آیا "مشارکت" در مدیریت منابع استخر مشترک به فقرا کمک می کند؟ تجزیه و تحلیل اجتماعی هزینه فایده از مدیریت جنگل مشترک در جارخند، هند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|23426||2002||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 30, Issue 5, May 2002, Pages 763–782
Joint Forest Management (JFM) has succeeded in halting forest degradation in India, but its poverty reduction objective has not fully been evaluated previously. This paper compares JFM forests and government-managed forests to assess their respective net social benefits to different groups of local villagers. It shows that the JFM regime reflects the social preference of the rural nonpoor, and that the poor are net losers over a 40-year time horizon. Future plans for JFM need to include suitable compensatory mechanisms to reduce the poverty of the poorest within a village.
Despite initial skepticism that common pool resources (CPRs) in poor regions could ever be managed sustainably (Gordon, 1954 and Hardin, 1968), there is now a vast literature which suggests that suitable institutional frameworks can be designed to secure beneficial outcomes for stakeholders.1 Linked to this is a growing appreciation that sustainable resource management can go hand-in-hand with poverty alleviation (Jodha, 1986, Jodha, 1992, Kumar et al., 2000 and World Bank, 2001) and that the effectiveness of government as a resource manager is improved when it shares powers with different user groups. It is fair to say, indeed, that there has been a revolution in the philosophy of CPR management over the past 20 years. In the case of forestry, co-management of government forests by a joint body of government staff and forest fringe villagers under various cost–benefit sharing arrangements is becoming the standard practice.2 It is said that co-managed systems are more efficient since they can utilize the local maps of poverty and ecology available with the users. It is reasonable to argue that forest user groups are depositories of information about local forest stocks and agreed procedures for access and use (Jewitt, 1996). But it is far from clear that villages, at least in eastern India (which is our area of concern here), are in any sense “communities,” if by community we are meant to understand small homogeneous groups within which distributional conflicts are absent or minimal. Such “communities” can indeed be expected to manage a CPR in an effective and uncontested manner, particularly where that resource is confined to a small, well-defined area that is marked by strong de jure tenures. For the most part, though, such communities are the exception not the rule, even though much of the emerging literature on co-management of CPRs assumes the opposite ( Agrawal, 1999 and Kiss, 1990). This is not just the academic literature: in India there is a presumption, too, on the part of policy makers and external donors, that undifferentiated communities of forest users are the norm because these groups are very often composed of adivasi (or members of the Scheduled Tribes). Tribal communities are supposed not to discriminate on the basis of gender, and are said to be unmarked by distinctions of wealth or status. This is far from being the case, as I shall show in this paper, but the assumption allows policy makers to disregard intra- and intervillage inequalities of wealth and power. 3 This assumption in turn blinds them to the fact that many of the products of a (public) forest are private (excludable) goods, which, in the absence of specific mechanisms to protect the poor, are often captured by members of a village elite that might already have captured the decentralized village-level forest institutions ( Lawbuary, 1999 and Saxena and Sarin, 1999). 4 For the most part, though, such evidence as we have on this issue—of a possible tradeoff between effective forest protection and the pursuit of a pro-poor social agenda—is anecdotal: it has been difficult for the managers to estimate the relative benefits to the poor and nonpoor that flow from a decentralized system of forest management.5 Where cost–benefit analyses have been undertaken (e.g., Hill and Shields, 1998 and Nadkarni et al., 1994), they have generally failed to consider the differential nature of returns to specified social groups within a given village or group of villages. In this paper, I attempt to predict the differential returns by means of a social cost–benefit analysis (SCBA) of a decentralized CPR management program, that of Joint Forest Management (JFM) in the Indian State of Jharkhand. JFM is meant to reduce forest degradation while at the same time offering an equitable distribution of the benefits of forest regeneration to households that belong to a Village Forest Committee (VFC) in order to reduce rural poverty. This paper considers the robustness of this second objective, which has been much applauded by the development community. An income-stratified household-level data set collected from a cross section of JFM and non-JFM villages in Jharkhand is used to address two questions: (a) how much impact has the program made on the pattern of extraction of wood (timber and firewood) and nonwood forest products (NWFPs) by different groups of villagers? and (b) how consistent with a principle of social justice are the observed patterns of costs and benefits over different time periods? I conclude that JFM is well suited to the promotion of sustainable forest regeneration, but that such regeneration is currently being achieved at the expense of the poor. In the absence of significant levels of intergroup mobility, and thus of reductions in the levels of inequality between poor and nonpoor villagers (which is not expected to be significant over the next 40 years), it is important that actions are taken now to put in place compensatory mechanisms for the rural poor. Indeed there is a possibility for intergroup mobility and reduction in inequality between poor and nonpoor over the long period of a JFM cycle (40 years), but these trends appear insignificant in Jharkhand.6 Compensatory mechanisms need to be put in place to secure a proper measure of equity. The paper begins with a description of India's forest problems and policies, and a more specific account of the assumptions about “community” and “rural poverty” that inform the agendas of Joint Forest Management (Section 2). Section 3 describes the patterns of community stratification and forest use in the study area, and in Section 4 the assumptions that underpin the social cost–benefit model are reviewed. Section 5 presents the main findings. It concludes that nonpoor members of VFCs determine the social time preference of JFM. It also shows how the management regimes for JFM forests that are put into place by VFCs must discriminate against the poor, often to a debilitating extent. Section 6 highlights the need for a more comprehensive SCBA that would take into account the value of local ecological services from JFM forests. These services also channel resources to the nonpoor landholding classes, and they strengthen the argument, made here in conclusion, for a suitable compensatory mechanism to protect poor forest users. This mechanism will be required not just for reasons of social justice, but also to ensure that poorer households do not disrupt the protective functions of JFM.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
