16 research outputs found

    How Himalayan Dwellers Rely on Common-Pool Resources (CPRs) for Livelihood? Mustang, Trans-Himalayan Nepal

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    This article focuses on how a mountain community in Mustang of Trans-Himalayan Region of North-Western Nepal relies on availability of and accessibility to Common-Pool Resources CPRs such as forest water and pastureland for making a living Most of the villagers livelihoods earning sources directly or indirectly rely on the agricultural productions and the livestock rearing which are not possible without extracting resources from CPRs Analyzing through qualitative epistemological perspective of CPRs theories required information has been collected during April - June 2007 and during October - November 2008 Household survey Key Informant Interview and Observation were the main techniques for data collection It is impossible to produce crops in Mustang in such climatic semi-arid and geographic condition without using CPRs Likewise being an unavoidable component of livelihood pursuits and to support the agriculture activities of the villagers livestock also relies on the availability of and the accessibility to pastureland fodder and water Moreover both activities also depend on each other Some villagers main source of cash income is from selling firewood fodder and grass which definitely need an access to the CPRs Because of such necessity of CPRs for livelihood villagers have well developed local institution to distribute the resources equitably since the historic pas

    Strengthening community-based disaster managementinstitutions to tackle COVID–19 and local disasters

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    The effects of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 have been very apparent as people, politics, and economics of the world have been brought down to a grinding halt. Almost all of the governments around the globe are grappling to contain the spread of the virus, and the government of Nepal is not an exception. A glimmer of hope in this lockdown is on the skills of global medical science. We all believe that sooner or later medical science will guide us back to a post-pandemic society. However, while dealing with it at present, it has laid bare the capacity of our government and other institutions which are involved in risk management

    Production of risks and local risk governance in Kathmandu Valley

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    This research is a part of the UKRI GCRF funded project Tomorrow’s Cities, which has the objective to encourage pro-poor risk-sensitive planning in Istanbul, Kathmandu, Nairobi and Quito. It contributes to the first of its four Work Packages (WPs). WP1, namely Understandings of Risk, broadly analyses how understandings of risks and of the root causes of risks (URRCRs) have emerged and are sustained in the city. WP1 has been further divided into four themes - Risk and Narratives (theme 1), Governance and Institutions (theme 2), Urban Change (theme 3), and Vulnerability and Capacity (theme 4). This study, belongs to theme 2 of WP1 and takes a community-level case, analyses the “gaps” between how risks are being produced at the community level and how they are managed by municipal and local governments and exposes the lines of disconnection between policy and practice

    Political economy of urban change: contestations and contradictions in urban development in Kathmandu Valley focusing on a case of Southern Part of Lalitpur Metropolitan City

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    Being one of the top ten fastest urbanizing countries in the world with almost 60% urban areas, Nepal and mostly Kathmandu valley (KV), is undergoing rapid urban transition of spatial, demographic and economic changes, especially after the restoration of democracy in 1990 and subsequent political turmoil and changes. As a capital city with opportunities like access to education, jobs, health facilities and others, KV has been constantly pulling people from different parts of the country that led to densification of the city cores and uncontrolled urban sprawl, leading to unplanned growth of the built-up areas in the peri-urban landscape. This working paper, taking a case from a southern settlement of KV called Khokana, analyses the current trend of urbanization in KV with a reference of land use in general, and examines the responses from the local Newar communities as part of the tension and contradictions brought by the urbanization process and development interventions there in. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and review of literature, this study found that there is increasing demand of land creating speculative rise in land prices espoused by the infrastructure development projects being implemented by the federal government. Ultimately, the traditional place and culture are threatened so is the alienation of local people from their land, impacting their livelihood. Also, these development projects do not have resilient plans for their negative impacts in case of natural hazards, risking the achievement of resilient development in tomorrow's cities

    Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among rheumatoid arthritis: results from national inpatient database.

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    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is being increasingly recognized as an important contributor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although smoking is a major risk factor, other factors may play a role. We used National Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 2013 to explore this relationship. We used propensity matching with a 1:3 nearest-neighbor-matching algorithm to match 1 RA hospitalization to 3 age- and-sex-matched comparators. In the age- and-sex-matched population, RA had a higher odds of COPD (OR 1.20, 95% CI: 1.17-1.22

    Why is farming important for rural livelihood security in the Global South? COVID-19 and changing rural livelihoods in Nepal’s mid-hills

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    Over the last three decades, Nepal has experienced a rapid transition in rural livelihoods, from largely subsistence farming to more diversified off-farm employment and remittances. Despite this, subsistence farming continues to be a central part of rural production. Why does farming persist in the face of other, more remunerative, off-farm employment options? In this article we argue that subsistence food production continues to be important for rural livelihood security by providing food needs from farming, thus helping households to cope with uncertainties in off-farm employment and international labor migration. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of a high level of livelihood stress, the paper provides insights and further explanations on the logic of maintaining subsistence food production as part of rural households' livelihood security. Drawing on in-depth qualitative study, complemented with a quantitative survey from eight villages in rural Nepal, we examine the impact of the pandemic on farming and off-farm activities and explore the reasons behind peoples' choice of livelihood strategies and how these vary between different social groups. We show that there was only limited impact of the dramatic disruptions caused by the global pandemic on subsistence farming, however it brought substantial challenges for emerging semi-commercial farming and off-farm incomes, including both local and migratory wage labor. During the pandemic, people increased their reliance on locally produced food, and subsistence farming served as a critical safety net. Our analysis underscores the continued importance of subsistence production amidst contemporary shifts toward off-farm employment among rural households. We also find a growing interest in semi-commercial farming among farmers with better access to land who seek state support to develop such production. This suggests that it is important for agricultural development policy to recognize and support subsistence farming alongside emerging commercial agriculture production as an integral foundation of future farming and rural livelihood security

