Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade- Long Armed Conflicts on Environment an...
Outline of the presentation <ul><li>Objective of the research </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Community-b...
Introduction <ul><li>Before the 1970s, centralized resource management regimes over natural resources including forests ha...
Introduction <ul><li>Since the 1990s, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) has become the popular natural r...
Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) in Nepal <ul><li>Since 1978, devolution of forest management to local communities...
CBFM in Nepal  contd.. <ul><li>Substantial authority of forest management has been devolved to CFUGs like the right to org...
CBFM During the Period of Conflict <ul><li>Nepal witnessed a decade-long ( 1996-2006) Maoist insurgency (‘People’s War’) l...
CBFM During the Period of Conflict  contd… <ul><li>During the insurgency, community forests in many districts have been cl...
Objectives of the Research <ul><li>To explore and analyze the impact of the decade long armed conflict (commonly known as ...
STUDY SITES, DATA AND SURVEY METHODS <ul><li>Three CFUGs were selected for the case study with three different characteris...
Study  Area
Landscape of the Study District, Kavrepalanchok
Sharada Devi Community Forest
Hile Jaljale (ka) CF
Lakuri Rukh CF
Bio-physical characteristics of CFUGs Description Sharada Devi Hile Jaljale (Ka) Lakuri Rukh Official handover of forest J...
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION <ul><li>GOVERNANCE OUTCOMES: </li></ul><ul><li>Access to forest was continued except some degree of...
Livelihoods Outcomes CFUGS MEAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME (NRS), ALL INCOME CATEGORY    BEFORE CONFLICT DURING CONFLICT CHAN...
Share of Community forests on household income NAME OF CFUG MEAN ANNUAL  HOUSEHOLD INCOME (NRS) FROM CF SHARE OF CF ON HOU...
CFUG Expenditure before and during conflict (%)  Activities Sharada Devi Hile Jaljale (Ka) Lakuri Rukh   Before During Bef...
Employment opportunity generated by CFUGs (man-days) Activities Sharada Devi (1995 -2007) Hile Jaljale (Ka) (1998-2007) La...
Proportion of employment generated from CFUGs activities before and during conflict (%) Activities Sharada Devi  Hile Jalj...
Environmental Outcomes <ul><li>Significant improvement in the watershed condition.  </li></ul><ul><li>Increased water flow...
CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>CFUGs were able to function throughout insurgency period, and the conflict did not substantively impac...
Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade- Long Armed Conflicts on Environment an...
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Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade- Long Armed Conflicts on Environment and Livelihood Security in Rural Nepal

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Presented at the CAPRi International Workshop on Collective Action, Property Rights, and Conflict in Natural Resources Management. June 28th to July 1st, 2010, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
http://www.capri.cgiar.org/wks_0610.asp

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Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade- Long Armed Conflicts on Environment and Livelihood Security in Rural Nepal

  1. 1. Political Conflicts and Community Forestry: Understanding the Impact of the Decade- Long Armed Conflicts on Environment and Livelihood Security in Rural Nepal <ul><li>-Jay Ram Adhikari </li></ul><ul><li>PhD Candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6149 </li></ul><ul><li>Bhim Adhikari </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations University, 175 Longwood Road South, Suite 204, Hamilton Ontario L8P 0A1 CANADA </li></ul>
  2. 2. Outline of the presentation <ul><li>Objective of the research </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based Forest Management in Nepal </li></ul><ul><li>Armed conflict and Forestry Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to three case study sites </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based Forest Management Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Livelihoods and </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Before the 1970s, centralized resource management regimes over natural resources including forests have been the common feature in Asian region, especially during colonial period, or even post colonization. </li></ul><ul><li>Government in many Asian counties nationalized the forest by ignoring the traditional system of forest management. Ex. The 1957 Private Forest Nationalization Act in Nepal </li></ul><ul><li>The centralized system of natural resource management were largely failed and most of the productive forest that were under the government control severely degraded. </li></ul><ul><li>After the failure of centralized resource management regime, a major shift has been initiated in developing countries via decentralized institutional arrangements that attempt to incorporate local communities in resource management. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Since the 1990s, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) has become the popular natural resource policy in developing countries, more specifically in the common property resource (CPR) management initiatives like management of forests, water management, and fishery. </li></ul><ul><li>These newly evolved community-based governance initiatives open up an avenue of opportunities for collaboration between citizens and the government to further their respective interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Governments in more than 50 countries are ceding some control over resources to local users </li></ul>
