• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

NGOs today, as part of civil society, have come to play a prominent role in South Asia in the context of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). This book examines the theory and practice of NGO-driven CBNRM within the framework of emerging critiques of dominant discourses of development, the micro-politics of decentralization, and the projection of community development. The book breaks new ground by situating these critiques within six detailed cases of CBNRM initiatives.

To what extent does CBNRM continue to offer a vision for the future and what role, if any, could NGOs play in this? The authors attempt to answer this question by seeking to understand the ideas and insights of CBNRM that intervening agencies bring with them and by examining the outcomes of the interventions and the strategies used to achieve them.

The book concludes that though these CBNRM efforts have made significant contributions to livelihood enhancement, the results gained are limited in collective action for sustainable and equitable access to benefits, continuing resource use, and in terms of democratic decentralization.

Community-Based Natural Resource Management in Gopalpura, Rajasthan
Community-based natural resource management in Gopalpura, Rajasthan

It is widely believed that state intervention since the colonial period has resulted in widespread degradation of environmental resources and marginalisation of local communities. This view is often based on the premise that alienation of communally-held knowledge—often termed as traditional or local knowledge—and communally-owned natural resources went hand in hand (Alvares, 1991). Several studies have contended that a rich heritage of traditional water management structures went to disrepair and correspondingly traditional knowledge was disregarded as a result of the state's apathy towards anything not modern. It is widely argued that this disregard for communal and cultural heritage has resulted in widespread degradation of environmental resources and deprivation of livelihood options for rural ...

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