PEFESPA Research Questions

In the above context, this Forest and Governance project aims to understand type, magnitude and distribution of benefits from forest ecosystems changes when the forest governance system changes. For this, the research team selected three site clusters in Nayagarh district, Odisha, with similar agro-ecological contexts, but falling under different governance regimes. The three contrasting governance regimes playing out in these sites are state-controlled timber-oriented management (Reserve Forest), state-controlled conservation-oriented management (Protected Area), and community forest management.

State-controlled timber-oriented management Arang/ Barbera, Rampur range community-managed forests and conservation-oriented Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary

Questions that the team is trying to answer for each site cluster are:

  1. Who determines tenure and governance, management objectives and management regime?
  2. Who gets the benefits and who gets costs?
  3. What governance regime is ‘best’? Most sustainable, productive, equitable, pro-poor etc

The project will identify the direct and indirect forest ecosystem services and disservices in the different sites. It will aim to gain an understanding of factors determining distribution of benefits of the ecosystem services and costs of the ecosystem disservices that occur in the different management cases. Generate insights into the nature and magnitude of trade-offs between forest ecosystem services and service users or rights holders under different management regimes; understand the influence of changes in rights, institutional arrangements and larger governance mechanism on the distribution of ecosystem services, especially on the poor; and develop a conceptual framework and methodology that incorporates the core concepts of ecological complexity, trade-offs and institutions into an assessment framework.

Forest ecosystem services are important for livelihoods and sustenance.

The multi-layered PEFESPA approach to ecosystem services research (see Lele et al 2013 for details).