  5. 5. Community-based Forest Management (CBFM) in Nepal <ul><li>Since 1978, devolution of forest management to local communities has been underway in Nepal. </li></ul><ul><li>The CBFM got momentum after the enactment of the 1993 Forest Act and the 1995 Forest Regulations. Now Nepal has been in te forefront of CBFG. </li></ul>
  6. 6. CBFM in Nepal contd.. <ul><li>Substantial authority of forest management has been devolved to CFUGs like the right to organize, make their own rules of forest management and use, modifying the rules, monitoring, exclusion of non-members and enforcing penalty. </li></ul><ul><li>Forest User Groups (FUGs) has been recognized as an independent and self-governing institution. </li></ul><ul><li>The community forest management activities are governed by the CFUG constitution, and operational plans (OP) which is prepared under the broad framework of the Forest Act and Regulations and community forestry guidelines. </li></ul>
  7. 7. CBFM During the Period of Conflict <ul><li>Nepal witnessed a decade-long ( 1996-2006) Maoist insurgency (‘People’s War’) launched by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), where more than 13,000 people were killed and billions of dollars of infrastructure were destroyed. </li></ul><ul><li>Nepal has been at the forefront of community-based forest governance (CBFG), however, during insurgency, out of 75 District Forest Offices (DFO) in Nepal, 67 DFO were fully or partially destroyed, amounting a total loss of NRS 311.7 million. </li></ul><ul><li>After the destruction of forestry infrastructure and displacement of forestry technicians from villages, most of the forest administration was operating from the District Forest Office (DFO). </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the deployment of security personnel from national park and displacement of park staffs the incidence of poaching and illegal logging were in rise. </li></ul>
  8. 8. CBFM During the Period of Conflict contd… <ul><li>During the insurgency, community forests in many districts have been cleared for military base. The forest was used by CPN-M to train their People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and also as hide outs. </li></ul><ul><li>CPN-Maoist imposed a Yuddha kar (war tax) on CFUGs, and contractors engaged in transactions of forest products and government also increased royalty on the forest products sold by CFUGs outside community. </li></ul><ul><li>Government suspended the bank accounts of the CFUGs by the fear that the CFUGs income may fall into the hand of the rebels. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  9. 9. Objectives of the Research <ul><li>To explore and analyze the impact of the decade long armed conflict (commonly known as Maoist insurgency) on the community-based forest governance, environment and livelihoods of forest dependent mountain communities in the Middle-hills region in Nepal. </li></ul>
  10. 10. STUDY SITES, DATA AND SURVEY METHODS <ul><li>Three CFUGs were selected for the case study with three different characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>(i) CF dominated by neither the Security forces nor the Maoist (Sharada Devi) </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) Community forest (CF) areas dominated by security forces ( Hile Jaljale (Ka), </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) CF area dominated by Maoist insurgents ( Lakuri Rukh), </li></ul><ul><li>Forty five households, representing 15 households each from high-income, middle-income and low-income groups respectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative (interview and participant observations, focused group discussions) and quantitative (household survey) were carried out. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary data available from various sources was also assessed. </li></ul><ul><li>Six m months long fieldwork was conducted </li></ul>
  11. 11. Study Area
  12. 12. Landscape of the Study District, Kavrepalanchok
  13. 13. Sharada Devi Community Forest
  14. 14. Hile Jaljale (ka) CF
  15. 15. Lakuri Rukh CF
  16. 16. Bio-physical characteristics of CFUGs Description Sharada Devi Hile Jaljale (Ka) Lakuri Rukh Official handover of forest July 3, 1995 January 1991 July 8, 1996 Total area of forest (ha.) 44.25 118.14 63 Forest area/household(ha) 0.26 0.49 0.86 Per capita forest area 0.05 0.08 0.14 Aspect North-east South – West and North-East North – East and South - West Age of forest (years) 25 years 20 23 years Average altitude (meters) above sea level 1500 2020 2100
  17. 17.
