Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? The Case of the Nepal Community Forestry Program

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of collective action in Nepal’s community forests on forest carbon sequestration and other ecological measures of forest quality. Forest user group collective action is identified through three alternative measures: membership in the Nepal Community Forestry Programme (CFP); existing or pending membership in the CFP; and either CFP participation or existence of an active but unregistered community forest user group. This last, broadest category is important because many community forest user groups outside the CFP undertake important collective forest management actions. Based on rigorous onsite measurement of forest carbon sequestration, we find that forests without community management have only 21% to 57% of the sequestered carbon of forests governed under collective action. There is also evidence that CFP forests sequester more carbon than communities outside the CFP. However, the evidence of increased carbon sequestration is stronger using a broader measure of collective action that includes non-CFP community groups. This implies that policies for strengthening forest protection incentives, such as the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing (REDD+), can be more effective if they target a broad range of community forest management organizations

Citation

Bluffstone, R.; Eswaran Somanathan; Prakash Jha; Luintel, H.; Rajesh Bista; Toman, M.; Naya Paudel; Bhim Adhikari. Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? The Case of the Nepal Community Forestry Program. (2014) 48 pp. [Portland State University Working Paper]

Does Collective Action Sequester Carbon? The Case of the Nepal Community Forestry Program

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