Impacts of community management of forests and floodplains
Community management of forests and floodplains has spread rapidly as a means of empowering the poor, maintaining natural resources and delivering equitable benefits. However, evidence for positive interactions between poverty reduction and restored or sustained ecosystems is limited. This study assesses changes in the distribution of benefits and ecosystem services generated from wetlands in Bangladesh and forests in Nepal. It focused on collating dispersed evidence to examine the intertwined effects of community management on a) livelihoods of poor people dependent on these systems, and b) key indicators of ecosystems sustainability.
Published and grey literature were systematically reviewed, and a comparative analysis made of data sets held by the partner organisations and researchers from the past 15 years.
The research team disaggregated the data within the two ecosystems, and undertook a comparative analysis of key factors including resource tenure, membership of representational community based organisations, and the role of networking and learning (horizontal and vertical) among these organisations. The project team used nationally-accepted indicators of poverty to segregate the effects on livelihoods.
The research drew lessons on institutional arrangements that can be taken up more widely to enable ecosystems to deliver services to the poor in a sustainable way.