Thursday, January 30, 2014
PUBLICATION: The Local Environmental, Economic and Social Tragedies of International Interventions on Community Based Forest Management for Global Environmental Conservation: A Critical Evaluation
A recent paper in the Open Journal of Forestry:
This study reviewed the policies and outcomes of international support for forest management in Nepal and answered whether international support on forest management in developing countries resulted in positive socioeconomic and environmental outcomes at local communities. The evaluation is based on the socio-ecological theory and synergies-tradeoff model of forestry ecosystems goods and services. The study shows that the international interventions influenced national policies and community forestry practices, which contributed to the remarkable increase of forest stock. The new forestry institutions increased timber product supplies to urban users and contributed to offsetting of greenhouse gas emission of affluent societies in overseas. However, the intervention spoiled centuries of old forestry practices, which had contributed to the evolvement of socio-ecological condition, sustained local economy and environment systems. The new forestry institutions and practices locked local opportunities of multipurpose uses of forest, worsened water yield and local knowledge, and hampered local economic activities. Consequently they affected habitat diversities for forest based species, and forest resource supplies for sustaining agrobiodiversities and local food security. In reality the interventions increased benefit to distant users (urban users in the country and affluent societies in overseas) and further marginalized local communities and particularly socially disadvantaged people. The paper shows that the international forestry policies and supports are technically wrong or poorly based on science which is against their promise of providing better technical supports and benefiting local communities in developing countries. It argues that the interventions created many complexities in forestry institutions and practices which require too costly endeavor to change and address the local socioeconomic and environmental problems. The paper has explained the root cause of the international policy problem on many schools of thought.