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Forests 2018, 9(3), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030136

Role of Community and User Attributes in Collective Action: Case Study of Community-Based Forest Management in Nepal

1
Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystem, Department of Environmental System Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, (ETH) 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), 16100 Bogor, Indonesia
3
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), 44700 Kathmandu, Nepal
4
Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Research Unit Forests and Societies, 34398 Montpellier, France
5
Department of Environmental System Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Forest Management and Development Group, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract

A growing literature on collective action focuses on exploring the conditions that might help or hinder groups to work collectively. In this paper, we focus on community-based forest management in the inner Terai region of Nepal and explore the role of community and user attributes such as group size, social heterogeneities, forest user’ perception on forests, and affiliation to the user group, in the collective action of managing community forests. Household surveys were carried out with 180 households across twelve community forest users’ groups. We first measured ethnic diversity, income inequality, landholding inequality, and user perception towards the use and management of community forests to understand their effect on the participation of forest users in the management of community forests. Our results show that among the studied variables, group size (number of forest users affiliated to the community forests) and perception of the management of their community forests are strong predictors of forest user participation in community forest management. Income inequality and ethnic diversity were found to have no significant association. Land inequality, however, was found to decrease participation in the management and use of community forests. These community and user attributes play a crucial role in the success of collective action and may vary from community to community. Hence they need to be duly considered by the practitioners prior to any community-based project interventions for stimulating successful collective action. View Full-Text
Keywords: participation; community attributes; perception; social heterogeneity; ethnic diversity; collective action; community forest management; Nepal participation; community attributes; perception; social heterogeneity; ethnic diversity; collective action; community forest management; Nepal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Negi, S.; Pham, T.T.; Karky, B.; Garcia, C. Role of Community and User Attributes in Collective Action: Case Study of Community-Based Forest Management in Nepal. Forests 2018, 9, 136.

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