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    India’s Joint Forest Management (JFM) policy, in which government forest agencies and local communities jointly manage forests, has been touted as a successful strategy in helping both forests and people. Its efficacy in the field, however, is uneven. Although government forest departments are charged with implementing JFM, very little is known about their perspectives on this policy. Assessment of foresters’ perspectives on JFM in Tamil Nadu, India, revealed that despite foresters’ motivation toward implementing this policy, uncertain incentives and institutional complexities make the task complex and difficult. While decentralized decision making in the Tamil Nadu Forest Department could help mitigate the situation, the department’s culture that limits feedback in the system stands as a strong barrier against organizational adaptation. Hence, pragmatic strategies for promoting participatory forest management should focus first on improving the institutional conditions of foresters’ work in order to develop a shared vision and a unified strategy for successful action.

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    Matta, Jagannadha; Alavalapati, Janaki; Kerr, John; Mercer, Evan. 2005. Agency perspectives on transition to participatory forest management: a case study from Tamil Nadu, India. Society and Natural Resources, 18:859-870


    employee perspectives, joint forest management, organizational change, public participation

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