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Involving the Poor in Forest Management: Can it be Done? The Nepal-Australia Project Experience

Research report

Research report

Ten years after the start of the Nepal-Australia Forestry Bilateral Aid Project, this paper questioned whether the implemented model of community forestry actually improved access to and control over forest resources by the poor, or instead lead to increases in poverty. Despite efforts to represent all forest user groups in decision-making, control over forest resources at both sites remained with the traditional elites. Poorer people, especially women, who are most dependent on forest resources, were found to have borne the greatest impacts of modernised forest management, such as the monetisation of firewood. The project proposed to tackle these challenges by giving forest rangers appropriate training and by raising awareness among disempowered forest user groups.

Mary Hobley