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A Study of Economic Outcome of Joint Forest Management Programme in West Bengal: The Strategic Decisions between Government and Forest Fringe Community

Sarker, Debnarayan and Das, Nimai (2006): A Study of Economic Outcome of Joint Forest Management Programme in West Bengal: The Strategic Decisions between Government and Forest Fringe Community. Published in: Indian Economic Review , Vol. 43, No. 1 (2008): pp. 17-45.

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Abstract

This paper attempts to find out the economic outcome of joint forest management (JFM) programme for forest fringe community belonging to marginal landholding, small landholding and landless agricultural households and government who jointly manage the forest protection activities based on a field survey in West Bengal. This empirical study suggests that the economic outcome of the JFM programme has been beneficial for both and this is due to the strict dominant cooperative strategy of community. Economically government was the worst sufferer for her restrictive policy. The higher economic outcome of the government is due to the cooperation of community whom government neglected earlier. However, cooperation yields an outcome preferred by both parties under JFM programme as they are able to negotiate before the start of the game and obtain binding commitments. This study also suggests that force or law can not effectively control the illegal collection of timber forest products for the poor agricultural households, which mainly depend on forest resources for livelihood security and that live below poverty line, until and unless a considerable increase in the income from legal forest products and forest wage income meet their livelihood security.

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