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Towards a Sustainable Joint Forest Management Programme: Evidence from Western Midnapore Division in West Bengal

Sarker, Debnarayan and Das, Nimai (2004): Towards a Sustainable Joint Forest Management Programme: Evidence from Western Midnapore Division in West Bengal. Published in: South Asia Research , Vol. 26, No. 3 (2006): pp. 269-289.

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Abstract

This article demonstrates that the resistance movement of forest communities in western Midnapore division in West Bengal, which acted as a key precursor to the joint forest management (JFM) programmes in India through a June 1990 Ministry of Environment and Forests circular, was based to a large extent on the successful experience of JFM in Arabari Hills under this division. In this particular locality, the resistance movement of forest communities had been mobilized for a long time by poor forest communities fighting for their community rights to forest resources as a matter of immediate survival, opposing top-down approaches to forest management. A detailed study of the existing four Forest Protection Committees (FPCs) of this area confirms that these immediate survival needs, generating mainly sustenance and income from non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for FPC members, are the key element for the long-term sustainability of a JFM system.

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