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A study from Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife

Reserve, Nepal

A research report submitted by

Meena Kumari Gurung, Team Leader

Manohara Khadka, Sr. Research Associate
Kumar Bahadur Darjee (Sunam), Assistant Research Associate


December 2008
The main aim of this research project was to investigate the implications of
protected area policy, especially the buffer zone management of Nepal on the
livelihood of excluded groups. The objectives of the study were to review the
existing conservation policies from social exclusion/inclusion perspectives, to
analyze the resource accessibility to socio-economically disadvantaged groups,
and to identify the extent to which the groups are coping with vulnerability in the
buffer zone areas. This project explored the policies, strategies and processes
of policy implementation in the context of Nepal's buffer zone management
policy in order to understand better the extent of exclusion/inclusion of socially
and economically disadvantaged groups including women in the buffer zone of
Nepalese national parks.

The study was conducted in two buffer zones User Committees (UC): the
Kalabanjar UC of Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Manohari UC of Parsa
Wildlife Reserve (PWR) of Nepal. The study combined qualitative and
quantitative strategies in data collection. Quantitative methods employed
include household survey with semi structured questionnaires. Qualitative data
were collected using mainly PRA tools such as observation, focus group
discussion, individual interviews, and policy documents. The study used multiple
units of analysis ranging from households survey and key informants interview,
policy and legislation of government, and UC’s policy and programs, and actors
perspectives on buffer inclusion/exclusion of the excluded groups in the buffer
zone management programs.

This study illustrated the complex relationships between agriculture-natural

resource based livelihood strategies of different social groups and their access
to resources and influence in the management of natural resources in the BZ

The study revealed that the poor, socially disadvantaged groups such as Bote
Majhi, Dalits, and women are affected negatively by the implementation of the
buffer zone management policy. Their access to livelihood assets and decision-
making opportunities are constrained by the policy practices. Agriculture
supported by a range of natural resources constitutes the key livelihood strategy
of people in the study areas. However, access to and control over resources
and opportunities varies between different social groups. Bote Majhi- an
indigenous ethnic minority, economically poor, and women are more vulnerable
than rich, high-caste, and men. The implementation of protected area and buffer
zone policy has not helped improve the livelihoods of Bote majhi, the poor,
dalits, and other socially weaker groups. Several restrictions placed through
rule/regulations of the buffer zone in the functioning of the buffer zone
committees has limited the weaker groups to participate in the institutional
structure of BZ while increasing the influence and opportunities by the local
elites. Buffer zone management policies and legislation are not social just
sensitive and not aimed for meaningful participation of the powerless, despite it
is claimed as participatory in conservation discourse.

In some respects, Bote Majhis and Dalit are included in the buffer zone
programs. They are included in user group membership, attendance in meeting,
and saving credit activities. Nevertheless, they are not in the key positions in the
executive committee of the BZ related community organisations and do not
have influence in decision making. People with high social networks, economic
status and of high-caste dominate the committees and decision making. Bote
Majhi and Dalit own less private land and few livestock and are dependent on
traditional occupation (fishing, ferrying, metal work, firewood selling). They face
vulnerability and shock caused by natural disaster and wildlife. They are
excluded from gaining opportunities created through the buffer zone
management policy. To illustrate, they are not eligible for biogas, which are
subsidized by BZUC fund.

The BZ policy and policy operation guidelines lack social concepts such as
gender relations and social equity. The policy provides communities access to
park revenue for community development. There are no clear mechanisms that
the revenue can be use in equitable way. A lack of conceptual understanding on
participation and structural issues of exclusion is observed on the part of policy
implementer and community organisation of the BZ.

Since this study looked at policy impacts at the micro level BZ management, the
way institutional practices of the intervening agencies affect the policy and
policy outcomes need to explore further to understand exclusion/inclusion issue
within the participatory conservation programs. Dealing with the natural
resources is political process and context specific. Addressing exclusion in the
BZ requires understanding of the history of exclusion built-in Nepal at different
layers of organisation and institutions. For this to happen, appropriate
capacity/knowledge and sensitivity on power relation issues at the intervening
level is equally important. Capacity, knowledge/perception, ideology, and value
system of intervening actors in shaping the BZ program and policies would also
affect inclusion outcomes at the grass root. Exploration of academic knowledge
about exclusion/inclusion in the community based approach to natural resource
management from actors' relationship and knowledge dynamics is the starting
point to go.

Key word: protected areas, buffer zone, policy, exclusion, livelihood, excluded
groups, Nepal

The research team takes this opportunity to reveal our sincere appreciation to
all those mentioned here for their valuable contribution towards the completion
of this research.

The research team is deeply indebted to Social Inclusion Research Fund

(SIRF), SNV Nepal for making this research financially possible with grant and
broadening the knowledge of social exclusion/inclusion through a month long
classroom session and various workshops and seminars.

This study received permission from the Department of National Parks and
Wildlife Conservation Nepal to conduct research in the buffer zones of Chitwan
National Park and Parsa Wild life Conservation. The study team is thankful to
Mr. Narayan Kumar Bajimaya and Mr. Surya Bahadur Pandey for providing
valuable information including necessary literature.

The research received great contributions from the men and women of both
Kalabanjar User Committee, Chitwan and Manohari User Committee,
Makawanpur, Nepal. Particularly, all key persons and others contacted during
the study period provided significant amount of their time, despite their busy
schedules. The research team expresses deep gratitude to all of them.

We are indebted to our local research assistants Nir Maya Mahato, Bishnu
Mahato, Maya Tamang and Pran Nath Dahal who assisted us during research
field work.
We wish to offer our sincere thanks to Professor Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka,
University of Bielefeld Germany, Dr Sri Krishna Shrestha, Public Policy Campus
Tribhuwan University, Nepal and Dr Bharat Kumar Pokharel, Nepal Swiss
Community Forestry Project, Nepal for their valuable advice, guidance, and
comments throughout the research program.

Our heartfelt thank goes to Dr. Rajendra Pradhan, Mr. Hari Sharma and Dr.
Sudhindra Sharma, Social Science Baha for their critical comments, meaningful
guidance, and teaching on the concept of social inclusion/exclusion. Their
critical guidance on research methodology and making research 'critical' rather
than 'prescribing a list of recommendation' always encouraged us to reflect our
work critically throughout the research period.

We are thankful to the members of our research cohort, SIRF/SNV for providing
us valuable knowledge and suggestion during several learning workshops. The
exchange of ideas with the members with different disciplines and experience
helped us look at social issues in the BZ areas in multi perspectives.

We are most grateful to the members of the research evaluation

committee/SIRF for their critical assessment on the quality of our research
design and comments. Their comments assisted us to reshape the research
objectives and methods in meaningful way. Their acknowledgement to our
preliminary performance heightened our motivation throughout the research

Our deepest senses of gratitude is due to Ms. Sita Rana, SIRF/SNV-Nepal for
her regular follow up and continue support releasing budget on time that helped
conduct field work as scheduled. We are grateful to Ms Sita Rana for making
research team understood about the administrative procedures of the research
and our accountability on it. Her ability to respond immediately upon a query is
highly appreciated.

The names presented do not complete the list of those who provided their
support throughout our study. I extend our deep appreciation to all others who

BZ Buffer Zone
BZDC Buffer Zone Development Council (s)
BZMC Buffer Zone Management Committee (s)
BZCF Buffer Zone Community Forestry
CBNRM Community Based Natural Resource Management
CM Community Mobilizer
CNP Chitwan National Park
CFUG Community Forestry User Group
CFG Community Forestry Groups
DFID Department for International Development
DNPWC Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation
DFO District Forest Office/Officer
FUG Forest User Groups
GON Government of Nepal
IDS Institute of Development Studies
IIED International Institute for Environment and Development
INGO International Non-Governmental Organization
IOF Institute of Forestry
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural
Resources (The World Conservation Union)
KMTNC King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation
MFSC Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation
NRM Natural Resource Management
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
PA Protected Area
PCP Participatory Conservation Program
PRA Participatory Rural Appraisal
PWR Parsa Wild life Reserve
SL Sustainable Livelihood
TU Tribhuvan University
UG User Group (s)
UC User Committee (s)
UNDP United Nation Development Program
WWF World Wildlife Fund

Table of Contents

1. 1 Background 1
1. 2. Problem Statement 3
1.3 The Scope of the Research 4
1. 4. Research Goal and Objectives 5
1. 5. Key Hypothesis 5
2. 1. Theories of social exclusion 6
2. 2. Exclusion in the Nepalese context 8
2. 3. Exclusion in Community Based Natural Resource Management Groups 9
2. 4. Understanding exclusion/inclusion in the buffer zone management context 11
2.4.1. Theories of policy 11
2.4.2. Theories of Participation 12
2.4.3. Institutions 13
2.4.4. Access Theory 14
2. 5. Sustainable Livelihood as analytical framework for the study 14
3.1. Research Sites and Rationale 16
3.2 Description of the Research Sites 16
3.2.1 Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Its Buffer Zone (BZ) 16
3.2.2 Parsa Wildlife Reserve (PWR) and Its Buffer Zone (BZ) 17
3.3 Study Unit 18
3.4 Method of Data Collection 19
3.4.1 Research strategies 19
3.4.2 Qualitative Methods 19
3.4.3 Quantitative Methods 21
3.4.4 Secondary Data Collection 23
3.5 Data Analysis 24
4.1 Livelihood Strategies, Priority of Different Social Groups, and Extent of their
Vulnerability and Shock 25
4.2 Buffer Zone Management Program Intervention with Focus on Livelihood Assets
Enhancement 28
4.2.1 Buffer Zone Management Program 28
4.2.2 Major Policy and Legislations 29
4.3 Access to Livelihood Assets by Different Social Groups 35
4.3.1 Access to Human Resources 35
4.3.2 Access to Physical Infrastructure 38
4.3.3 Access to Natural Capitals 40
4.3.4 Access to Financial Capital 42
4.3.5 Access to Social Capital 45
5. Conclusion 49
5.1 Summary of research findings 49
5.2 Policy implications 50
5.3 Theoretical and methodological implications 52

