|Title||Incentives and Community Participation in the Governance of Community Forests in Nepal|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Adhikari, S, Kingi, T, Ganesh, S|
|Keywords||Access to benefits, Community forest user groups, Payment for environmental services, Poor and marginalised group, property rights, Social cohesion|
Increased participation of local users in decision-making about forests and gaining benefits from these forests are major goals of the community forestry program in Nepal. However, there is a lack of real participation in community forest governance amongst users, particularly by poor and marginalised members. By employing a mixed-method approach, this research explores the issue of participation in the governance of community forests, and in particular the role of incentives in increasing participation. A partial least square approach is undertaken to link the participation indicators to the various incentives. Access to benefits, enforcement of legal property rights and social cohesion through building of local institutions are identified as the key influential incentives that determine the effective participation of users in community forest governance. Other incentive—including income supplements, community infrastructure development or payment for environment services—are insufficient to counter the opportunity cost of participation, and hence have a weak but still significant influence on users’ decisions to participate. Power inequality due to socio-cultural norms, together with poor economic capabilities and weak bargaining power, could undermine the meaningful participation of poor and disadvantaged groups in the governance of community forests, unless the community forestry institutions are strengthened in order to be able to deal with the issues of inequitable access and restricted opportunities at the local level.
|Short Title||Small-scale Forestry|