  18. 18. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION <ul><li>GOVERNANCE OUTCOMES: </li></ul><ul><li>Access to forest was continued except some degree of fear and reduction in the amount of forest products collected. </li></ul><ul><li>CFUG members adopted a practical strategy of “wise use and minimum use”, thus not any negative impacts have been experienced </li></ul><ul><li>Forest products distribution was equitable and some positive discrimination policy put in place </li></ul><ul><li>Representation of women and socio-economically marginalized groups in the CFUG decision making body is low. </li></ul><ul><li>Recently, some reform in CFUG policy has been observed, reservation of certain quota to women, however, the representation of people from disadvantaged is still not satisfactory. </li></ul><ul><li>CFUGs were able to conduct dialogue with government as well as with Maoist for securing their rights during conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings of executive committee and general assembly (GA) regularly, however, in few instances when conflict was in intense period GA meetings could not be conducted </li></ul>
  19. 19. Livelihoods Outcomes CFUGS MEAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME (NRS), ALL INCOME CATEGORY   BEFORE CONFLICT DURING CONFLICT CHANGE (%) SHARADA DEVI 103,135.27 148,153.50 +43.6 HILE JALJALE (KA) 108,989.11 111,081.20 + 1.9 LAKURI RUKH 58,933.83 72,242.24 +22.6
  20. 20.
  21. 21. Share of Community forests on household income NAME OF CFUG MEAN ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME (NRS) FROM CF SHARE OF CF ON HOUSEHOLD INCOME (%) SHARADA DEVI 4,938.25 3.25 HILE JALJALE (KA) 9,694.50 8.73 LAKURI RUKH 8,833.00 10.95
  22. 22. CFUG Expenditure before and during conflict (%) Activities Sharada Devi Hile Jaljale (Ka) Lakuri Rukh   Before During Before During Before During Forest management 31.47 44.49 2.91 36.22 29.6 25.08 Community development 9.08 1.59 2.28 49.46 11.03 30.46 Administrative 7.09 6.28 2 7.13 1.47 2.35 Total 47.64 52.36 7.19 92.81 42.1 57.89
  23. 23. Employment opportunity generated by CFUGs (man-days) Activities Sharada Devi (1995 -2007) Hile Jaljale (Ka) (1998-2007) Lakuri Rukh ( 1997 - 2007) Forest management 6,455 12,868 7,538 Community development 193 2,844 2,920 Total 6,648 15,712 10,458
  24. 24. Proportion of employment generated from CFUGs activities before and during conflict (%) Activities Sharada Devi Hile Jaljale (Ka) Lakuri Rukh   BC DC BC DC BC DC Forest management 48 49 16 65 51 21 Community development 2 1 2 16 14 14 Total 50 50 18 81 65 35
  25. 25. Environmental Outcomes <ul><li>Significant improvement in the watershed condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased water flow in stream and springs. </li></ul><ul><li>improvement in the drinking water supply. </li></ul><ul><li>Significant decrease in the incidence of mudflow, erosion, landslide, flood hazard and downstream siltation. </li></ul><ul><li>Many wildlife which has not seen before have migrated in the CF and their population has been increased. </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging regeneration of understory and broadleaf species in the CF. </li></ul><ul><li>Household demands for forest products are fully met from community forest in both the Hile Jalajle (Ka) and Lakuri Rukh CFUGs, and partially in Sharada Devi CFUG. </li></ul>
  26. 26. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>CFUGs were able to function throughout insurgency period, and the conflict did not substantively impact upon CFUG governance arrangements in practice. </li></ul><ul><li>These case studies support the arguments that decentralization of resource management authority to local communities is one of the most viable approaches towards sustainable natural resource management. </li></ul><ul><li>This study concludes that the new modes of governance of Common Property Resources - especially the evolving practices of community-based forest governance (CBFG) - in general helped in accommodating the local interest and needs of communities as well as policy goals and outcomes of the state agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, CBFG mechanism has more chances of functioning during an otherwise disruptive period of conflict compared to centralized management regimes. </li></ul>

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