Monitoring the Impact of Joint Forest Management on Rural Livelihoods

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"Joint Forest management is one of the most important initiatives since independence taken by Forest Departments (FD) in partnership with village communities to protect, regenerate and manage forests. This is one of the largest efforts in the world to involve village communities for the twofold objectives of the sustainable management of forests and providing for the sustainable livelihoods of participating village communities. "The Joint Forest Management (JFM) has been implemented on a large scale nationwide since 1990, covering more than 17.33 million ha of forest area being managed through more than 84,000 village forest protection and management committees (VFPMCs) groups. It is now well known that JFM has resulted in restoration and regeneration of forests in India. But it is not clearly known what impact it had on the livelihoods of the local people who collaborate to manage the forests jointly. Although monitoring and evaluation have been done periodically to assess the performance of JFM since JFM was started in India with the government resolution issued in the year 1990, but the discussion on the impact of the JFM so far has primarily referred to its impact on restoration and regeneration of forests. Very few studies have been done to assess what impact JFM had on the rural livelihoods of village communities who are contributing to forest protection and management. This report explores the livelihoods monitoring tools to monitor the impact of JFM on rural livelihoods in Rajasthan."
joint management, rural affairs, livelihoods, poverty, community forestry, sustainability