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An assessment of governance quality for community-based forest management systems in Asia: Prioritisation of governance indicators at various scales

Maraseni, Tek Narayan, Bhattarai, Nabin, Karky, Bhaskar Singh, Cadman, Timothy, Timalsina, Niroj, Bhandari, Trishna Singh, Apan, Armando, Ma, Hwan Ok, Rawat, R.S., Verma, Nemit, San, Su Mon, Oo, Thaung Naing, Dorji, Kinley, Dhungana, Sindhu, Poudel, Mohan
Land use policy 2019 v.81 pp. 750-761
case studies, climate change, developing countries, emissions, forest management, forests, governance, issues and policy, management systems, prioritization, surveys, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal
Community-based forest management systems (CBFMS) are becoming increasingly popular in developing countries where 31% of the total forest is either managed or owned by the community. This paper presents the results of a four-country study conducted in 2017 in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Myanmar concerning the governance quality of CBFMS. The introduction outlines the global threat to forests, the contribution that forest-based emissions make to climate change, and the policy response of the international and national communities including REDD + . The next section provides a snapshot of CBFMS in the four case study countries, and is followed by an account of the methodology, approach, framework of analysis and sampling surveys undertaken during the course of, and informing, the research. The results of the surveys revealed that perceptions of governance quality, as well as governance priorities, varied between the countries, and also at the three levels of government (national, sub-national and local) within a country. For example, Myanmar and Bhutan had very high governance ratings from local levels compared to other levels, whereas, Nepal and India had similar ratings for all levels. Further, regarding the prioritisation of different indicators, Myanmar gave highest priority to “inclusiveness” at the local level but “democracy” at the national level. The reasons for the similarities and differences between and within these countries and the possible implications are discussed.