ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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JFM in South-West Bengal-A Study in Participatory Development

The central idea behind joint forest management (JFM) is to transform the age-old authoritative and policing role of the state forest department into that of a facilitator vis-a-vis the local communities. The JFM resolution assumes symmetrical relationship between the government and the local institutions. Yet, state governments and their forest departments still refrain from conceding legal status to forest protection committees, retain their right to dissolve them and appropriate a large share of forest produce. A case study of six villages from three districts in south-west Bengal also reveals chequered results regarding maintaining inter-village equity in the apportionment of forest land, meeting the forest-based needs of adjacent non-FPC villagers, and exploration of the commercial potential of the non-timber forest produce.

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