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Assessment of REDD and its effects on the livelihood of local people at CFUGs: A case study of Gorkha, Nepal

Adhikari, Sahash Nath (2011) Assessment of REDD and its effects on the livelihood of local people at CFUGs: A case study of Gorkha, Nepal.

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Abstract:REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a newly formed mechanism that allows industrialized countries to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits from the developing countries, which helps to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Nepal’s Community Forests User Groups (CFUGs) are reducing emission through conservation and protection against deforestation. Thus it is essential to recognize the importance of the efforts of the group i.e. reward of Community Forests (CFs) by REDD incentives. Nepalese society is a mixture of various socio-economic groups who live in different locations and thus make use of the forests in varying degrees. The level of dependency of the people on forests is different from one forest community group to another, which makes it impossible to adopt and implement a single REDD approach for the whole country. At least, a number of schemes are needed to correspond to the heterogeneity of Nepalese society. The proposed scenarios for CFs are Traditional scenario/Scenario 1, Scenario 2 (Business as usual + REDD Benefits) and Scenario 3 (REDD Management + No benefits from Forest). This research adopts the following methodology. The land cover changes in the CFs and GF were seen from the year 2001 -2008 to see their potentiality to participate on REDD program for CFs. The forest management practices of a number of selected CFs were analyzed. To select the CFs on the basis of their socio-geographic heterogeneity, a focus group discussion was organized. A simple random sampling strategy was used for the selection of HHs from the selected CFs to find out the forest dependency of the local people. To find out the costs and benefits that will result from the implementation of REDD in the selected CFUGs, a series of focus group discussions were conducted with questionnaires being filled. The result from landcover change, forest dependency outcome and cost benefits analysis for CFs were analyzed to see the possible REDD scenarios in CFs. The CF programme has helped to reduce the deforestation and forest degradation that give their potentiality to participate in REDD. Some of the CFs are well managing their forest than others. The management of CFs is directly linked with importance of CFs for their livelihood. The socio-economic characteristics, forest products used and population density of CF help to determine the dependency of CFUGs people on forest. The economic benefit from REDD for scenario 2 mostly depends on the forest area and population pressure of CFs, while for scenario 3, in addition to what has been mentioned before, the economic benefit also depends on forest products used from CFUGs. The scenario 2 is more about continuing the harvesting of the forest resources in addition to the benefit from carbon revenue, which is better for those communities whose livelihood is mostly dependent upon forest products and who are also managing their CF well. Scenario 3 is more about preserving the forest and not allowing the forest products from the CF, which is better for those communities whose livelihood is mostly independent from forest products and who are not managing their CF properly. The socioeconomic status of CFUGs and population pressure in CF have a greater role than forest products used by local people to determine the level of dependency of CFUGs people on forest and for CF management. Finally, it helps us in determining the best REDD scenarios for the CFUGs. Keywords: CFUGs, REDD Scenarios, REDD, Land cover, Satellite Images, Remote Sensing and GIS.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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