Forest Protection Policies and Local Benefits from NTFP: Lessons from West Bengal
Economic and Political Weekly, February 7, 2004, pp. 587-591
5 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2013
Date Written: February 7, 2004
As part of its joint forest management programme the West Bengal government has offered a 25 per cent share of returns from the rotational harvesting of timber as well as from intermediate biomass yields as an incentive for protecting its reserved forests and preventing illegal extraction. Why then does such illegal extraction take place? Using the postulate that expectations of regular and steady returns from non-timber forest produce (NTFP) constitute the backbone of preservation-oriented extraction by village communities, this study attempts to identify and quantify the range of benefits other than the returns from the illegal felling and sale of timber obtained by these communities due to the existence of the forest, so that policy can be formulated on this basis.
Keywords: joint forest management, India, community participation, sustainable forestry
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