List of Tables and Figures

Table 1 Respondents by sex and age group 26

Table 2 Main sources of energy for cooking by different social groups30
Table 3 Education level in different social groups 41
Table 4 Knowledge on buffer zone management program and policy 41
Table 5 Access to education infrastructure 45
Table 6 Land holding by different social Groups (Kattha) 46
Table 7 Availability of irrigation facility in different social groups 47

Figure 1 Respondents by major social groups 23

Figure 2 Main occupation of respondents 26
Figure 3 Shock creating events in the BZ 28
Figure 4 Percentage of trained people by different social groups 36
Figure 5: Knowledge level by social group and education level 38
Figure 6 Types of house owned by different social groups 39
Figure7 Sources of energy for cooking 39
Figure 8 Sources of forest resources 42
Figure 9 Sources of annual income by different social groups 43
Figure 10 Households involved in the regular saving program 44
Figure 11 Involvement of social groups in the regular saving program44
Figure 12 Sources of loan for social groups 45
Figure 13 Membership in the buffer zone user group 46
Figure 14 Position in the BZ User Group by different social groups 47
Figure 15 Attendance in the BZ user group meetings 47
Figure 16 Role in the decision making of the User Group meetings 48

Annex I: Map of Research Sites
Annex II: Questionnaire for Household Survey
Annex III: Checklists for Focus Group Discussion and Group Interview
Annex IV: List of People Interviewed
Annex V: Some Photographs from the Fieldwork

1. 1 Background
The concept of protected area emerged with the growing international concerns over
conservation of biological resources. IUCN has defined protected area as "an area of
land and/or sea specially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological
diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through
legal or other effective means" (IUCN 1994 (a) in Beltran and Philips, 2000:3). The
protected areas around the world are extremely diverse. Over 6800 protected areas
exist in the world (IUCN, 2004). The primary goal of protected areas is to conserve
biological diversity and provide ecosystem services (Scherl et al. 2004). This goal is
linked to the social, economic and cultural interests, values, rights and
responsibilities of living around protected areas. Various policies and legislations of
protected areas are formulated and implemented by different countries.

In Nepal, the concept of the protected area began in the 1970s. National Park and
Wild Life Conservation Act 1973 defines six categories of protected areas namely
National Park, Conservation Area, Wildlife Reserve, Hunting Reserve, Strict Nature
Reserve and Buffer Zone (MFSC 2002). Up until 2008, 16 protected areas with the
land coverage 26,695 sq. km (18% of the total land area of the country) have been
established throughout the country.

The protection of biodiversity resources came into direct conflict with the traditional
social relationships and the livelihood needs of local people who use these
resources for their survival (Bhudhathoki, 2001). This is mainly due to the exclusion
of local people from their traditional right to access to resource use because of the
delineation of protected area with strict rules and regulation. To balance between
long-term objective of Protected Area (PA) and immediate needs of communities
living in and around them, the Government of Nepal (GoN) introduced participatory
biodiversity conservation approach in the early 1990s, which is two decades later the
origin of the PA concept. Embedded within the philosophy of participatory approach,
the GON has adopted buffer zone management program to address conflict between
people and protected areas and to accommodate needs and practices of protected
area management (Budhathoki, 2004).

The GON has defined the term ‘buffer zone’ legally. It is defined as an area on the
periphery of protected areas to safeguard biological resources of the park through
partnership between community organizations and park authorities (Mfsc 1996). The

Buffer Zone Management Regulation, 1996 and Buffer Zone Management

Guidelines, 1999 are the major legal instruments to facilitate public participation in
the conservation, design and management of buffer zones allowing 30 to 50% of
Park’s income to be retained for community development activities in the buffer zone
areas (Mfsc 2002). The provision of Buffer Zone Community Forestry (BZCF) is one
of the major conservation activities in which a patch of natural or planted forest can
be handed over to a nearby BZ community for ecological and social objectives.
Fulfilling people’s needs for forest products and improving their livelihood are the
focus of social objective. Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP) was the first
protected area to initiate the buffer zone development program in Nepal in 1996
(Budhathoki 2001). Subsequently, the buffer zones of other parks and reserves have
also been declared and implemented (Shah 2004). There are still some national
parks and reserves for example, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve and Shivapuri National
Park, in which the buffer zone concept has not been yet started.

According to the Buffer Zone Management Regulation (MFSC 1996), the

organizational structure of the BZ can be the following: Adjoining communities have
been mobilized by forming user groups (UGs) in the settlement level. Participation of
all households in the mobilization of resources accrued from the buffer zone
management program and decision making process has been emphasised. The
local people are encouraged to form male and female user groups separately. These
settlements-based community organizations (that is User Groups) will then be
federated to form user committees at the sector level. As per the BZ Management
Guideline, there will be 21 such committees in each buffer zone area. The
chairperson of these committees will form Buffer Zone Development Councils
(BZDC) at the park level of which the chief of the park (park warden) acts as a
member secretary. This apex body is entrusted to mobilize share of the park revenue
for the conservation and development activities in the Buffer Zone through the
involvement of the users’ committees and groups.

Implemented since 1996, the concept of buffer zone management in Nepal has been
gaining popularity due to its emphasis on people's participation in the management
of the natural resources in protected areas. The concept was widely accepted by
local people (Budhathoki 2003, MFSC 2002) and implementation has spread rapidly
(DNPWC, 2004). However, various scholars have pointed the shortcomings of the
buffer zone management in relation to social equity and inclusion (Sharma, 2004;
Budathoki, 2004; Shah, 2004; Mehta, 1996; Joshi, 2005). Socially and economically
weaker groups including women are not able to derive benefits from the buffer zone
management program. They do not have voice in planning development program
and institutions of local buffer zone management bodies. The representation of

women and other disadvantaged groups including the indigenous people in the
buffer zone management committee (BZMC) is very nominal. Their concerns and
interests are not considered by the BZMC. Their basic daily needs for forest products
such as fuel wood, fodder, leaf litter, bedding materials, and wood for making
agriculture weapons are still illegally supplied. A range of factors such as power
relationships between people, gender inequality, castes/ethnicity, institutions of the
organisations involved in the buffer zone management program, and policies are
linked to determine access to and control over resources by the disadvantaged
groups. Rural livelihoods in the Nepalese context are natural resource based.
Providing an access to and control over common property resources by people with
low influence and economic position require social perspectives in policy and policy
implementation processes. The relationships between policy and its implications on
the weaker have not yet analysed in the buffer zone discourse. Therefore, this study
attempts to explore the ways the poor people, ethnic groups, women and indigenous
people living around the buffer zone areas are able to expand and/or reduce their
livelihood opportunities as a result of the buffer zone policy discourse.

Alternatives resources such as energy saving stoves, bio-gas, and improved grasses
as envisioned by the buffer zone management program are found insufficient.

1. 2. Problem Statement
As discussed earlier, there is an important link between the livelihoods of rural
people, especially the forest dependent poor and natural resources. In Nepal, more
than 90% of the population derives their livelihood through the natural resources
such as forests, water, lands, and animals. The case is rather pronounced in the
buffer zone areas. However, the extent to which access to resource and decision
making by the poor and other social disadvantaged groups in managing natural
resources is dealt is a serious issue. Gender, caste/ethnicity and class relations,
social perception, and local institutions play a role in governing the functioning of
local resource management groups that in turn shape an access to and control over
resources and decision making by people with low influence and social status (see
Agarwal 2001,Rai Paudyal 2008). A policy intervention like Buffer zone management
should consider such social dynamics.

Some studies show that the implementation of the new conservation policy in Nepal
has rather marginalized poor people (Jana 2008,Sharma 2004). Socio-economically
weaker groups like Bote, Musahar, Majhi and landless have become more
vulnerable. The poor farmers, who can neither keep on their traditional farming
because of the conservation policies nor can invest in new technologies, are now in

a dilemma of sustaining their farming practices (Sharma 2004; Mehta, 1996). These
studies however narrowly focus on exclusion issues in the context of buffer zone
management. For example, they look at power relations between different social
groups, process of development planning in the BZMC or BZ committees. An
analysis of exclusion in terms of access to and control over by gender, class,
castes/ethnicity, and geography is missing in these studies. Moreover, the
implementation of buffer zone policy with social objective has to understand the way
communities and government actors 1 perceive participation, and their
strategies/programs in improving livelihoods of the excluded groups and ecosystem.

Having a good policy does not ensure the outcomes at the local level unless we
understand the processes of implementation of the policy (Pasteur 2001). Policy
researchers inform that the role of ideology and value behind the policy idea also
shape whether the implementation of certain policy help address people's issue
(Keeley and Scoones 2003). In the BZ policy context, analysis of the processes
which include the formulation of rules/regulation of BZMC, strategies and programs
of national parks on the promotion and use of community resources, is essential to
understand the extent to which excluded groups are affected. There is a paucity of
knowledge on why do excluded groups passively participate in the BZMC and how
do they cope with the rules/regulations, and which way the BZ policy supports the
excluded. This study attempts to analyse such dynamics.

Social heterogeneity is a common attribute of Nepal. Dealing participatory approach

in natural resource management program like BZ requires a strong focus on social
aspect. Some argue that social should be mainstreamed to deal with ecological
problem in environmental management (Jeanrenaud 1999). In the Nepalese
conservation context, diversity in the meaning and use of natural resources exists
between social groups. A study reveals that indigenous Tharu communities have
been using more than 150 species of plants for various medical purposes (Pokharel,
2002). Other caste and ethnic groups for example, Brahmin, Chhetri, Newar,
Tamang, Gurung, Magar, also depend on forest resources as they raise livestock
and follow agricultural occupation.

