How are Forest Policy Decisions Made in Nepal?
Taking a deliberative democracy perspective, we analyze the case of forest governance in Nepal with a view to understanding the extent and processes of citizen-state deliberations in forest policy making in relation to Nepal's specific historical and social contexts. We analyze 15 policy decisions which range from parliament-endorsed laws to executive decisions of the government that were made over the period 1998-2004. Our findings indicate that despite the functioning of a multiparty political system, most forest policy decisions made during the studied period involved limited democratic deliberation. Two reasons for this are identified as: a) continued dominance of the role of forest science and state forestry administration in forest policy making; and b) weak links between civil society and elected political leaders in the legislature and the government. Finally, we draw lessons for approaches to analyzing environmental governance.
Key words: deliberation, environment, forestry, policy, governance
Full text is available at the ForestAction website
Journal of Forest and Livelihood 6(1) February 2007 pp.1-17