Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Seeing the forest for the service: The globalization of ecosystem services and decentralized forest governance in Nepal
by Bushley, Bryan Robert, Ph.D., University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2015, 474; 10085638
Abstract (Summary)

Forests are essential to the livelihoods of billions of people worldwide. In addition to furnishing valuable resources for both subsistence and commercial uses, they provide critical environmental services, including soil conservation, water supply, recreational opportunities, biodiversity preservation, and carbon sequestration and storage. A new market-based paradigm for forest conservation based on payments for ecosystem services (PES) has emerged alongside state-led and community-based models. Various PES schemes have been introduced in order to harness the potential of regional and global markets to provide financial incentives to communities, private landowners and governments to protect and plant forests.

This doctoral dissertation examines the impacts of two international market-based responses to the pressing global environmental problems of deforestation and climate change—sustainable forest management certification and forest carbon trading (REDD+)—on the governance and wellbeing of the forests and communities that rely on them. Are these market-based conservation schemes compatible with local forest management priorities and needs? Do they exacerbate or alleviate existing governance issues and inequities? Do they promote inclusive and deliberative policymaking processes? In other words, can they fit into national and local contexts in ways that reinforce effective decentralized forest governance, especially the autonomy, rights, and livelihoods of forest communities? Focusing on Nepal, a country with a strong tradition of community-based forest management, this research probes these questions using two complementary empirical cases: (1) a study of SFM certification and REDD+ projects in Dolakha District; and (2) an assessment of national policymaking processes for REDD+. This facilitates an assessment of the implications of these globalized PES schemes for the future of decentralized forest governance in Nepal and other countries with community forestry initiatives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lowry, Kem
School: University of Hawai'i at Manoa
School Location: United States -- Hawaii
Source: DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Public policy, Urban planning
Keywords: Community forestry, Ecosystem services, Forest certification, Forest governance, Nepal, REDD+
Publication Number: 10085638
ISBN: 9781339590639
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