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Community Forestry Comes of Age: Forest-User Networking and Federation-Building Experiences from Nepal

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Britt, Charla
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
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/779
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
community forestry
forest management
participatory development
farm forestry
Abstract: "This paper looks at factors influencing forest management transformations in Nepal. It describes, in particular, different phases of state-sponsored community forestry in Nepal, and recent developments of forest-user networking and the creation of the Sammudaik Ban Upabhokta Mahasangh or the Federation of Community Forestry Users in Nepal (FECOFUN). Following a discussion on farm-forest links in farming systems and property rights, forest policy and factors leading to state-sponsored community forestry are reviewed. Community forestry is outlined as a negotiated endeavor between center and periphery concerns, and as a response to contested claims about the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Himalaya. Changes in policy and praxis are situated in relation to political opportunity spaces and perceptions of environmental contingencies. "Emerging trends in networking and federation-building are also identified by elaborating on general characteristics and pertinent 'trigger issues.'... "Why are forest-dependent communities choosing to come together and create catalytic organizations at this particular juncture? What combination of conditions facilitates the scaling-up or mobilization of forest-dependent groups into broader-based institutions? What impacts do networks or FECOFUN appear to be having on local institutions, conflict resolution, and resource-management regimes? This paper attempts to shed light on these questions by situating emerging practical political expressions of forest-users within an analysis of the political ecology of forest management in Nepal."

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