Nepal embraces 59 ethnic groups (Nepal Gazette, 2058.10.25 BS). Many of them
such as Bote, Musahar, Darai, Kumal and Tharus, who live nearby forests, have
unique relationship with the local natural environment which can be observed from
The term 'actor' originally came from the term of ' stakeholder' which is
commonly used in rural development and natural resource management
(Khadka 2008). In actor-oriented research, the term actor refers to individuals
or social groups with the capacity for agency, for decision making and action
(Hindess 1988 in Mahanty 2000:1375)

their everyday interaction with the land, forest and water in their areas. The buffer
zone management policies and program thus should focus on addressing the
livelihood needs and access to resource rights of such ethnic groups. There is a lack
of information to the extent that the different social groups are being able to derive
benefits from the application of buffer zone management policy.

1.3 The Scope of the Research

This research would contribute to address social exclusion issues in the natural
resource management sector in general and protected area management in
particular in three ways. First, it contributes to develop and implement pro-inclusive
policies, programs, and processes in order to ensure the inclusion of excluded
groups within the protected areas management system. The socially and
economically disadvantaged groups are compelled to migrate or change their
livelihood strategies because of lack of recognition of their rights and capacity by the
poor governance practices at all levels of natural resource management institutions.
Knowledge gained through this research will inform policy making agencies at
national and international levels on the ways the weaker social groups are excluded
from the buffer zone management practices. The policy making actors will use the
information for making inclusive policies and programs.

Second, this study produce an empirical knowledge on the way the indigenous
people, women, economically poor people, and other disadvantaged groups have
been gaining their livelihood within buffer zone areas and the way their livelihoods
are affected by the implementation of participatory biodiversity conservation policies,
though the aim of the policy approach is to support them.

Third, this study would contribute to debate within the political ecology field about the
issue of inclusion/exclusion. Mainstreamed literature on conservation by and large
focuses on state-community relationships. The issue of citizen rights within the
relationship is in low profile in the political ecology field. Participation of the natural
resource dependent poor and ethnic minority in the conservation program is to
ensure their social rights. The finding of this study will thus be useful to enhance the
capacity of a large number of stakeholders to make their program and practices
more just and equitable.

1. 4. Research Goal and Objectives

Policy makers informed and internalized the need of policy reform to ensure the
access to resources and decision making opportunities by the excluded groups in
the context of conservation programs.

The main objective of this study is to explore the extent of exclusion due to
implementation of buffer zone management policy of Nepal. The specific objectives

 To examine the buffer zone management policy

 To analyze the accessibility of livelihood assets of the different social groups
 To analyze the livelihood strategies and priority of different social groups
within two buffer zone management areas
 To identify the extent of vulnerability of the excluded groups

1. 5. Key Hypothesis
 Buffer zone policies and programs have not sufficiently addressed the
livelihood needs of the excluded groups

 Buffer-zone programs and its implementation process have reinforced the

unequal power relations at local level organizations

To answer above questions, the following concepts and theories will guide this


The objective of this study is to examine the buffer zone management policy and its
implications on the livelihood of different social groups. To elaborate the objective,
the theoretical debates on social exclusion will be discussed at first and then it will
follow the main ideas such as institutions, participation, policy, access and
sustainable livelihoods as analytical framework of this study.

2. 1. Theories of social exclusion

The concept of social exclusion/inclusion has been emerged to understand how
social, economic, cultural, and political system provide some members of a society
the opportunity to foster and some to suffer. The concept has gained popularity in
France during the 1980s when the welfare state had problems of unemployment and

ghettoisation (De Haan 1998:11). The term social inclusion has recently become one
of the main concepts in development debate to understand the impact of
development intervention on different social groups (Ilo 1996,Wise 2001). It can be
used as the basis for understanding poverty from integrated and dynamic analytical
perspectives (Ilo 1996).

The term social exclusion is contested. It is polysemic having multiple meaning

(Silver 1994:536). Different actors use the concept differently. The right-based
development approach sees social exclusion as a violation of fundamental civil and
human rights. In conflict theory, it is seen as the potential source of social tension
and unrest. People can be excluded by dominant ideology, perception, actors’
relationship in policy making processes (Khadka 2005). Institutions and institutional
processes also cause exclusion (Silver 2007). This argument challenges the
conventional way of looking at poverty that focuses the attributes of the poor. In the
BZ context, this argument is relevant as the policy processes are not supporting to
address the needs of the forest dependent poor, indigenous groups, women, and
occupational groups (e.g. Blacksmiths, Fishermen/women) lack access to and
control over resources and benefits derived thereof. The process could be both at
policy level or implementation level. In this study, we focus on the process at the
implementation level.

Social exclusion is a multidimensional concept that is concerned not only with

income, but also with a wide range of non-monitoring indicators of living standards
(Christian 2005,Room 1995). It is the process through which individuals or groups
are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society within which they
live (de Haan 1998:10). The social exclusion concept focuses on the multi-
dimensional character of deprivation. It concerns on the processes, mechanisms and
institutions that exclude people. The forms of exclusion are diverse such as
economic, social, political, cultural, rules/regulation, capability, and rights. De Haan
emphasizes the analysis of power relations, agency, culture and social identity in
addition to resource allocation mechanism while understanding the social exclusion.

Understanding exclusion/inclusion is closely associated with power relations. Social

science scholars have argued that the lack of attention towards power relations by
participatory development programs is causing exclusion of the powerless (Kothari
and Minouge 2002). Dominant social groups always seek to impose their values and
opinion devaluing other groups (Silver 2007). Kabeer contends that social exclusion
as the product of institutional processes, group dynamics and social relations.
Institutions are important in social exclusion processes, as they structure the
relationship between actors as well as the changing a livelihood of individuals,

households and groups. Understanding of social exclusion is essential in social

policy analysis (Kabeer 2000). People face different forms of disadvantages or
injustices in a specific society. This means that identifying the needs and service
delivery alone is not sufficient to address disadvantages or exclusion (Percy-Smith
2000). Understanding the processes such as power relations and approaches to
address power relations, and recognise social agenda is equally important.

Social exclusion is a group rather than an individual phenomenon (Kabeer 2000).

While understanding of social exclusion, we need to distinguish those who belong to
groups which enjoy access to resources and respect and those who do not. Thus,
understanding of these groups, reasons behind their differentiation, and the rules of
making them inclusion and exclusion is necessary. Kabeer also points out self-
exclusion and hard-core exclusion. Some groups in a community prefer to be
excluded because they think that isolation would allow them to define their own
values and priorities. Likewise, some groups can be disadvantaged than other within
similar category of social groups. Social perception and belief make certain group in
a trap of hard-core exclusion.

From human right perspective, social exclusion is seen as a violation of fundamental

civil and human rights, and as the potential source of social tension and unrest
(Conchita D'Ambrosio and Carlos Gradin 1990). Sen (2000) discusses the concept
of deprivation of capability as another form of exclusion. He argues that the social
exclusion cause poverty and poverty is the deprivation of capability that individuals
have. Individuals fall in unfavourable inclusion when they are trapped in poverty and
capability failure. They can't participate in community affairs or market even if they
are encouraged because of their poverty and capability failure condition. Sen also
points out the active and passive exclusion. Women are not given the voting rights
for example is an active exclusion (Sen 2000). The exclusion can be passive when
deprivation occurs through social process, despite there is no intention to exclude.

2. 2. Exclusion in the Nepalese context

Exclusion is not a new phenomenon in Nepal, though the concept recently began to
loud by development agencies. Social exclusion is a political agenda (Gurung,
2006). The excluded actors within each form of social exclusion can be categorized
by gender, class (wealth and property), castes/ethnicity, geographical location
(remoteness), and age. Pradhan (2006) argues that there is no single definition of
social exclusion and social inclusion. Given the diverse socio-cultural system, weak
governance system, and inflow of massive development aid, the concept of inclusion
and exclusion need to explore in comprehensive way. There is a need to modify and

broaden the concepts to make them more useful for better understanding and
explaining of social exclusion and inclusion in Nepal (Pradhan 2006).

Since the mid-1990s, social exclusion has become an agenda of development due to
increasing insurgency (Gurung 2006). Critics had written about the 'crisis in Nepal'
as a result of the growing inequality in 1980 (Blaikie et al. 1980). But, the crisis that
Nepal is facing today informs persistent inequality between gender, class, and
ethnicity/caste. The exclusion of ethnic minority, women, and economically poor
people in political, economic, social, and development process is common. There
are many indigenous ethnic ("Janajaties") and caste ("Dalits") groups who have been
historically disadvantaged in socio-political and economic spheres (NPC, 2003).
Dalit women and girls in Nepal are the most vulnerable groups who face the double
burden of caste and gender discrimination in all aspects (Goyal et al. 2005).

The work of DFID and the World Bank (2006) has traced the gender, castes and
ethnic exclusion in Nepal. The study shows the state's discriminatory institutions
which reinforce unequal relationships and access to resource and opportunities
between men and women, the high and low castes, and ethnic groups. The study
points out that women, dalits and ethnic group as 'excluded groups' who are
discriminated in several dimensions of development and macro and micro
institutions. The study argues ‘exclusion’ as cause of poverty (economic, human
development, and local power relation) among women, dalit and ethnic groups.
However, it does not touch upon the ways natural resource dependent people are
excluded from access to opportunities and benefits from participatory mode of
intervention within protected areas.