    Livelihood and Common-Pool Resources. A Study of Thini Village, Mustang, Trans-Himalayan Region of Nepal

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    Agriculture and livestock rearing are the major livelihood earning activities of many people ofTrans-Himalayan villages of Nepal, which are not possible without relying on the availability ofand the accessibility to Common-Pool Resources (CPRs) such as forest, water and pastureland.Focusing on Thini village, Mustang district of Nepal’s Trans-Himalaya, this study aims toexplore the livelihood situations of the villagers, which set a main objective as “how do villagerssustain their livelihood in a situation of formally regulated CPRs. It further dismantles as (a)what are the major earning sources of the villagers? (b) How do villagers’ major earningsources relate and rely on the CPRs? And (c) how do villagers perceive the existence ofAnnapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and its regulation of the CPRs? Getting insightsprimarily from qualitative research methodology, interview, observation, field conversation andphoto elucidating techniques were applied to collect primary information.Eric R. Wolf’s (1966) concepts of funds i.e. fund of reproduction, fund of rent and fund ofceremonial have found suitable while analyzing the livelihood of the villagers. He says that apeasant (a rural cultivator) is not evolving merely to produce grains to sustain his and hisfamily’s livelihood in a strict biological sense (fund of reproduction) but he must also set asidetime for several social as well as religious practices as a part of his and his family’s survival(fund of ceremonial). Similarly, a peasant must earn to pay taxes to the state or government, andif a peasant does not own the land, must pay rent to the landowner (fund of rent). Likewise, TorH. Aase’s (1998) local dialectic approach has been applied to see the changes in a community orsociety over space and time. He believes that societal changes take place interacting betweensocial organization (practice, behaviour), social structure (norms, rules) and culture (meaning)over space and time in a dialectical process. Some theories related to Common-Poor Resources(CPRs) have also been reviewed and applied in the present study.Though agriculture is practiced by all the villagers, most villagers lack sufficient agricultureproduction, which they fulfil by rearing livestock, running tavern, selling vegetable, apple,dehydrated apple, locally made alcohol (raksi), working as a wage labourer, and a mule driver.Very few villagers are earning from migration. Though the region is famous for tourism, Thinivillagers lack much direct benefit from it.Agriculture and livestock are the major earning sources of the villagers while making theirliving, which are not possible without the availability of and the accessibility to the CPRs.Villagers need forest for pastureland and fodder for their livestock, firewood for their householduse, humus, litter, and compost for the agriculture. Some villagers collect tree leaves to constructthe roof of their house. Villagers need water for irrigation and drinking purposes. Thus, it isfound that villagers are absolutely relying on CPRs for their agriculture and livestock activities.However, at present, the CPRs are being managed by Conservation Area ManagementCommittee (CAMC), which is formed by ACAP – a conservation-cum-development project,established in 1993 in Jomsom - which previously were being managed by villagers themselves.Since the management of CPRs has changed, there are confrontations between villagers and theproject. Even though ACAP has done some important development and awareness programmesuch as construction of trail, water reservoir, drinking water pipe distribution, help to constructfences for the agriculture fields; villagers’ are not satisfied with ACAP/CAMC mainly because itdoes not distribute poorji (a permission letter to cut the timber from the forest) in time

    Changing Forestry Governance in Nepal Himalaya. Interactions of Community Forestry with REDD+ and Traditional Institution

