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Reforms in Forest Management in West Bengal: A Game of Strategic Profile

Das, Nimai and Sarker, Debnarayan (2006): Reforms in Forest Management in West Bengal: A Game of Strategic Profile. Published in: Second Generation Reforms (Edited Book by Allied Publishers: New Delhi) (2008): pp. 79-101.

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Abstract

This paper attempts to find out the economic outcome of joint forest management (JFM) programme for forest fringe community and government based on a field survey of Bankura district in West Bengal. This empirical study suggests that the economic outcome of the JFM programme has been beneficial for both government and forest community and this is due to the strict dominant cooperative strategy of community, not government. Economically, government was the worst sufferer for her earlier restrictive forest policy. The higher economic outcome of the government is due to the cooperation of community whom government neglected earlier. Our study under the model of common property resource (CPR) game also suggests that in spite of equal effort level for each type of player, cooperative equilibrium is also stable with the highest level of stock. 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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