Securing Rights to Livelihoods through Public Land Management: Opportunities and Challenges
Keywords:public land, tenure, livelihoods, use rights, Terai, mobilization of local resources
Public land management has the potential to promote the right to resources of the landless and the land poor in Nepal. Experiences from three Terai districts in Western Nepal demonstrate that effective management of underutilized public land provides an important asset for communities not only to generate forest resources and supplement forest products but, more importantly, also to reduce vulnerability and generate livelihood opportunities for the landless and the land poor. It is argued that the lack of appropriate legislation covering the tenure rights discourages the poor from large-scale investment and restoration of public land. Furthermore, when it starts to generate income, powerful sections of communities might claim access to benefits derived from the land and if subsequent use rights legislation is unable to adequately embrace what has occurred during the initial period of protection and management conflicts may result. Examples are provided of pro-poor livelihood outcomes through public land management, which call for collective efforts for national and local legislation and policy instruments to protect the use rights of the poor groups engaged in public land management.
Key words: public land, tenure, livelihoods, use rights, Terai, mobilization of local resources.
Full text is available at the ForestAction website
Journal of Forest and Livelihood 7(1) December 2008 pp.70-86