Community Forestry in Nepal

Authors: Zoya Husain*,
Topics: Environment, Land Use
Keywords: conservation, management, forestry
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This research aimed to identify key drivers for the adoption of community forestry (CF) in Nepal and to assess how the relevance of these key drivers changed over time. Identifying these drivers served to address a critical research gap on why conservation initiatives reach scale. The Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory was used to determine potential drivers for the adoption of CF in Nepal. Nepal was an ideal case study because its CF program is one of the oldest and most successful examples of community-based natural resource management in the world. Semi-structured interviews with twenty-one experts in CF development served to identify and understand the key drivers for adoption. This research found that the innovation and context characteristics of the DOI theory were most influential for adoption. The international environment, specifically donor-funded interventions, was vital for the development of early national policy that facilitated the adoption of CF. However, misalignment in donor and community interests and shifts in funding away from CF, have posed challenges for its sustained adoption. In addition, although communities have received benefits from CF, issues of equity have emerged due to the unequal distribution of benefits. Over time, communities no longer adopted CF only to fulfil their subsistence needs, but also to benefit from capacity building and opportunities for learning. This study reveals that conservation initiatives need to incorporate drivers that influence their adoption and adapt to the changing relevance of these drivers over time in order to stay resilient in the future.

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