The Politics of Cooperative Forest Management: The Kangra Experience, Himachal Pradesh (2002)

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Participatory forest management (PFM) has emerged as a successful strategy in almost all countries in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. One of the earliest recorded examples of an attempt to formally involve communities in forest management was the introduction of the Kangra Forest Cooperative Societies (KFCS) in 1940 in Kangra District, now in Himachal Pradesh (HP), India. This paper examines the KFCS providing an historical overview, reviewing past processes and milestones, and discussing the present problematic situation. Before attempting to look for solutions, the author analyses the roles played and positions taken by the various actors and reviews the recent history of PFM in Himachal Pradesh. The history of the Kangra cooperatives provides fascinating lessons for community forestry today on what does and doesn't work and why. Many fundamental changes are suggested. The ideas are not only relevant for decisions now being taken in Himachal Pradesh, they provide insights that will be useful to foresters and policy-makers across the region. This is a thought provoking document, and we hope it will stimulate discussion - and action - that will help facilitate the success of community forestry across the region.


 Record created 2011-02-16, last modified 2014-03-24