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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Do earthquakes change the timber and firewood use pattern of the forest dependent households? Evidence from rural hills in Nepal

Gautam, Narayan Prasad; Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal; Raut, Nirmal Kumar; Tigabu, Mulualem; Raut, Nirjala; Rashid, Muhammad Haroon U.; Ma, Xiangqing; Wu, Pengfei


Studies on the extent to which households are affected by earthquake and their varying degree of dependence on forest resources, particularly reliable and comprehensive ones, are very rare. This study assessed the types of shocks faced by the earthquake-hit households and the change in timber and firewood use patterns by them before and after the occurrence of devastating Gorkha earthquake-2015 in Nepal. The study used household level panel dataset (n = 99 in 2008 and 2018) collected using a modified version of household survey questionnaire developed by Centre for International Forest Research (CIFOR) for studying the poverty-environment network. Separate random effect models are employed to identify the factors that influence the collection of firewood and timber by theearthquake shock exposed households. The results reveal that the households exposed to earthquake lost significant number of livestock and labor, land and other assets. Regression results show that there was a positive and significant association between firewood collection and the households exposed to earthquake, and there was a negative and significant association with migration. Similarly, there was significant increase in timber wood collection but the magnitude of increment was very small. The access control for timber collection, limited assets holding and other access constraints limited their resilience through timber collection. The study highlights the importance of targeted intervention that helps not only to provide access to land and livestock to the affected communities but opens other income-generating options to improve their wellbeing and to invest in human capitals for enhancing their resilience.


Random effect model; Forest products; Gorkha earthquake; Migration; Shock

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2020, Volume: 119, article number: 102283
Publisher: ELSEVIER

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG1 No poverty

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication Identifiers


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