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    Although traditional institutions remained involved in the management of local forests in some areas of Nepal Himalaya, Community Forestry (CF) is now a well-established formal forest management institution of the country. The emergence of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in 2008 brings a new dimension to CF. Given that CF has been successfully implemented and adopted by many local communities, with one third of the nation's population being involved in various types of CF institutions, it has been used as an institutional platform to pilot REDD+ since 2010. Since then, the responsibility of CF has been extended from its initially national concerns such as meeting locals’ subsistence needs and promoting local biodiversity conservation, and has now moved towards more global concerns such as curbing climate change. Nepal’s preparation to reform its forestry governance warrants a study of the interactions between existing forestry institutions and emerging frameworks of forestry governance like REDD+, as such a study may provide valuable policy insights. This study therefore aims to examine the interactions of CF with both emerging forestry governance and traditional institutions. By specifically applying political ecology and discourse analysis approaches, the study analyses the effectiveness of the REDD+ pilot project in CF, the disjunctions and conjunctions between formal and traditional forestry institutions, and lastly the reasons of local variations in acceptance of CF models. Two cases of CF models were selected for this study - the Community Forestry User Group (CFUG) of Dolakha District and the Conservation Area Management Committee (CAMC) of Mustang District. The study found that after the implementation of the REDD+ pilot project in Dolakha, the CFUGs tightened the rules regarding forest use and banned livestock grazing in order to help sequester more carbon in the forest, both of which negatively affected the existing agroforestrydependent communities. Consequently, the villagers tended to have a negative perception of REDD+ intervention in local forests. REDD+ is not an ordinary type of management framework; it pays money to protect the forest and conserve the environment. The distribution of the REDD+ benefits was found to be a sensitive issue in the study areas where it is primarily determined on the basis of individuals’ caste and ethnic affiliation. Although the pilot project advocates forest protection, increases environmental protection awareness and supplies income to the CFUGs, it is concluded that ignoring the subsistence users, REDD+ cannot achieve sustainable environmental goals. The traditional institutions of Mustang – known as the village councils – still hold the right to decide who should use the forest and who should not. The formal institutions, that is, CAMCs, select their representatives from the same villages where the village councils have executed traditional rules. The CAMCs’ members and supporters still need to follow the traditional practices and cannot simply ignore the councils’ norms. However, the village councils have also started to relinquish their management authority to the CAMCs. One of the study villages has recently started to collaborate with the CAMC. When distributing timber from the local forests and implementing development projects in the villages, the two institutions work conjointly. However, a disjunction regarding traditional and formal forest boundaries was found. A CAMC regulates the forests of a Village Development Committee (VDC), which comprises several villages. However, each village of Mustang occupies some forestland which the respective village councils consider to be the property of their village. The village council prohibits any outsiders from using the forest, even other villages of the same VDC. These interactions between institutions should be understood prior to implementing any new forestry governance. The study also found that the CF models (i.e., CFUGs & CAMCs) were accepted to varying degree by the local communities. Three potential reasons were discussed. Firstly, it was found that an acceptance of or resistance to a CF model cannot be determined solely by migration of the local forest users and their decreasing dependency on the forest. Besides reducing active leadership within communities, out-migration can limit local participation in the design and implementation of new institutions and thereby increase institutional vulnerability. Secondly, an institution that has wider institutional flexibility in terms of rules and rights can better succeed in incorporating villagers' priorities and can thus enjoy a greater level of acceptance. Thirdly, the persistence of traditional institutions and their ability to sanction forest uses can lead to the resistance of a formally designed forestry institution. It is suggested that knowledge of these local variations in acceptance can help to inform policy makers and facilitate future reforms of local forestry governance. Two conclusions are drawn from this study. Firstly, the success of any emerging forestry governance framework relies on how easily it allows communities to access and use local forests. Secondly, in order to achieve the desired success, the emerging forestry governance system has to allocate space for traditional institutions. The success or failure of a forestry institution can therefore be largely determined by the flexibility of its rules and whether it is accepted or resisted by traditional institutions

    Trend of urban growth in Nepal with a focus in Kathmandu Valley: A review of processes and drivers of change

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    This report documents and discusses the urbanization trend, spatial transition, major drivers of urban change, and existing institutional mechanisms of urban development in Nepal , one of the top ten fastest urbanizing countries in the world. Particularly, it reflects on the gaps and challenges for urban governance in Nepal and focuses on Kathmandu Valley, the “hub” of urbanization in Nepal. The urban population growth rate in Nepal almost doubled from 3.6% in 1991 to 6.5% in 2001, and the number of urban centers increased from 58 in 2013 to 293 in 2017. The review shows the transition of Nepal from predominantly rural to an emerging urban economy is primarily the result of the governmental decisions that merged rural administrative units and designated them as municipalities, administratively the urban units of Nepal. Rural to urban migration is another important factor driving urban growth in Nepal. Unplanned land use, shrinking open spaces, haphazard construction, and poor services have become major urban features of Nepal, which resemble the growth of Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley, with an estimated population of 2.54 million, is growing at 6.5% per year, indicating one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in South Asia. Haphazard and unplanned urbanization of the valley have degraded the urban environment, increased urban poverty, and exposed the growing urban population to multi-hazard risk. Aiming to balance urban development, develop disaster-resilient cities and enhance urban resilience, the government has formulated the urban development strategy and declared new programs for the development of emerging urban centers and “smart” cities in the valley. However, such centrallyplanned infrastructure development activities lack coordination and contradict the formal policy intentions, and are facing resistances in some places, rendering their implementation uncertain. The majority of the urban population lacks resiliency and the government lacks institutional and financial capacities and coordination crucial for undertaking inclusive, equitable, and resilient urban development. The current constitutional provision that restrains the government from imposing any kind of restriction on the use of private property has come up as an additional impediment to urban governance in Nepal and thus making urban areas increasingly disasterprone and the urban population, primarily the urban poor, vulnerable to multiple hazards. Kathmandu Valley has become an evidence of these processes and their ramifications. The report has concluded by providing key insights that can be useful in making tomorrow’s cities inclusive, equitable, and resilient
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