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Impact of participatory forest management on financial assets of rural communities in Northwest Pakistan
Ali, Tanvir
"The system of participatory (or joint) forest management was commenced in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan in 1996 through Asian Development Bank's funded project. These forest reforms seek to initiate the process of eliminating the main causes of forest depletion through participation of local communities. Nevertheless, despite decades of the donor's interventions the deforestation rate in NWFP is still alarming. In this paper we have attempted to analyze the participatory forest management in Northwest Pakistan through livelihood lenses. More specifically this paper explores the impact of joint forest management initiatives on financial assets and livelihood strategies of local people. The overall results indicated that majority of the respondents were not dependent on the natural resources for their cash income rather they had adopted diverse non-natural resource based activities such as migration, labour etc. The results also indicated that the main priorities of the local people were financial and food security; where as the NWFP model of joint forest management gives more emphasis on forest protection and regeneration. Although the joint forest management enhanced the social assets of the local communities yet the omission of immediate financial benefits from the institutional changes in the forestry sector of NWFP was a barrier in motivating the local people in forest protection and was one of the main issues hindering the effectiveness of the forest reforms process." Ecological Economics 2007, Volume 63, Issues 2-3, pp. 588-593 Available from: ScienceDirect