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How does techno-bureaucracy impede livelihood innovations in Community Forestry?

Giri, Kalpana , Ojha, Hemant R.

How does techno-bureaucracy impede livelihood innovations in Community Forestry?

Over the past three decades, Nepal’s community forestry program has marked a tremendous shift from state-centric, top down model to community-based participatory approach to forest governance. Research confirms that such shift has led to significant improvements in local institutional arrangements (Power) and the condition of forest (Nature). Yet, recent studies indicate that livelihood benefits to local communities (Wealth), especially the poor and disadvantaged groups, remain limited. Such studies point to the need for problematising the participatory approach itself in order to unravel more complex pathways of, and constraints to, livelihoods innovations in community forestry. Drawing upon the experience of a participatory action research project, that aimed to understand and facilitate innovation systems in forest management in Nepal, this paper argues that limited livelihood outcomes (Wealth improvements) in community forestry can be attributed to the limited space for innovation, mainly restricted by regulatory practices and bureaucratic behaviour of state forest agencies (Power). Despite legal autonomy, local communities face significant hurdles and impediments as they plan to undertake innovative actions in forest management, utilization, marketing, and benefit sharing. Likewise, local communities get limited freedom to explore and utilise livelihood opportunities and have limited access to new information and ideas about improved methods, technologies and livelihood opportunities. A key conclusion is that livelihood innovations in community forestry are more related to bureaucratic and regulatory structures than to the commonly assumed internal processes and capacities of the local communities. This paper also identifies emerging threads of innovations that challenge such constraints and expand the space for innovation.

Kelly Gibbons
Jan 25, 2013 12:00 AM
ForestAction
Country-based case study
 
Asia - South
Nepal
ForestAction
Biodiversity
Forest
NTFPs
Timber
Biodiversity
Forest Carbon
Improved information and knowledge management systems - [Critical]
Promoted local land use planning and appropriate resource tenure systems - [Critical]
Fostered innovation, social learning, and adaptive management - [Critical]
Built capacity and invested in human resources - [Critical]
Promoted cost effective technical advisory and intermediary services - [Critical]
Strengthened markets and NRM market incentives - [Relevant]
Strengthened markets and NRM market incentives - [Critical]
Invested in local organizations - [Critical]
Created a framework for better NRM choices - [Critical]
Assured that resource managers have access to NRM means and benefits - [Critical]
Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs - [Critical]
Procedural rights for all people, especially vulnerable or marginalized groups - [Critical]
Local stakeholder input into public decisions and policy - [Critical]
Natural resource authority and functions distribution - [Critical]
Continuous and inclusive consultations - [Critical]
Participatory Planning
Information/knowledge management technology
Land use planning
Land tenure securitization
Tree tenure rights
Resource user groups
Devolution to local governments
Devolution to communities
Participatory processes for social change
Environmental/productivity - [Yes]
Economic/income generation - [Yes]
Governance/empowerment - [Yes]
Environmental/productivity - [Yes]
Economic/income generation - [Yes]
Governance/empowerment - [Yes]
Environmental/productivity - [Yes]
Economic/income generation - [Yes]
Governance/empowerment - [Yes]
Resources - [External or structural policies that influenced success or failure]
Economic - [External or structural policies that influenced success or failure]
Governance - [External or structural policies that influenced success or failure]
Lessons learned (Success Story)
Lessons learned (Cautionary Tale)
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