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A Study on the Contribution of Collaborative and Community Forest Management to Livelihoods of Rural People in Bara District of Tarai Nepal

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The present research assesses the access to livelihood assets of forest resources in rural areas of the Bara District of Tarai Nepal. Community based forest management (CBFM), mainly Community forestry and collaborative forest management have evolved
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    A Study on the Contribution of Collaborative and Community Forest Management to Livelihoods of Rural People in Bara District of Tarai Nepal Shankar Prasad Gupta A DISSERTATION Submitted to Kathmandu University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master in Human and Natural Resources Studies September, 2014     Master in Human and Natural Resources Studies  Dissertation of Shankar Prasad Gupta Presented on March 11, 2014. Title : A Study on the Contribution of Collaborative and Community Forest Management to  Livelihoods of Rural People in Bara District of Tarai Nepal APPROVED ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ. Bharat Pokharel, PhD August 11, 2014 Dissertation Supervisor ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. Prof. Laya Uprety, PhD August 11, 2014 External Examiner ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. Sagar Raj Sharma, PhD August 11, 2014 Associate Dean, School of Arts ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. Prof. Mahesh Banskota, PhD August 11, 2014 Dean, School of Arts    AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF Mr. Shankar Prasad Gupta for the degree of Masters in Human and Natural Resources Studies presented on January, 2014. Title: A Study on the Contribution of Collaborative and Community Forest Management to Livelihoods of Rural People in Bara District of Tarai  Nepal. Abstract Approved: ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ Signature of Supervisor  Name : Dr. Bharat Pokharel Date : The present research assesses the access to livelihood assets of forest resources in rural areas of the Bara District of Tarai Nepal. Community based forest management (CBFM), mainly Community forestry and collaborative forest management have evolved as a key strategy of conservation as well as promoting local livelihoods in Tarai. Considering the community and collaborative forest management context, the study subsequently analyses the importance of forest resources for rural households. The study enables to understand the rights and access of the rural people in the broader context. For the research purpose, a collaborative forest and a community forest user groups were selected to study the contribution to sustainable livelihoods of rural people in Bara district. Sustainable livelihood framework was chosen as a conceptual framework for the study. The research was mostly relied on qualitative methods to collect the data. A total of 102 respondents, key informants, focused groups and stakeholders were selected and interviewed from the both groups for the purpose of study. This thesis analyzed the contribution of the participatory forest management on the access to livelihood assets, vulnerability and livelihood strategies based on a comparison of randomly selected two user groups. The result showed that the forest resource of the district was crucial for livelihoods of the rural people. However it was found that participatory forest management approaches in Tarai have failed to make an equitable access to various assets of forest resources and to contribute for the sustainable livelihood of rural people. It is recommended that the local rules of accessing the forest should be made simpler and easier  by empowering the local institutions regarding the access and benefit sharing.    DECLARATION I hereby declare that this thesis has not been submitted for candidature for any other degree. I understand that my thesis will become part of the permanent collection of Kathmandu University Library. My signature below authorizes release of my thesis to any reader upon request. ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... Shankar Prasad Gupta Date:  i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to begin by acknowledging and expressing my gratitude firstly to my supervisor Dr. Bharat Pokharel for his constant guidance and motivation, without which this thesis would not have been possible. I am grateful to him for being so generously understanding about my perpetual academic shortcomings. Despite his busy schedule, he always provided me with his valuable guidance and constructive comments, took out the weeds from my thesis drafts, and encouraged me to learn about precise writing, which helped to improve my research considerably. Thank you also for those tireless readings. Funding for the study was kindly provided by Livelihoods and Forestry Programme (LFP), a programme funded by DFID. I am very obliged to the DFID. It would not have been  possible for me to complete my study without scholarship. Similarly, Government of Nepal, especially the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and Department of Forests deserve very much thanks for providing study leave. I am grateful to the staff and faculty of the School of Arts, Kathmandu University for all their practical and academic support. Thank you to Dr. Mahesh Banskota, Dean of Kathmandu University, School of Arts, and Associate Prof. Sagar Raj Sharma for their cooperation during my study and research. Thank you to the interviewees for spending time with me in the study area. During the fieldwork I had several opportunities to meet a number of local residents, community forest user groups, collaborative forest management groups, consultants and people working for local NGO's in the area. They were able to provide insight and different perspectives on various topics in the area. Discussions with these people provided me with valuable information and an understanding of the context of the rural residents and their environment. Equally, the study was carried out in the District Forest Office, Bara where fortunately I was also posted to do my job after completion of my study leave. In this way, I am very grateful for all staffs of the District Forest Office Bara for helping me in my office job along with me with time available for collecting the data and carrying out my research study. I would like to thank to Mr Bajra Kishor Yadav, then the Director General of the Department of Forests, for posting me in the Bara district, my research study area, where I could easily
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