Forest inventory in Nepal – Technical power or social empowerment?

Jane Hull, Hemant Ojha, Krishna Prasad Paudel

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Community forestry in Nepal has long been considered a leading model of participatory forest management, whereby the state hands over national forest to be managed by local Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs). This development has been well documented (Hobley, 1996; Poffenberger, 2000; Ojha et al., 2006) with particularly keen attention to the social issues of organization, livelihoods impact and equity. However, the trend in Nepal follows a global tendency, as attention has shifted more recently to the technical details of forest management (Lawrence, 2007). Furthermore, as participatory approaches to natural resource management proliferate, initial enthusiasm has been tempered by the challenges of both scaling up participatory practice amongst the stakeholders who govern and use the resources (Sukwong, 1998) and developing the policy and institutional framework to support such approaches. In this chapter we explore the negotiation of responses to both these shifts, through the process of developing and implementing the government-approved forest inventory guidelines for community forestry in Nepal (Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, 2000; Department of Forests, 2004). We focus on the process and how the results were experienced by different stakeholders – national and district staff from the Department of Forests, members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) representing civil society, and CFUGs. We examine the knowledge, roles and involvement of these stakeholders in the development of the inventory guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTaking Stock of Nature
Subtitle of host publicationParticipatory Biodiversity Assessment for Policy, Planning and Practice
EditorsAnna Lawrence
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780511676482
ISBN (Print)9780521876810
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


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