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Changing rural livelihoods and forest use transition in the middle hills of Nepal

KC, Bhawana and Race, Digby and Fisher, Robert and Jackson, William (2021) Changing rural livelihoods and forest use transition in the middle hills of Nepal. Small-scale Forestry, 20 . pp. 479-501. ISSN 1873-7617

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In recent decades, out-migration has become a key livelihood strategy for many rural households in the middle hills region of Nepal. In this region, rural communities are key actors in the management of local resources such as community forests. Analysis of the link between community forests and out-migration is largely missing in the literature, even though the demographic changes associated with out-migration affect forest resource use and management. This article discusses how rural communities and traditional landscapes in the middle hills are changing following out-migration and how this process has changed the management by rural communities of local forests (including community forests). Overall, the research found a reduced dependency by households on forest products (e.g. firewood, fodder and timber) sourced from community forests. Also, the reduced demand is being supplied increasingly from trees/forests grown on private farmland, including natural regenerated forests and trees planted on abandoned farmland. The declining need for forest products and the lack of an economic incentive for active forest management coupled with a decreasing sense of community has reduced the interest in community forests, leading to less intensive and infrequent forest management. Given the prevalence of out-migration and the changing socio-economic context in the middle hills, it appears time to reconsider the management of community forests beyond a narrow range of uses to enable greater commercialization and encourage ecosystem services to be harnessed so community forests better align with contemporary rural livelihoods and landscapes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: School of Business and Management (SBM)
Depositing User: Digby Race
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 22:39
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 22:39

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