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Democratizing Forest Governance in India$
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Sharachchandra Lele and Ajit Menon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099123.001.0001

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The Commons and Rural Livelihoods

The Commons and Rural Livelihoods

Shifting Dependencies and Supra-local Pressures

(p.376) 11 The Commons and Rural Livelihoods
Democratizing Forest Governance in India

Ajit Menon

Viren Lobo

Sharachchandra Lele

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there is a need to relook at the forest dependence question given the changing and perhaps declining nature of forest dependence amongst local communities. It highlights a number of points: first, that dependence on the forested commons should be contextualized within the wider dependence on land-based common property resources; second, that while dependence on the forested commons is significant, forest-based livelihoods might not be adequate in and of themselves; and third, that there are increasing ‘external’ pressures on the commons that threaten livelihoods. As external pressures on the commons are chiefly responsible for declining dependence, it is suggested that local governance of the commons should not be ‘justified’ on the basis of economic dependence alone (nor denied on the basis of a decline in such dependence) but rather as a means of democratizing the governance of common property.

Keywords:   forest dependence, rural livelihoods, agrarian change, forest use, declining commons, India

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