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Research article2022Peer reviewed

Dual Governance and the Shadow of State Authority: Co-Management Realities in Rema-Kalenga Protected Area of Bangladesh

Subroto, Sujoy; Davidsen, Conny; Rashid, A. Z. M. Manzoor; Cuadra, Margarita


Forest co-management models between local communities and the state have gained considerable attention over the past two decades to reconcile ecological conservation with sustainable livelihoods of local communities. Grounded in an exploratory qualitative methodological focus, this study examines how forest co-management realities have fared vis-a-vis continued asymmetrical power relationships between communities and the state in Bangladesh's top-down forest governance system, specifically de facto forest governance structures in the case of Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary and its larger landscape zone. Rema-Kalenga's regional forest actors have been struggling to develop a shared understanding regarding the goals and distribution of power in protected area co-management. The study points toward two developments: First, a low realized level of devolution as Rema-Kalenga's co-management institutions operate as mere unpaid "helpers" under the shadow of the state's centralized top-down governance in the Wildlife Sanctuary. Second, this study found signs of emerging dual governance in which local co-management institutions have created their own spaces of engagement and de facto influence in the larger Rema-Kalenga landscape zone, while significantly lacking active involvement in the core zone. Connections between these two spheres are sporadic, hampering ecosystem-approaches in Rema-Kalenga, and questioning the cohesiveness of co-management purposes in the studied area.


Collaborative Management; Participation; Devolution; Accountability; Livelihoods

Published in

Journal of Sustainable Forestry
2022, Volume: 41, number: 3-5, pages: 319-346

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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