Access to Benefits from Forest Commons in the Western Himalayas

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Little statistical evidence exists on the effects of forest management regimes and wealth on forest access rates in South Asia. To determine the magnitude and significance of these effects, this paper analyzes a dataset of communities from Himachal Pradesh, India, with a fractional logit model. The investigation considers three specific forest management regimes including a regime under complete state control, traditional community regime and a co-management regime known as Joint Forest Management. Communities with higher incidence of land poverty have lower forest access rates for grazing and fodder extraction, whereas communities with a higher incidence of land-rich households have higher forest access rates for fodder extraction. Forest access rates for fuelwood collection are lower under traditional and co-management regimes. However, the interaction between land-poverty and co-management regime increases forest access rates for fodder collection and livestock grazing.



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