This report is divided into seven sections. Section I provides the conceptual framework and methodology adopted for the study. Section II talks about the history of forest management and the related institutional arrangement, which came into existence with it. It touches three broad phases in the history of forest management - forests under the colonial period, state management of forests after independence and imbibing of participatory approaches to forest management in recent times. Section III talks about how the discourse on rights, which formed the foundation of institutions during the colonial administration, has now been expanded to include the normative elements of democracy, thus changing and broadening the constituting base of the institutional spaces. Section IV discusses the power dynamics both between and within institutions and their consequent influence on the local institutional spaces. Section V explores the dynamics of participation which takes place within the VFC. Section VI provides a succinct account of the participation and voice of the marginalised section, particularly women in JFM. Section VII analyses the local contextual factors that shape the nature of local institutional spaces and participation. The conclusion sums up the arguments provided in the main body of the text.
Study Report No. 3, New Delhi, India; PRIA, 48 pp.