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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Shifting regimes of management and uses of forests: What might REDD plus implementation mean for community forestry? Evidence from Nepal

Khatri, Dil B.; Marquardt, Kristina; Pain, Adam; Ojha, Hemant


At a time when many developing countries are preparing to implement REDD + , there is debate on the possible implications for existing community forestry (CF) governance. Drawing on a REDD+ pilot undertaken in Nepal, this paper seeks to investigate how REDD + has been downscaled into the community forestry context and with what implications for CF governance. The analysis is guided by three research questions: how are the objectives and discourses underpinning REDD + translated into actions at the local level; how do the proponents of REDD + make the problems and solutions technical in order to design the interventions; and what are the implications of REDD + design for CF governance and what changes in rules and practices on forest management might result from these? The study comprised a review of the pilot project documentation and field study. In-depth interviews, focused group discussions and observations were conducted with forest user groups both within and outside the REDD + pilot area. Findings indicate that the pilot design and implementation was essentially to show that REDD + could be implemented in CF and focused on developing a carbon monitoring mechanism which local people could be engaged in. The community forest user groups (CFUG) in the pilot sites have increased forest surveillance and tightened the rules regarding certain uses of forests. We argue that the technical and financial logic of REDD + have had implications for CF governance, risks of co-opting local voices and has contributed to an ongoing commercialisation of community forests, at the cost of the livelihoods of the poorest people.


Community forest; REDD; Forest governance; Rendering technical; Local benefits

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2018, Volume: 92, pages: 1-10