Collaborative management of the ‘protected’ forests of Bangladesh : space for participation of the people
Sammanfattning: Participation in Bangladesh’s ‘protected’ forest management has been sought as a corrective to state’s failure to manage, conserve the country’s limited forest resources. ‘Participation’ is sought to achieve goals of conservation and livelihood. This is a significant shift from the radical pro-environment policy environment that locked forests away in ‘protected areas’, albeit largely ‘on paper’, from a significant human population whose interests are in conflict with those of the state, to a less radical ground where local inhabitants are ‘included’ in the ‘conservation’ of forest resources. While claims of successful ‘participation’ of local and non-local stakeholders in the newly imposed, ‘replicable’, management arrangements are surfacing, an understanding of the claimed participation becomes more relevant than ever. This essay argues that the claimed level and nature of ‘participation’ of the impoverished inhabitants of these protected forests is only a ‘construction’ that is gaining coin within the state – donor – development – academic landscape. The institutional arrangement put forward neither calls for meaningful participation nor take into account needs of a significant human population that is ever-increasingly dependent on the forest resources that are attempted to be ‘protected’.
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