Community Forestry and the Threat of Recentralization in Nepal: Contesting the Bureaucratic Hegemony in Policy Process

Ramesh K. Sunam, Naya S. Paudel, Govinda Paudel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nepal's community forestry program has been touted as a successful case in decentralized forest management. However, the government of Nepal has often constrained the autonomy of local communities as an apparent attempt to reverse decentralization. This article identifies the mechanisms through which decentralized reforms and growing deliberative culture of policy process are attenuated. To this end, we analyze an amendment proposal of the government to revise the Forest Act 1993-a widely recognized legislation for democratic decentralization-with the tacit aim of re-equipping the government forestry staff with substantial power. This article shows that the government often monopolizes the policy process and obstructs community forestry, while failing to address its own governance deficits. While acknowledging the importance of an antagonistic form of resistance, we emphasize the combination of alliance-led resistance and research-informed deliberation as an effective strategy to contest inappropriate policy decisions and promote a deliberative culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1421
Number of pages15
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • community forestry
  • decentralization
  • deliberation
  • policy process
  • resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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