Within (non-western) natural resource management issues around resource and land use practices, institutional dynamics and power asymmetries among locals have become core concerns to grapple with. Participatory management is advocated as a remedy in this context. Direct participation of communities, citizens and other stakeholders, through ‘invited spaces’, is increasingly considered as an essential indicator for almost all community forest management interventions.
Three sets of challenges stand-out significantly among others: (i) competing claims of knowledge of locals and specialists, (ii) asymmetric power relations within and among communities and other actors, (iii) finding a balance between the livelihood concerns of the forest dependent communities and the larger meta-concerns of global ecological crisis and bio-diversity conservation. These socio-ecological dynamics play a major role in regulating the scale and extent of participatory forest management processes as well as the outcomes in the long-run.
Possible thesis topics are:
- Community based conservation of forests
- Bilateral Aid in Natural Resource Management
- Participation and Local Governance interventions
- Interplay of formal and informal institutions
- Resource re-distribution and land use practices
- Gender dynamics in CBNRM