Gender, migration and forest governance: Lessons from Nepal


Sijapati Basnett B and Padoch C.

Rural livelihoods in the global South are becoming increasingly diversified and are no longer derived exclusively from farming and land. Seasonal and circular migration of some of the members of the household has become the main livelihood strategy. Household income is sourced from multiple localities, often beyond rural boundaries. And yet, social and community forestry policies in many developing countries continue to be underpinned by the notion that rural households are physically and socially bounded. These trends are particularly apparent in countries such as Nepal where, despite the significant contribution of migration to the country’s GDP and livelihoods of rural households, there is little acknowledgement of its role in forest governance in policies and policy-oriented literature.

Drawing on four case studies of community forestry user groups in the middle hills of Nepal, this study explores how migration influences who governs forests, how forests are governed and their implications for gender equity and sustainability of forest resources. It uses a mixed method approach, building on IFPRI’s ‘Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index’ and IFRI’s methodology on institutional and resource sustainability of forest user groups. The study is being carried out in partnership with the Social Science Baha in Kathmandu, Nepal.

A research project and at least one peer-reviewed journal article will be available by the end of the year.

To learn more about this project, contact Bimbika Sijapati Basnett,