From grassroots to policy deliberation: The case of community forest users' federation in Nepal

Hemant R. Ojha, Netra P. Timsina

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

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the emergence of the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and its contribution to the process of participatory and deliberative governance in the forestry sector of Nepal. In particular, this chapter discusses how the forest dependent civil society groups were able to enhance their deliberative interface with various groups of actors engaged in the field of forestry, mainly: technobureaucrats, formal political agents (mainly political parties) and development agencies. The purpose is to explicate conditions and processes that enable or constrain the ability of local forest-dependent citizens to participate in the policy and practice of forest governance. Despite repeated pleas for the participatory and deliberative governance of environmental resources (Fischer 1999; Dryzek 2000; Fischer 2000; Smith 2003; Ojha 2006; Parkins and Mitchell 2005), there is still a predominance of technocratic values and institutions in environmental decision-making (Backstrand 2004; Pokharel and Ojha 2005). This is especially true in the context of forest management in the Global South where centralised and technically-oriented colonial approaches of the past continue to dominate the day to day practices of forest management, policies and their implementation (Peluso 1992; Shivaramakrishnan 2000; Sundar 2000, 2001; Roth 2004; Sarin 2005). The rhetoric of decentralisation and devolution of forest management have often been couched in an agenda of extending bureaucratic control rather than advancing the genuine empowerment of the local people (Shrestha 1999; Sarin et al. 2003; Shrestha 2001).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge Systems and Natural Resources
Subtitle of host publicationManagement, Policy and Institutions in Nepal
EditorsHemant R. Ojha, Netra P. Timsina, Ram B. Chhetri, Krishna P. Paudel
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9788175968691
ISBN (Print)9788175965638
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


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