Democratizing Forest Governance in India

ISBN 13: 9780198099123

Democratizing Forest Governance in India

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9780198099123: Democratizing Forest Governance in India

The forest sector in India is currently going through an unprecedented churning. Every dimension of forest-related decision-making, including rights of local communities, conversion of forests to non-forest uses and setting aside forests for wildlife conservation, has become the subject of intense scrutiny, debate and change. The involvement of multiple actors, from local communities to the Supreme Court, marks a shift in the discourse from forest management to forest governance. Questions of forest rights, responsibilities, regulatory structures, transparency and accountability have increasingly become central to the discourse. The need to democratize all these components of forest governance is being repeatedly articulated. This book highlights this shift in the discourse and analyses the complex issues involved in bringing about democratic governance of forests in India. The essays in this book review developments over the last two decades along four dimensions: forests for local management, forests for wildlife conservation, conversion to non-forest purposes, and the wider socio-economic context and how it poses challenges to the idea of democratic governance. The themes range from the relevance of the Joint Forest Management programme, the contribution of the Forest Rights Act, the complexities of the Godavarman case and the changes in the Wildlife Act to challenges posed by shifting cultivation, scientific versus traditional knowledge, and the effect of economic growth on forest dependence.

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About the Author:


Sharachchandra Lele, Senior Fellow, Centre for Environment and Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bengaluru,Ajit Menon, Associate Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies
Sharachchandra Lele is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Environment and Development, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bengaluru.

Ajit Menon is Associate Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies.

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edited by Sharachchandra Lele and Ajit Menon
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Forests are by their very nature a complex socio-ecological entity. The forest sector in India is currently going through an unprecedented churning. Every dimension of forest related decision-making has become a subject of intense scrutiny, debate, and change. The involvement of multiple actors, from local communities to the Supreme Court, marks a shift in the discourse from forest management to forest governance. The forestry debate has shifted from 'how to conserve forests' or 'how to afforest wasteland' to 'who are the stakeholders relevant to the forest question', 'who should have the primary say', 'what are the rights of non-local stakeholders', and 'what should be the process for converting to non-forest land'. The chapters in this volume highlight this shift in the discourse and analyse the complex issues involved in bringing about democratic governance of forests in India. The themes range from the relevance of the Joint Forest Management programme, the contribution of the Forest Rights Act, the complexities of the Godavarman case, and the changes in the Wildlife Protection Act, to challenges posed by shifting cultivation, scientific versus traditional knowledge, and the effect of economic growth on forest dependence. Although it is not at all clear what the next decade holds for the forest sector in India, the fractiousness of the forest discourse within the state over the forest question are signs of a continued ferment that will open up opportunities, albeit in unexpected ways. (jacket). Bookseller Inventory # 113658

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