State ideology also results in exclusion. The political ideology of Nepal as a Hindu
state has contributed to social exclusion (Gurung, 2006). Gurung notes the three
dimensions of marginalization in Nepal because of the state's domination of Hindu
ideology. These are castes, religion and culture. The high caste hegemony in the
state structure has resulted in the active exclusion of low castes in access to
occupations other than artisans. The Muluki Ain (1854) formulated on the basis of
Hindu orthodoxy was accepted by State polity actors who were mostly High castes
(Gurung 2006:12). The Muluki Ain categoried Nepali people into castes and ethnic
groups where some people are considered as high castes (pure such as Brahmin
and Chhetri), and others are low castes (impure such as dalits ).

Gurung (2006) sheds light on the castes/ethnicity and spatial disparity in political,
educational and economic spheres. The high castes dominate the state, as they
represent 91.2 percent senior positions in politics and bureaucracy. Brahmin, Chhetri
and Newar are the rulers of the country, since they are in decision making position of

the government administration and parliament (Bista 1991,Blaikie et al. 2001). The
Dalit who constitute 12.8 percent of the total population have no representation in the
higher position of power (Gurung 2006: 15). Since 1958, only fourteen Dalits have
become members of parliament (upper house), all of them men (Goyal, Dhawan et
al. 2005:14). There is also gender inequality in the political sphere. Even after the
last election, women's only representation in the upper and lower house of
parliament is 15% and 6% respectively (NPC, 2003).

High poverty incident is a serious development issue of Nepal. The incidence of

poverty is more prominent amongst rural women, dalits, and landless who have very
little access to resources, and opportunities in the society. The income poverty level
is the highest among dalits (65-68% of their population) followed by ethnic groups
ranging from 45 to 59% (National census 2001). Dalits own just one percent of
Nepal's arable land, while only three percent of Dalits own more than a hectare of
land (Goyal, Dhawan et al. 2005).

According to Nepal Living Standard Survey (2004), per capita income (Rs. 24399) of
the high caste exceeds the national average (Rs.20689). The ethnic groups,
excluding Newar, rank the second with a per capita income of Rs. 15,630. The terai
middle caste and the Dalit rank third and fourth in average per capita income. The
Muslims are ranked the last, worse off than the Dalit (cited in Gurung 2006:21).
There exists difference in educational attainment between social groups. Newar has
higher educational attainment leading with 64.7 percent out of its population aged six
years and above. The high castes come next with 60.4 percent. The dalits rank the

The concept of social exclusion/inclusion in this study will be focused on

understanding the access to livelihood assets by different social groups such as men
and women, the poor and economically well-off, the higher castes and ethnic and

2. 3. Exclusion in Community Based Natural Resource Management Groups

The community based natural resource management (CBNRM) grounded from
common property resource theory recognises the importance of local institution for
sustainable management of natural resource given the socio, ecological, political and
economic diversity of a particularly community.

Scholars have defined the attributes that are central to successful natural resource
management such as local ownership and institutions (Gibson and Becket 2000,
Gibson et al 2000); the recognition of indigenous rights to forest resources

management (Banana and Gombya-Ssembajjwe, 2000); the facilitation of

institutional growth and innovations at the local level (Varughese 2000); collective
action in which a group of individuals are granted the rights to manage local natural
resources is the way for sustainable resource management; and ability of state to
penetrate to rural localities (Ostrom 1990; Balland and Platteu 1996). Though above
said scholars have acknowledged the capability of local institutions to craft rules and
regulations that enable them to manage common resources, persistence of
inequality and marginalisation of the poor and ethnic minority groups in benefit
sharing mechanism has raised a concern on CBNRM for whose benefit.

Many scholars attempt to analyse exclusion in community based natural resource

management groups especially in community forestry. There are different forms of
exclusion in community forestry. Khadka (2005) discusses four dimension of
exclusion of women, dalits, the poor and indigenous groups in community forestry
user groups. These include economic opportunities, participation in decision-making,
policies and social (Khadka 2005). Agarwal (2001) identified the process of
women’s exclusion in community forestry. She found exclusion of women in terms of
membership in general body of the community forestry groups (CFG) and its
executive committee, and decision-making of CFG functioning and forest
management. She argues that exclusion in CFG is determined by the group’s rules
and procedure; social norms and social perception of people’s ability to contribute to
CFG’s activities; personal and household endowments and attributes. Women
especially poor women are compelled to go other forests because of restriction of
firewood collection in their community forests (Agarwal 2001). Poor households who
were making their livelihood by selling firewood had to have changed their
occupation as forest user groups (FUGs) did not support their voice (Dev, Yadav et al
2003). Blacksmiths were compelled to leave their FUG as their needs were not
fulfilled from community forests and particularly they had to change their artisan work
because of prohibition of charcoal collection from their community forests (Aryal
2005,Dev et al. 2003,Dhakal et al. 2005,Hisham 1991).

In the Nepalese protected areas, the issue of exclusion has been discussed in terms
of power relations and resource opportunities. Sharma (2004) found the exclusion of
Bote Majhi, Mushar and landless in benefits sharing of buffer zone management
program due to their weak social relations. Buffer zone management program as
external intervention has strengthened the interaction among social actors. It has
changed the pattern and environment of interaction between and within local people
in which the landless and traditional people are dominated by the local elites in
establishing and maintaining relations with park authorities and service providers
(Sharma 2004). A recent work on people’s campaigns in conservation issues shows

that active participation of women in campaign process (Jana 2008). In the Nepalese
conservation context, the analysis of participation needs to look at from institutional
perspective in the sense that access to decision making by the forest dependent and
other disadvantaged groups in policy planning and implementation must be focused
at different layers of conservation organisations such as government/state, non-state
actors, and community groups. This can not be achieved unless actors at different
levels understand ‘exclusion’ or ‘inclusion’, and participatory approach from power
relations point of view.

2. 4. Understanding exclusion/inclusion in the buffer zone management

As said earlier, exclusion/inclusion comprises both outcome and process. In the
participatory buffer zone management context, exclusion and inclusion has to be
conceptualised from wider perspectives in which policy, participation, institutions,
and access are interconnected with each other. These perspectives help understand
natural resource management system from bio-centric to socio-political process in
order to improve the socio-economic situation of the people affected by the system.
The following concepts guide this research to understand ways the BZ policy
impacts the powerless.

2.4.1. Theories of policy

There are various views on policy. Policy scholars view policy as a socially and
politically constructed system in which linkage between science, policy and political
process is considered as vital (Forsyth 2003,Keeley and Scoones 2003). The theory
of anthropology of policy view policy as cultural processes in which individual's
construction of ideas and understanding play an important role in shaping policy
(Shore and Wright 1997). Shore and Wright (1997) argue the policy design process
(actors, ideology, discourse, and perception) that impacts on social outcomes.
Development scholars point out the importance of understanding the role and
influence of different actors in the policy process within specific historical and
institutional contexts (Wuyts 1992:285). The effectiveness of policy towards the
excluded groups depends on policy design process that involves actors, knowledge,
power and ideology (Khadka 2008). Effective policies and processes determine the
access to resources and opportunities by the poor and disadvantaged groups (DFID,
2001). The access helps to enhance the ability of the groups to derive benefits from
different livelihood assets which are generated through the application of a policy or
strategy. Social science scholars argue that if social policies are meant to address
the interests of the society as a whole rather than just those of its powerful elites, the
policies must reflect clearly the social values (Cook et al. 2003).

Above discussion shows that policy has a role to results in outcomes that are
beneficial to some groups while affecting other. Policy theory in this research is
operationalized to understand the way social aspects are interpreted in national
policies and program, and community plans and programs at the local level buffer
zone management organisation. Inclusion of the excluded groups requires equitable
provisions in the institutions of UGs, BZMC and BZ committees and
policies/legislation. To understand inclusive policies, the concept of participation
should be understood.

2.4.2. Theories of Participation

The original idea of participation is deeply rooted with citizenship rights and a means
of challenging subordination and marginalisation (Hickey and Mohan 2004). Its
objective is to create a space of participation by the powerless in order to understand
their situation and decide programs that solve their problems of subordination and
exclusion. Several studies from within natural resource management and
development inform that the instrumental use of participation as the main reason
causing exclusion of the powerless in participatory development programs (Cleaver
1999,Cooke and Kothari 2001,Hildyard et al. 2001,Lama and Buchy 2002). The use
of participatory approach to conservation program means that national policies and
programs should focus on structure and power relations issues that obstruct the
powerless to participate in development programs. There are two approaches to
tackle participation: instrumental and transformative. An instrumental approach
focuses participation as a means to achieve cost effectiveness of projects or
program while transformation or empowerment approach values the process of
increasing participation as an important end it itself (Guijt and Shah, 1998:9).
Transformation approach recognises participation as a citizen right and stresses a
shift in power relations between people (Hickey and Mohan 2004).

Critics comment on the misuse of participation in the sense that the emphasis on
participation goes on instrumental form and power has been reproduced at local
level (Kothari 2001, Cleaver 2001). Participation as a transformation is important
dimension in Nepali BZ management to empower the voiceless people, given the
embedded unequal power relations and inequality in the state, community, and
household levels. Researches have shown the institutional factors such as the lack
of collective perspective on participation and development in conservation program,
actors' heterogeneity (discipline, experience, and roles) and power relationship
between actors at the intervening agencies as problems to benefit the poorest and
marginalised even if the agencies have focused on participation (Mahanty 2000, Tu
2004). Thus, there is an interconnection between actors and outcomes in the

participatory conservation approach. Participation has a relation to benefit the

disadvantaged groups, but it relies on the way government and community groups
use participation. This study uses the transformation participation concept to explore
the views of government and community actors on the BZ policy and the problem of

Transformative participation allows actors involved in the conservation programs to

understand the distribution of power and access to resources by different social
groups. A discussion on access theory guides this study to know the linkages
between actors’ sensitivity on participation and its importance to secure ‘access’ by
the powerless.