I have tried to measure the effects of JFM on various social groups among the participating communities. The analysis is timely because there is now an increased willingness on the part of the Government of India to place a higher emphasis on the poverty reduction aspects of the National Forest Policy of 1988.37 This analysis, based on actual rates of extraction of forest products by different classes of households in 1996, and making the assumptions that these rates and the protection mechanisms of JFM forests will not change substantially in the next four decades, shows that the gains to various sections of the participating communities cannot be assumed to be uniform, and that in the sal forest regions of South Asia the nonpoor are likely to gain at the expense of the poor under present JFM arrangements. The analysis also suggests that the Government of India should move away from countrywide prescriptions for JFM. JFM in pure sal or teak forests is likely to be focused on the long-term accumulation of timber and local ecological services values in order to meet the needs of rural elite, whereas opportunities for the poor might be relatively higher in miscellaneous forest vegetation. Second, a highly protective silvicultural regime, of the sort that is practiced in most JFM areas, is more likely to lead to the early closing of forests, and this potentially reduces the harvest of NWFPs both by making the harvest cumbersome and (possibly) by reducing the basal area of NWFP species. Third, the initial condition of the forest vegetation is also important: everyone stands to gain if the forest has been totally degraded to a rooted waste stage, but might not do so if the vegetation is appropriately open, having a proper density of dominant species. Silvicultural research in JFM has been a neglected topic in India, as elsewhere. The country still practices traditional silvicultural systems, most commonly Coppice with Standard in the sal forest zone, and this tends to disadvantage the poor both in the short and medium terms. In the absence of robust data, however, one cannot be sure that short felling cycles (10 years or less) will bring significant incremental benefits to the poor. Given these findings, there is a need for changes to the institutional design of JFM systems if they are not to discriminate against the very groups they are meant to benefit. In part, of course, these changes might emerge from within the JFM system. The most pessimistic findings presented here are made on the basis of extrapolations from existing conditions, and without regard for adaptive behavior on the part of different groups of villagers. This analysis assumes for good reasons, that there will not be much intergroup mobility during the period of study (see Note 6). There is reason to believe, however, that the rate of formation of VFCs in Jharkhand is slowing down, and that this slowdown has been prompted as much by villager distrust of the FD as by FD inefficiency or mistrust of JFM. Even some richer villagers are skeptical of FD claims that they will get 80% of the final sale of timbers (in Year 40)—“why would the FD be so generous?” is a common refrain—and poorer villagers have little faith in either the FD or in village elite. Poorer villagers may be inclined to disregard the forest protection rules set in place by the VFC, even though the consequences of being caught are quite substantial. If the assumption is that a version of JFM will and should remain intact (and let us be clear that I am not arguing for a return to a prior system of estate management of forests), how might it be reshaped to benefit the rural poor? In principle, of course, the idea would be to create a set of synergies such that richer and poorer villagers gain from a broader system of forest (or even rural) development. Bamboo, for example, is both a short rotation crop, and is highly preferred for its leaf nutrient value. Its short rotation feature is particularly suited to the needs of the poor, while its leaf litter is highly valued by farmers for its fertilizer value. It is possible that fast-growing species might also be promoted (notwithstanding the bad press that some species of eucalyptus has received). Similarly, the drinking water supply for urban communities is dependent on the maintenance of catchment forests in rural areas. The government might hope to create a system whereby urban dwellers pay a user-fee for this ecological service, with the rural poor being the beneficiaries of the funds thus raised. But while such a scheme has been tried in New York State, it is unlikely to succeed in the Indian context. This will be true both for technical reasons—not all villages are within the catchment areas of “urban” reservoirs—and for political reasons: urban dwellers will resist the imposition of such a tax. Here, sadly, is the major problem facing any redesign of JFM institutions. While it is not difficult to think of mechanisms to improve the lot of the rural poor—from a system of compensatory financing to government interventions in the market for timber (in favor of small diameter pieces)—it also requires little foresight to see that such proposals will be blocked by current taxpayers (the better off) or defeated by trends in world timber prices (where Malaysian timber in Jharkhand is beginning to drive down local prices). However, much the rural populists might wish it was otherwise, all systems of forest management in India are bound up with a political context which is not advantageous to the rural poor, and which takes its cue from exiting structures of inequality in the distribution of land and rights to local citizenship. This, finally, has been the major argument, and lesson, of this paper. [Notations used: ha—hectare; Mha—million hectare; cum—cubic meter; cm—centimeter; hh—household, yr—year; Rs.—Indian Rupees; USD—US Dollar].