An Assessment of Collective Action Drivers of Carbon Storage in Nepalese Forest Commons

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Forest Policy Economics

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Decentralized forestry has evolved as a strategy for the management of forests in many developing countries and key institutional factors driving forest collective action have also been identified. We analyzed 130 Nepalese forest commons to determine how key forest collective action variables are associated with carbon storage. As expected, we find household participation in forest management and public audit have favorable implications for carbon storage. However, we also find conservation duration, communities' ability to modify rules and existence of penalty system have constraining, and mutual trust have no or neutral implications for carbon storage. These findings indicate that better collective action does not necessarily store additional carbon. If forest commons in developing countries are to contribute to global climate change initiatives, such as the United Nation's program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +), our findings suggest the need for dedicated policies and programs to create additional incentives.



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