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Gender, institutions & development in natural resource governance: A study of community forestry in Nepal.

Sijapati, Bimbika (2008) Gender, institutions & development in natural resource governance: A study of community forestry in Nepal. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Community forestry in the middle hills of Nepal has been undergoing unprecedented changes in recent years. Community forestry was first introduced in 1978 to address forest degradation through partnership between local people and the government to manage community forests. Development practitioners and policy makers are recently and increasingly concerned with gender and social equity issues in community forestry. Furthermore, a myriad of external actors are invovled directly in community forestry at the local level. Academic research on community forestry in Nepal, however, has not adequately studied the interrelationships between gender relations, local institutions of community forestry governance, and external intervention. In light of the above, my research examines and explicates gender relations in two field sites in the middle hills; the interrelationship between gender relations and the formation, functioning and change in institutions; and analyzes the interface between forest officials and local users. My research findings posit that institutions are 'embedded' in existing gender relations. Intra and extra-household relations define the terms under which men and women enter, interact and influence institutions. Parallel social institutions are drawn upon to mediate the governance of resources, which in turn are influenced by existing 'distribution of power' amongst the genders, and field level extension agent's dual relationship with the organizations they represent and the local users. My research draws from and engages with the debates and understandings in the scholarships on gender and environment; gender analysis of intra/extra household; and local institutions of natural resource governance. I use a combination of qualitative research methods and engage with questions of reflexivity and positionality in the research process. The findings of my research serve to inform theoretical debates on gender and natural resource governance as well as national level policy changes in Nepal.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife, Asian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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