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The Flow and Distribution of Costs and Benefits in the Chuliban Community Forest, Dhankuta

Research reports

This paper presented a careful appraisal of the local costs and benefits of one community forest in Nepal. Surprisingly, a measure of the forest's overall discount rate suggested that investing in the forest was less profitable than keeping money in a savings account at a local bank - though the author provided several caveats to this calculation. Of more concern was the inequity of distribution of the costs and benefits among members of the community. In particular, poor users, who were most dependent on the forest, did not gain enough direct benefits to compensate for the associated opportunity costs. To counteract the current trend of decreasing participation, the forest user group would first have to resolve problems of distribution and then improve productivity and profitability of the forest.

M R Maharjan