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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Betrayal or 'Business as Usual'? Access to Forest Resources in the Nepal Terai

Deb Rajan Sinha

Environment and History 17 (2011): 433-460. doi: 10.3197/096734011X13077054787226

The lack of progress with community forestry in the Nepal Terai has been blamed on regional agrarian structure, the ethnic composition of the population, in-migration and the spatial distribution of forests and settlements. Yet a careful analysis of the environmental history of the region demonstrates that the Nepalese State never relinquished its control over the economically-valuable Terai forests. The skilful weaving of conflicting environmental narratives with national forest policies has allowed the Nepalese State to fend off challenges to its federal power structure from aid agencies and public demands on the Terai's forests.

KEYWORDS: Nepal; Terai; community forest

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