2.4.3. Institutions
Institutions are the 'rules of the game' (North 1990). Institutions allocate resources,
memberships and access to resources. The principle of membership and the form of
access to resource and benefits determine the social exclusion or inclusion of
specific social groups. Different rules for becoming a member in any resource
management groups affect the inclusion/exclusion of different social groups.

In broader terms, institutions are humanly devised constraints that shape human
interaction in social, political, and economic exchanges (North 1990). Institutions in
this regard include constitution, code of conducts (formal and informal), and norms of
behavior, information networks and social networks. In the context of buffer zone
management, institutions can be more specifically defined as a set of accepted
social norms and rules for making decision about resource generation and use both
by central government and local buffer zone management council and user groups.
Understanding of institutions on resource distribution within a community is essential
to explain why and how certain social group benefit and while other group loose.

National policies or institutions favor some groups to benefit while others to lose their
livelihood in terms of access to certain natural resources. A centralised forestry policy
of Senegal has excluded local villagers from gaining benefit from charcoal
enterprises. Policies provided urban based entrepreneurs an access to production
and marketing of charcoal from local forests reducing availability of firewood for local
people (Ribot 1995). This information shows that exclusion in conservation context is
linked to policy and institutional arrangement created through a policy. Gibbs defines
institutional arrangement between actors as ' the rule, norm and conventions which
establish relationship between people over resources, translating interests to claim
property rights' (in Berkes 1989:22 in Tu 2004:10). The relationship affect the
resource use patterns of the actors. Conservation resources are important to people,

especially the poorest and other forest dependent groups. However, their access to
resources and opportunity is shaped by institutional arrangement that people choose
to adopt about resource utilization (Tu 2004).

The concept of institutions in this study is used to analyse the rules and regulation of
buffer-zone management. It includes both government rules/regulation and the BZ
groups with respect to membership, distribution of income and forest resources, and
other community benefits derive from the national park's income investment within
the selected communities.

2.4.4. Access Theory

Theories of access (Ribot and Peluso 2003) define ‘access’ as the ability to benefit
from things-including material objects, persons, institutions, and symbols. Ability here
is more associated with the power and social relationship of different social groups
that make them able to derive benefits from natural resources. In other word, it is
bundles of powers that enables individuals and groups to gain, control, and maintain
access. Access analysis helps us understand why some people or organisations
benefit from resources, whether or not they have rights to benefit from the resource
(Ribot and Peluso 2003: 154-155). Similarly, social relations and identity, knowledge,
technology, market, and position shape access. For example, access to financial
capital in the form of credit is a means to maintain resource access. In our study,
analysis of access mechanisms is important to understand how indigenous fisher
groups, women, and well-off are able to maintain access through various type of

Since this study focuses on the impact of the buffer zone management policy on the
excluded groups, the study employs sustainable livelihood as analytical framework.

2. 5. Sustainable Livelihood as analytical framework for the study

The concept of Sustainable Livelihood (SL) is an attempt to go beyond the
conventional definitions and approaches to poverty eradication. The recent
understanding of poverty (Ashley and Hussein, 2000) covers as following three key
facts: First, well-being is not only about increased income. Other dimensions of
poverty that must be addressed include food insecurity, social inferiority, exclusion,
lack of physical assets, and vulnerability. Second, household poverty is determined
by many factors, particularly access to assets, and the influence of policies and
institutions. Third, livelihood priorities can vary- outsiders cannot assume knowledge
of the objectives of a given household or group. The sustainable livelihoods (SL)

approach to development and poverty reduction tries to take all these concerns into
account (Ashley and Hussein, 2000).

A livelihood in its simplest term is a means of gaining a living. Scoones (1998)

asserts that a livelihood comprises the capabilities, asset - both material and social
resources and activities required for means of living. Key livelihood elements are
adequacy, security, well being, capability and the sustainability dimension.
Livelihood, therefore, implies more than just making a living. It encompasses ways
and styles of life/living (Huq, 2001).

Various organizations and agencies have contributed to the evolution of the SL

approach. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Institute of
Development Studies (IDS), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Care
International, Oxfam and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are
the major contributors to this development. However, the origination of sustainable
livelihood as a concept is widely attributed to Robert Chambers at the Institute of
Development Studies (IDS). In a discussion paper ‘Sustainable Rural Livelihoods:
Practical Concepts for the 21st Century’ Chambers and Conway (1992) given
following definition:

“A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (stores, resources, claims and access) and
activities required for a means of living; a livelihood is sustainable which can cope with and
recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, and
provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generation; and which contributes
net benefits to other livelihoods at the local and global levels and in the short and long-term
(Chambers and Conway, 1992)”.
As Nepal’s buffer zone management program is a community based integrated
conservation and development program (Budhathoki, 2003, Mehta, 1989, Shah,
2002, Sharma and Shaw, 1996), it requires a more holistic approach to be able to
understand not only economic changes but also changes in the environment, people,
and their organizations (Gottret and White, 2001). This study employs the concept of
sustainable livelihood approach to analyse the extent of livelihood opportunities and
issues of the excluded groups in buffer zone management programs.

Nepal’s buffer zone management program is compatible to the SL approach mostly

because the BZ program aims to sustainable conservation of biological biodiversity
by increasing livelihood status of local people and managing natural resources of
buffer zone in a sustainable way. One way of reducing biotic pressure to the park can
be achieved diversifying the livelihood activities and strategies of people thereby
increasing their asset status. Buffer zone management program has provisioned this
concept incorporating revenue sharing mechanism in five different areas with

different percentage of share: conservation program- 30%; community development-

30%; income generation activities and skill development- 20%; conservation
education program- 10% and administrative expenses- 10%. This can be compared
with the livelihood asset pentagon given in the SL framework.

The sustainable livelihood framework derived by DFID is considered as basic tool for
the analysis of livelihood impact in this study. The framework provides five
components (context, assets, policy process, strategy and outcomes) in a wider
spectrum. However, depending upon the objectives, this study employs the
framework in a specific manner relating with buffer zone management policy,
program and its impacts on livelihood in Nepal. The vulnerability context will be
analyzed utilizing only one sub component - ‘shock’ in relation to establishment of
the protected area. Similarly while analyzing the ‘transforming structure and
processes’ the buffer zone management policy processes and its structures will be
considered. But the five livelihood capitals and livelihood outcomes will be analyzed
in a wider context.


3.1. Research Sites and Rationale

The study has been conducted in buffer zones of two protected areas namely
Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Parsa Wildlife Reserve (PWR) located in central
Terai. There are key few reasons for selecting buffer zones of CNP and PWR. Firstly,
the buffer zones of these two protected areas are good example of representation for
old and new buffer zones with respect to the implementation of buffer zone
management program as the BZ of CNP was declared in 1996 and BZ of PWR was
declared in 2005. Secondly there was wider coverage of diversified ethnic groups in
the research such as Bote, Majhi, Tharu, Kumal can be found in the BZ of CNP
whereas Darai,, Musahar, Rajbansi, Tamang, Tharu, Magar are the inhabitants of BZ
of PWR. Thirdly the researchers are well known in the both buffer zone areaa since
one of the research team members worked more than three years in PWR and has
got experiences from the BZ of CNP as it is adjoining to the PWR.

3.2 Description of the Research Sites

3.2.1 Chitwan National Park (CNP) and Its Buffer Zone (BZ)
Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. It is
designated as a World Heritage Site in 1984. The park covers an area of 932 sq km.
It is situated in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of South-Central Nepal at an
elevation range of 142 m to 815 m above sea level. The park is bordered to the east
by Parsa Wildlife Reserve and to the southwest by international boundary with India.
Valmiki Tiger Sanctuary and Udaipur Sanctuary lie across the Indian boarder in
Bihar, India. The Rapti river, lies within the Chitwan district and forms the natural
boundary in the north, while the Narayani river, with the parts of Nawalparasi district
forms the western boundary for the park (see annex 1: Map of CNP and its BZ).

The park has unique characteristics. It has diverse landscapes and river systems. It
also illustrates an outstanding biological richness in faunal diversity. It inhabits more
than 45 species of amphibians, reptiles over 450 species of birds, and more than 43
species of mammals including one-horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild
elephant, Pangolin, Four-horned antelope, and striped hyena.

Various studies show that CNP is a major tourist destination in Nepal. An average of
NRs 40 million of the revenue is generated by the park every year and among which

90% shared by tourism alone (Gurung, 2004). The number of tourists who visited the
park was 836 in 1974/75, 96,062 in 1996/96 and 46,705 in 2003 (CNP official

The BZ area of the CNP was declared in 1996, which includes parts of 35 Village
Development Committee (VDC) and 1 municipalities from Chitwan, Nawalparasi,
Parsa and Makawanpur districts, covering 74 676.2 ha.(DNPWC/PPP/UNDP 2002).
The total number of settlements in the BZ are 510 comprising 36,193 households
and the total population is estimated as 223,260 (111,143 male and 112,117 female).
The BZ area is divided into 21 unit committees for its administration management.

The Kalabanjar UC covers parts of Dibyanagar and Gunjanagar VDC and lies in the
central part of the buffer zone of CNP. The UC extends to the bank of Narayani River
in the northwest, which forms the national park’s natural boundary. The total
households of Kalabanjar UC are 969 with an estimated population 3706 (3678 male
and 3628) (UC record 2006). The dominant inhabitant of the area is the Janajati,
which includes Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Newar and Kumal and comprises a total of
403 households. Tharu is the major indigenous ethnic groups of the UC, which
covers 287 households in the UC. Other major ethnic groups such as Bramin
Chhettri; Bote Majhi and Dalit (Kami Damai and Sarki) include 229, 68 and 231
households respectively.

