Does Adaptive Collaborative Forest Governance Affect Poverty? Participatory Action Research in Nepal's Community Forests

  • McDougall C
  • Jiggins J
  • Pandit B
 et al. 
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Abstract

Despite recognition of forests' roles in rural livelihoods, there has been relatively little empirical exploration of community forestry's contribution to poverty alleviation. Similarly, there has been little study of the interaction of social learning-based approaches to forest governance with poverty alleviation. This article draws on 6 years of research on community forestry in Nepal to explore whether, and how, adaptive collaborative forest governance influences the financial and forest assets of women and the poor. The study includes impacts on income generation, access to micro-credit, and employment. The findings indicate that the financial and forest assets of both women and the poor-and especially poor women-increased as a result of adaptive collaborative forest governance. They also suggest a strong role for social learning in poverty alleviation. The article concludes by considering whether poverty alleviation might usefully be reconceptualized as a power-related transformation process. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Nepal
  • adaptive collaborative governance
  • equity
  • gender
  • livelihoods
  • power
  • social learning

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Authors

  • Cynthia McDougall

  • Janice Jiggins

  • Bishnu Hari Pandit

  • Sushila K. Thapa Magar Rana

  • Cees Leeuwis

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