonomous local institutions. This process must become an integral part of implementing JFM, in contrast to the tendency among forest bureaucracies to command people's participation through top-down directives and executive fiat. "It is hoped that the paper will contribute to an improved understanding of the institutional challenges posed by JFM among all those committed to decentralized, democratic and sustainable management of the country's forests on which the well-being and livelihood of millions of the country's forest-dependent villagers depends."

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