Agriculture is the basic source of economy of the area. Agriculture is practiced as a

means of subsistence as well as market. The latter is not so prominent though.
There are some agro-based enterprises as well, for example, vegetable farming,
beekeeping, fisheries, etc. Other enterprises that are prevalent in the area are shop-
keeping, tea-shop, tailoring, poultry, piggery, tourism related activities, and local

3.2.2 Parsa Wildlife Reserve (PWR) and Its Buffer Zone (BZ)
Established in 1984, the Parsa Wildlife Reserve has an area of 499 sq. km. It is
located in the central region of Nepal occupying some part of Chitwan, Makwanpur,
Parsa and Bara Districts. The dominant landscape of the reserve is the Churia hills
ranging from 750 m. to 950 m. and runs east to west (see annex 1: Map of PWR and
its BZ).

The vegetation in the reserve consists of tropical and subtropical forest types with
dominant species- sal (Shorea robusta). Sal constitutes about 90% of the vegetation.
In the Churia hills, chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) dominates. Khair (Acacia catechu),
sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo) and silk cotton tree (Bombax ceiba) are found along the

streams and river. Sabai grass (Enlaliopsis binata), a commercially important grass
species, grows well on the southern face of the Churia hills. The reserve supports a
good population of resident wild elephant (Elephas maximus), tiger (Panthera tigris),
leopard (Panthera pardus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinnus) gour (Bos gaurus), blue
bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus), and wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and many other
common animals. Nearly 300 species of birds, many kinds of snake and python are
found in the reserve.

The reserve is accessible by public bus, about 8 hours drive from Kathmandu. It is
also accessible by air service easily with 15 minutes flight from Kathmandu to
Simara airport, which is 7 km away from the reserve headquarters. About 69,147
populations and 11,284 household from 11 VDC have been inhabited in its buffer
zone of the PWR, which covers parts of three districts: Bara, Parsa, and

This research was conducted in Manohari UC, which lies in the northwest part of the
PWR BZ. The UC covers four wards (ward numbers 5, 6 7 and 8) of Manohari VDC
of Makawanpur district and includes over 1000 households comprising more than
7000 population. Brahmin, Chhettri, Janajati (Tamang, Newar, Magar, Darai, Kumal),
Bote Majhi, Tharu and Dalit (Damai Kami and Sarki) are the major caste/ethnic
groups in the UC.

Two settlements namely Ramauli and Pratapur are located in between Reserve’s
forest and Rapti River, northern boarder of Parsa Wildlife Reserve. Almost all
household of the Bote Majhi groups reside in Ramauli and Pratapur and depend
mainly on the reserve’s forest for their livelihoods. The collection of firewood and
vegetables from forests, fishing and selling to local market-Manohari constitutes the
main source of income of people in the settlements. Farming on others’ land (share
cropping system) provides their subsistence living.

3.3 Study Unit

Study units of this research vary according to the research questions the study is
seeking to answer. The household survey was conducted to identify access to
livelihood assets by different social groups considering gender, caste/ethnicity, and
class. The group interviews were conducted with different groups identified based on
gender, social status and economic class to discover the livelihood strategies and
priority. Various key informant interviews were carried out with representatives from
different stakeholder groups: Buffer Zone Management Committee, community
leaders, local politicians, and service providing agencies including national park
authorities to understand the importance of inclusion of excluded groups on the BZ

management policies and programs. A range of policy documents related to the

buffer zone management included the plan and strategies of BZMC, National Park
and Wildlife Protection Act and Rules, and the BZ management guidelines.

3.4 Method of Data Collection

3.4.1 Research strategies

This research employs both qualitative and quantitative strategies. The combinations
of qualitative and quantitative methods are increasingly recognized within many
areas of development research. Qualitative and quantitative methods and data are
often more powerful when combined, at different level and in different sequences
(Campbell and Holland, 2005). Campbell and Holland (2005) explain that there are
opportunities when we combine quantitative and qualitative methods. While
quantitative research prioritizes from a breadth of coverage, qualitative research puts
its explanatory power for the richness and depth of information (Campbell and
Holland, 2005) there by attempting to explore the complexity and multiple realities of
societies and communities (Chamber, 2003). Likewise, quantitative method produces
data that can be aggregated and analyzed to describe and predict relationships and
the qualitative research can help to probe and explain those relationships and
explain contextual differences in their quality (Campbell and Holland, 2005).

Researchers have described three ways of combining the best of qualitative and
quantitative approaches: integrating methodologies for better measurement;
sequencing information for better analysis; and merging finding for better action
(Carvalho and White 1997). This research employed combination of both
approaches in all three levels. A due consideration was given in the field to collect
data and gather information’s using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

3.4.2 Qualitative Methods

The qualitative approach in this research helped understand the perspective of
different actors on participation and exclusion/inclusion issue in the BZ program. This
approach allows an understanding of the complex phenomena of a particular context
in detail (Marshall and Rossman 1989,Patton 2002). Thus, the qualitative approach
in this project was used to understand the complexities of the macro and micro
factors associated with the buffer zone policy contents, strategies and practices. The
information was obtained mainly through participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools
and techniques: direct observations, focus group discussions, key informant
interviews and life histories including resource mapping and network analysis. PRA

approach was more relevant to empower disadvantaged communities to elicit the

circumstances that resulted in their disadvantaged. At the same time, it helped reflect
on the way social elites influence the process of discussion and their understanding
of participation in the BZ management. The subsequent section discusses the key
tools used for qualitative method.

Direct Observation
During field work, the research members extensively kept their eyes on
understanding physical resources and people’s interactions. They attended several
community meetings to understand the decision making processes. They took part in
social and cultural activities and functions to learn about people’s socio-cultural
system in the study areas. The key issues observed during field work include: human
settlements in the buffer zone, the type of respondent’s home, agriculture fields,
forests and grassland, infrastructure (schools, roads, and health centre, roads,
telephone), BZ user committee and user group meetings and community training. It
helped researchers to understand a wide range of livelihood activities that people
practice, availability of natural resources and physical infrastructures, and social
relations. Informal interviews and focus group discussions were supported by
observation in many cases and were useful in verification of the information.
Focus Group Discussion
Focus group meetings were found to be very helpful to understand the views of the
different categories of respondents. Altogether 8 focus group discussions were held
in the study areas. Using checklists, the researchers held discussion with a group of
men, women and Bote Majhi separately. The meeting provided equal opportunities
for spontaneous discussion among the respondents having similar social
background on the issues researchers were trying to explore.
Group Interview
Group interviews were conducted with school teachers, BZ leaders and BZ user
committee members separately to understand views about the BZ and social issues
of the BZ policy and programs on the part of community representatives (see annex
IV lists of people interviewed). In-depth interviews were conducted with local political
leaders, BZ Management Committee (BZMC) chairs, and conservation authorities at
different levels including retired conservationists who played a crucial role in bringing
BZ policy and implementation of the program.
Life History Collection

The life-history method of qualitative research is an important in empirical research

that helps to explore an individual’s personal experiences within a history of the time
frame. Life-history information allowed the researchers to understand an individual's
feeling and perspectives and how they have been influenced by the program
interventions. The method in this was very useful to comprehend the impact of
buffer zone management policy on the excluded people’s livelihood.

Three women and one man from Kalabanjar UC and two men and one woman from
Manohari UC were interviewed. Researchers were successful to build rapport with
respondents who explained their life stories. A trustworthy environment was provided
to each individual to encourage spontaneous flow of the story. The stories helped to
understand in-depth information on how livelihood of most excluded groups is
affected by the policy and their coping strategies capturing the relation between the
individual and the institutions exist in the buffer zone.
Policy Document Analysis
Policy documents in relation to Buffer Zone Management Policy and Programs were
analysed mainly in following three levels: I) Strategic level policy documents such as
National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 and the Master Plan for Forestry
Sector II) Program level policy documents such as BZ Management Regulation and
Guidelines; and III) Operational level policy documents such as UC/UG constitutions
and park management plans.

Other available documents which were related to buffer zone management programs
and procedures were also analysed. The contents of policy documents were
analyzed in regard to see the perspectives of government in terms of social
inclusion/exclusion and participation approach and its relationship to the livelihoods
of excluded groups.

3.4.3 Quantitative Methods

Quantitative methods were employed to understand the access to the livelihood
assets by different social and economic groups at household level. The structured
questionnaire surveys followed by pre-tested questionnaire were employed to collect
required data. The questionnaire survey is the most widely used method in social
study (Filion, 1978; Filion, 1980; Bath, 1993). Russell (1988) outlines the three
methods of collecting questionnaires data (personal interviews, self-administered
questionnaires and telephone interviews). This study employed the personal
interviews with semi-structured questionnaires considering the local situation, where
many people are poor in reading and writing. Babbie, (1995) has named it “interview
survey”. The interview is an alternative method of collecting survey data in which

researcher asks the questions orally and then records respondent’s answers
(Babbie, 1995). The key tools used for quantitative data collection included:
Household Survey
Personal interviews were conducted through household survey using both close and
open-ended questionnaires (see annex 2: Questionnaire for Household Survey). The
questionnaire underwent extensive changes after a pre-test at Kalabanjar user
committee households in Chitwan. The average time taken to complete the survey in
a household was 1 hour to 1.30 hour. A total of 206 and 153 households were
surveyed respectively from Chitwan and Parsa (Table 1). The research team
committed to a minimum sampling intensity of 15% of households from every
category of social groups.

In order to collect survey data four enumerators, two from each site were employed.
A day-long training was provided to all four enumerators, followed by a day long
interview practice. To maintain the quality of the data the enumerators were closely
supervised by principle researchers. Regular follow up meetings were organized
among all enumerators and principle researchers and necessary coaching were
Sample Procedure and Sampling Frame
The inhabitants of the buffer zone area of CNP and PWR were the target population
for this research. The study followed the stratified random sampling method. In the
first step all the target population was categorized into five groups on the basis of
social classes, which included: I) Brahmin/Chhetri, which include Bramin and chhetri;
II) Janajati, which include Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Rai, Limbu, Newar, Kumal, Derai,
and Chepang; III) Dalit, which include Kami, Damai Sarki, Musahar, Dom and
Halkhor; IV) Tharu; and V) Bote/Majhi, which include resources dependent groups
like Bote and Majhi.

