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Politics of getting the numbers right: Community forest inventory of Nepal

Publikation: Forskning - peer reviewTidsskriftartikel

Srijana Baral, Henrik Meilby, Bir Bahadur Khanal Chettri, Bijendra Basnyat, Santosh Rayamajhi, Srijana Awale

Inventory based management planning is a prerequisite for handing over forest management rights to community forest user groups in Nepal. However, the quality and rationale of such planning remains largely unexplored. Using a multiple case study approach, we aimed to assess the quality of community forest inventories in the mid-hill region of Nepal. We therefore conducted inventory in nine community forests, reviewed forest management plans and guidelines, and interviewed forest officials and representatives of community forest user groups to understand the procedures applied. Further we compared our inventory results with results presented in the plans and explored reasons for deviations. We found that the Inventory Guideline was frequently disregarded, both in design and implementation. Forest inventories were either poorly conducted or results simply fabricated. Significant differences were observed between the results of our inventories and those presented in the management plans. Furthermore, it turned out that growing stock volume was frequently manipulated to align with government circulars, specifying an upper limit of growing stock volume of 178 m3 ha−1. Seemingly, community forest inventories contribute to recentralizing community forestry through strengthening bureaucratic authority. Thus the inventory requirement serves mainly as a tool to satisfy bureaucratic requirements, rather than being a tool for guiding forest management decisions.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftForest Policy and Economics
Antal sider8
ISSN1389-9341
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 26 okt. 2017

ID: 185240267