The politics of cooperative forest management: the Kangra experience, Hamachal Pradesh

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This paper examines the Kangra Forest Cooperative Societies (KFCS) of Himachal Pradesh, providing an historical overview and reviewing past processes and milestones. An overview of KangraÆs prevailing land settlement and revenue system is included to facilitate the readerÆs understanding of the background of forest management against which the KFCS and subsequent Participatory Forest Management (PFM) initiatives have been taken. This publication describes the basic principles and rules pertaining to the formation and running of the KFCS and provides a detailed analysis of their operations. The choice of institutional form, the criteria for membership and for selection of areas, and the financial systems developed by the scheme, are all discussed. The paper points out that the initiativeÆs most fundamental achievement could be the effort to re-establish workable systems of community control by redefining the balance between rights and responsibilities. The author stresses the importance of analysing the processes the government set in motion when organising people into the KFCS scheme in the 1940s and the situation as it stands today. The authors conclude with a discussion of the future of the KFCS and emerging lessons for the future of sustainable forest management in Himachal Pradesh. Many fundamental changes are suggested, including mainstreaming PFM, changing forest land use, reclassifying forest lands, converting individual rights into community rights, strengthening sustainable forest-based livelihoods, and rationalising the role of peopleÆs institutions.

Source publication information
Talking points No. 3/02
84 p.
International cenre for Integrated Mountain Development, 4/80 Jawalakhel, GPO Box 3226, Katnmandu, Nepal
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Shelfmark in IDS Resource Centre
D : Agriculture and NRM : Forestry and agroforestry 4644