The quality of statistical problem solving depends on correct samples. It is necessary

to develop a sampling procedure that reduces sampling error to a tolerable and
acceptable level. Most possible sources of error can be reduced substantially (and
may be even avoided or eliminated), if all steps of the sampling procedure are
carefully planned and evaluated before the full set of sample data is collected and
analysed (McGrew and Monroe, 1993). An attempt was made to follow all the steps
and sampling procedure carefully in this study. The following table shows the
sampling intensity for the household survey.

To select the household for survey all the households of each social category were
sequentially numbered. Then the first household was picked randomly from the list
and then the second household was selected in 15th interval from the sequence.

Likewise the third and rest of the households were selected in every 15th interval
from the list. To incorporate gender disaggregate data male and female adult
members were requested in for the interview in every alternate households.

Figure 1 below shows the composition of the respondents on the basis of five major
social groups: Dalit, Janajati, Tharu, Bote Majhi and Bramin/Chhetri which
represented 14, 39, 15, 7, and 25 percent respectively.

Figure 1
Respondents by major social groups

The other demographic characteristics such as age and sex, education, and
profession were also equally considered important to explore status of social
exclusion in the study area. The percentage of respondents by sex and age group is
presented in table 2 below. The dominant age bracket for both study sites was 26-45
years, which accounted for 56.3% of the respondents. The least number of
respondents were from the age group of 66 and older (7.2%). In regards to the sex

of the respondents, this study was not able to achieve the balance despite of a
careful and conscious planning of the survey. Males constituted a higher percentage
of respondents (53.5%) than females (46.5%).

Table 1
Respondents by sex and age group

Description Frequency Percentage

Male 192 53.5
Female 167 46.5
<25 48 13.4
26-45 202 56.3
46-65 83 23.1
>66 26 7.2
Source: Household survey 2006,

3.4.4 Secondary Data Collection

To get complete picture of the study areas, secondary data were also utilized in this
study. Relevant documents such as other research reports, annual progress reports
as well as periodic progress reports were collected from different official sources
such as Chitwan National Park, Department of National Parks and Wildlife
Conservation, King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, World Wildlife Fund,
Districts Development Committees, Village Development Committees and Buffer
Zone Committee’s offices.

3.5 Data Analysis

After gathering the data from the field, the quantitative data were coded and fitted
into a computer program. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), which
facilitates the process of data analysis in more precise and appropriate way, was
used (SPSS, 1999). Descriptive statistics have been used to outline all results
obtained in the study. The finding has been presented in the different forms such as
figure, tables, case stories and diagrams.

A major consideration was given to analyze the qualitative information in this

research. The analysis gone through three related processes: I) developed thorough
and comprehensive descriptions using researcher’s notes and diaries, II) classified
and categorized the information on the basis of sources and types and III)

interpreted them on the basis of concepts and how the concepts were
interconnected with the findings.

The conclusions are drawn comparing the results came from both qualitative and
quantitative approaches.


4.1 Livelihood Strategies, Priority of Different Social Groups, and Extent of

their Vulnerability and Shock
The livelihood strategies of the people living in the buffer zone are diverse. The result
revealed that their livelihood strategies are formed mainly by agriculture, which
depends completely on natural resources. There is a complex relationship between
land, livestock, forest and farming in the buffer zone area. The forest resources
provide grazing, grass and fodder for the livestock, which are the main sources of
manure for agriculture field and draft power to plough the field as well as pulling carts
for transportation. The livestock are means of nutrition supplements in the forms of
milk and meat. They are also important sources of cash earning for the rural poor.
Many households in the study area depend on their livestock: goat, chicken and
buffalo for their subsistence income.

The use of natural resources is not limited to agriculture and the full-time cultivation
of land. Natural resources are collected, utilized and even marketed by many
families, either as a predominant activity or as part of a diversified portfolio of
livelihood strategies. These include resources such as fish, wild fruit and vegetables,
medicine, honey, building materials, thatching grass, firewood and charcoal for
blacksmiths. Forests, in particular, provide a range of resources central to people’s

The reliance on the direct use of natural resource is high in the sense that more than
75 percent of the population in the research areas draws their livelihood strategy
from agriculture in which forests play a central role. Figure 2 below shows the
percentage of different social groups and their main occupation. Out of which Tharu,
Dalit, Brahmin/Chhetri and Janajati depend on agriculture by about 83%, 75%, 75 %
and 74 % respectively. In case of Bote Majhis only about 54% depend on farming.
More than 23% Bote Majhis and about 4% Dalits are in the traditional occupation
which includes fishing, charcoal burning and blacksmithing. More than 14% of
Brahmin Chhetri depends on business. The rest of the population engage in off farm
occupations such as services in-country and out-country, wage labour, teaching,
tourist guide, potter, factory workers, tea-shop, grocery stores, poultry farming,
carpentry and masonry work.

Figure 2
Main occupation of respondents

Source: Household survey 2006

The findings from focus group discussions revealed that the nature of the use of the
natural resources as people’s livelihood strategy varies between social classes. The
Bote Majhis, for example, live along the bank of Narayani River in Chitwan and close
to the forest in Manohari and depend mainly on the fishing. Majority of the Bote Majhi
family draw major part of their livelihood needs from fishing and collecting vegetables
which they either use as food or barter for grain or sell in the local market. Like wise,
Tharus, though they depend mainly on farming, occasionally go fishing and collect
wild fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs from the forest. Dalit groups, use wood
for charcoal and firewood for cooking and fodder for animal.

People also depend on the forest for their cooking and heating in their houses. Table
2 below shows the sources of energy for cooking in the BZ households. Dalit,
Janajati, Tharu and Bramin/Chhetri household depend on fuel wood by 92.2%,
95.6%, 96.2% and 92.3% respectively. Access to alternative energy by Bote Majhi is
absent in29292929 study areas. While some households from Dalits, Janajati, Tharu
and Brahmin/Chhetri also using other sources for example bio-gas, natural gases

and electricity etc, 100% households of Bote Majhi ethnic group are using only fuel
wood for cooking (Table 2).

Table 2
Main sources of energy for cooking by different social groups

Social Sources of Energy for Cooking (%)

Groups n Fuel wood Bio gas LP gas Other
Dalit 52 96.2 1.9 .0 1.9
Janjati 137 95.6 2.2 2.2 .0
Tharu 53 96.2 1.9 1.9 .0
B/Majhi 26 100.0 .0 .0 .0
B/Chhetri 91 92.3 5.5 1.1 1.1
Total 359 95.3 2.8 1.4 .6
Source: Household survey 2006

The group which rely heavily on agriculture and livestock, and traditional occupation
such as fishing, blacksmithing and ferrying are seriously affected by the resources
use restriction laid down by the Park. Since they depend on the single source of
occupation i.e. farming, once their crop is raided by rhino, they lose all the season’s
crop. Dalit and Bote Majhi are even more affected as they own limited or no land and
live mostly at the Park’s boarder, experience most of the wildlife damage to crops,
livestock and human beings.

The diverse livelihood strategies of the people living in the buffer zone are shaped by
several factors. Government policy, natural hazards, wildlife damages including
political unrest are the main forces causing placing people in vulnerable situation
resulting in shock. The availability and access to natural resources to the local
communities was reduced drastically after inflow of hill migrants in the Chitwan
Valley and the establishment of the then Royal Chitwan National Park (RCNP)
(Paudel, 2005). The forest resources inside the park were restricted by the park
rules. Reserves were closed down. The park/reserve authority regulated fishing and
ferrying posts with specified ferry posts and fishing season.

A large numbers of the respondents (274) reported that they have faced different
circumstances that situate them in vulnerability. The examples are the loss of wildlife
and crops, illness and death of family members and flood. It has been found that
there are numbers of reasons behind making people shock and then vulnerable. A
significant percentage of respondent said that their shock was directly related to
Wildlife Reserve and National Park. About 39 households (24%) out of total 274
households reported that they have evidence of wildlife attack on their livestock and
crops. Twenty one percent of the total households reported that natural calamities
which include flood in Rapti and Narayani River and brush off of farm land and
houses caused them ‘shock’ (Figure 3).

Figure 3
Shock creating events in the BZ

The research findings show that the access to the natural resources was rather
narrowed down when the BZ policy was in place as various institutions and their
policies have been emerged along with BZ management regulation and guidelines.
The new institutional paradigm of BZ program seems to be more pronounced to
make people vulnerable by implementing several levels of rules, regulations and
local regimes. The provision of Buffer Zone Community Forests User Group
(BZFUG), Buffer Zone User Committee (BZUC), User Group (UG) and several
Functional Groups (FO) have created several terms and conditions for the use of
resources by people. The new institutional structures supported to create boundaries
between people and increase the gap between different social classes and wealth

classes. The policies are concerned of conservation issue than tackling social issues
(more in section 4.2)

4.2 Buffer Zone Management Program Intervention with Focus on Livelihood

Assets Enhancement

4.2.1 Buffer Zone Management Program

Buffer zone management programmes (BZMPs) are one of the most widely applied
strategies to nature conservation in Nepal. The BZ is an area designated as a zone
of impact surrounding the national park in order to provide for additional habitat to
wildlife and the use of forest products to the local people and community
development (HMG, 2001). The Government of Nepal initiated of Buffer Zone
Management Policy in 1993 under the fourth amendment of the National Park and
Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 (HMGN, 1973). Subsequently, Buffer Zone
Management Regulation was passed in 1996 (Budhathoki, 2001). The legal
provision has authorized Park’s Chief Warden (or warden) as responsible for
managing forest resources in designated buffer zone areas, and the law encourages
them to form User Groups (UG), User Committees (UC) and Buffer Zone
Development Councils (BZDC) to promote local involvement in conservation. In
addition, the Act has a provision that that 30 to 50 percent of funds generated from
park revenues (e.g., entrance fees, hotel royalties) can be spent for local community
development (HMG, 1996). Interviews show that the decisive power regarding the
allocation of funds for community remains with the park warden.

