Why is community forestry a social- and gender-blind technology? The case of Nepal

Marlene Buchy, S Subba

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34 Citations (SciVal)


The last two decades have seen the emergence, spread, and institutionalization of par ticipatory processes. In the natural resource management sector, it has taken various forms under the terms community forestry (in Nepal), joint forest management (in India) or, more generically, participatory forestry. As this model is built around the concepts of participation and partnerships, there is an assumption that everybody in the community would have an opportunity to participate and benefit. Yet emerging evidence from the field shows that this is not the case. The social reality of rural societies and their relation ships with natural resources are more complex and entangled than first acknowledged.
This article, based on relevant literature and recent fieldwork in Sindhu Palchok and Kavre Palanchok districts of Nepal, will attempt to address the reasons for the failures of formal institutional models like community forestry to integrate gender as a funda mental variable. The current dominant focus on the biophysical dimension of natural resource management, in-built shortcomings of participation, and the failure to tackle power issues impede any meaningful progress towards gender and social equity, and the need jor change goes beyond mere institutional adjustments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-332
Number of pages20
JournalGender, Technology and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


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