According to the Buffer Zone Management Regulation, the organizational structure

of the BZ can be the following: Adjoining communities have been mobilized by
forming user groups (UGs) in the settlement level. Participation of all households for
mobilization and decision making process has been made necessary. The local
people have been encouraged to form male and female user groups separately.
These settlements-based community organizations (User Groups) will then be
federated to form user committees at the sector level. As per the BZ Management
Guidelines, there will be 21 such committees in each buffer zone area. The
chairpersons of these committees will form Buffer Zone Development Councils
(BZDC) at the park level of which the chief of the park (park warden) acts as a
member secretary. This apex body is entrusted to mobilize share of the park revenue
for the conservation and development activities in the Buffer Zone through users’
committees and groups.

4.2.2 Major Policy and Legislations

National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 (NPWC Act 1973)

NPWC Act respects the welfare of the general populations. As stated in its preamble,
the purpose of NPWC Act is to create national parks, to conserve wildlife and their
habitat, to control hunting, and protection, development, management and utilization
of sites that have special significance due to their natural beauty (NPWC Act 2029).

The NPWC Act conferred on the Government of Nepal (GON) to declare and
manage national parks and other protected areas with following provisions: can
declare any area as a national park, reserve, conservation area or buffer zone by
publishing a notification in the Nepal Gazette specifying the boundaries; can
abandon, transfer ownership of, or alter the boundaries of, any area that had been a
national park, reserve, conservation area or buffer zone.

The declarations of buffer zones around national parks and reserves were
authorised by fourth amendment. The section 25 ka of NPWC Act authorised GON to
share 30 to 50% funds for local community development which come from
percentage of income that would earned by the national parks, reserves, or
conservation areas. It thus involved the local people in the resources management
within the protected areas with the following provisions:

 Private property owners would be compensated, if a peace of their

property fell within the buffer zone, due to unforeseen natural
occurrences i.e. a landslide, or a change in the course of river

 Park wardens would be responsible for the protection and management for
buffer zone

 Users committee would be formed for the proper management of fallen

and dry trees, firewood and grass inside the protected areas

 Additional functions, duties and responsibilities, of the users committees

would be as described

Above information clearly reveals that the BZ policy by and large focuses on ecology
and conservation through people. The concept of participation as process of people’s
empowerment in managing local natural resources within the buffer zone area is not
applicable in the BZ policy context.

Government of Nepal was empowered to frame rules, for the purpose of

implementing the objectives of NPWC Act. There are numbers of regulations have
been framed including Buffer Zone Management Regulation 2052 (BZMR 1996).

Buffer Zone Management Regulation 2052 (BZMR 1996)

The NPWC Act, 1973, under Section 33 provides the power of enactment of Buffer
Zone Management Regulations 1996. These regulations, with the main objective of
forest and community development, describe procedures for: management; activities
prohibited within the BZ; establishment of Users Committees; revenue distribution
and determination of compensation.

BZMR defines the “Buffer Zone” area as the zone that was impacted by the national
parks and reserves; location of village and settlement inside the national parks and
reserves which is simple and manageable areas- from the management view point.

Within the BZ area, the warden would be responsible for the protection of wildlife,
natural environment and natural resources, biodiversity, forests and development
works involving local people in the forms of User Committees (UC) (the BZ
regulation 1996:3). None of these tasks include government's accountability towards
the poor and other disadvantaged groups.

The user committees, in the respective areas within the BZ, are responsible for the

 Must be registered in the wardens’ office,

 Follow the detail list of duties, responsibilities and authorities in rule 10 of
 Must prepare work plan; get them approved by the users,
 Perform community development projects, natural resources
conservation, and forest product utilization activities and
 Must have their own fund account
The BZMR explains a number of functions of the UCs. These include implementation
of project work, mobilisation of people’s participation for the completion of the
projects, recommendation on the type, quantity of area to be used, method, time and
fees for forest resources necessary for the daily use of local people, reforestation,
implementation of reforestation and flood control programs, mobilisation of Buffer
Zone Community forest User Groups (CFUGs) funds (MFSC/DNPWC 2061). These
policies limit the flexibility to plan and implement development programs according to

the needs and interests of community people. Moreover, these responsibilities do not
conceptualise social aspect of conservation.

The BZMR empowers the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation
(DNPWC) to invest 30-50 percent of the royalty earned by the national parks,
conservation areas or protected areas for community development activities in and
around the protected areas (Kanel et al 1999). To allocate the funds for community
development, the BZMR has specified a provision of a committee (called Buffer Zone
Development Council), which consists of:
 Chairperson of all the users committee- one of these people would be act
as head chairperson of the committee
 Representative of all the concerned district development committee
 Park warden – who would act as member cum secretary of the
The regulation explains series of procedure to be followed by the user committee to
get the fund from the BZM council and park warden.

Buffer Zone Management Guidelines 1999

The Buffer Zone Management Guidelines (BZMG 1999) is the operation level policy
document which guides the implementation of programs and activities in the
protected areas and their buffer zones.

The Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MFSC) approved the Buffer Zone
Management Guidelines in August 1999 and has been implemented in all the
declared buffer zones. It provides a detailed guideline for the implementation of the
provisions for buffer zone authorized by NPWC Act and BZMR at the field level. It
also guides the work of user committees and the government staff in the buffer zone
programs. The guidelines includes following provisions:
 Arrangements of user committees
 User committees’ work plans
 UC’s meetings and decision making systems
 Arrangement of BZ unit divisions and user groups,
 User group’s work plans
The BZ guideline explains five major areas and a fixed share of program budget to
be considered while preparing the work plans of the user groups. The program areas
include conservation program, community development program, income generating
and skill development program, conservation education program and administrative
expenses. The share of the budget would be 30, 30, 20, 10 and 10 percent

respectively. These provisions illustrate the tendency of the DNPWC to control the
idea and process of buffer zone management. Though these provisions have
allowed community an access to resources, it supports inequality and exclusion.
Because, the provisions lack specific attention to address the needs of the poor and
powerless while planning development programs, when people are unequal in terms
of power, economic status within the community. One would argue that these
provisions are very social sensitive, they are not sufficient to ensure the access to
opportunity and decision making by all citizens. Several researches in community
based natural resource exemplified that gender, class, and caste/ethnicity relations,
and local institutions affect access to resource by people (Agarwal 2001,Rai Paudyal
2008). In such circumstance, a lack of social concept in the planning and budgeting
community development programs further enhances exclusion.

The section 12 of the guideline explains that the warden could constitute user groups
with proportional representation of male and female convenient to the users residing
in the village, hamlet or settlements in the unit of the BZ. The members of the user
group should have an adult representative of each household from the village,
hamlet or settlement. This policy provision clearly shows the decision making power
of the park authority in choosing who to include or exclude in user groups that
deviates with the principle of participatory approach. Moreover, criteria for
representation such as member should be of ‘adult’ ignore the concept of social
justice in buffer zone program in the sense that people with disability are excluded
automatically from the membership. The chance of people, especially social and
physically weaker to experience political justice is absence in the perspective of the

Buffer Zone Management Plans

Like the BZM guideline, the Buffer Zone Management Plans (BZMP) and UC and
UG constitutions constitute the operation level policy strategies that guide the park
authority and the buffer zone community organisations to run development

The buffer zone management plans are prepared for every five years period in each
protected area and their buffer zone. The plans comprise the programs and activities
in three main areas: park management, tourism management and buffer zone
management. The Chitwan National Park completed its first management plan and
has been preceded in its second phase of management plan 2006-2011. The Parsa
Wildlife Reserve on the other hand has been started in its first management plan
2006 – 2011.

The plans strengthen institutional capacity of the buffer zone development council
and Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) to handle the range of issues relating
to conservation and community development. The plans guide the BZ user groups
and park administrators to implement ranges of programs. Nevertheless, the
embedded values and interest behind them are governed by conservation ideology
than social. The programs intend to promote recreational use of wetlands and wise
use of their biotic resources, alternative energy to reduce the pressure on forest,
provide training and technical services to encourage cash crops which are
unpalatable to wildlife and birds, promote community forestry and private forests for
sustainable harvest of biomass as well as for enhancing nature tourism (wildlife
watching, bird watching etc.), and encourage women and special target groups for
their participation in User Groups (UGs) and UCs, and in the process of benefit
sharing from the buffer zone development programme.

Reading of the content of the BZ management plan reveals that the concept of
participation practiced by the DNPWC is highly instrumental rather than
transformation. Women are conceptualised as ‘user’ not from gender relations and
social equity point of view.

The following sections discuss actors' response on the policy and its relationship in
inclusion outcomes in the BZ management context.

Community perception on policy

The majority of community people interviewed see problems mostly with policy and
working culture of the government agency. They informed that their lack of autonomy
over planning of BZ management plans is a problem to support the excluded groups.
For them, attitude and working culture of the government actors were the key
concerns in order to improve livelihood of the poor and excluded.

Perspective on participation of the excluded groups differs between people within the
study areas. Those people holding the decision making positions in UC argue that
what they are doing is supportive to people's development. The elite members of the
UC highlighted the success of BZ programs mostly in instrumental term such as
people's contribution to reduce poaching, access of Bote Majhi to fishing, and
implementation of community development programs. Women and Bote Majhi on
the other hand point out institutional issue of the BZ council and UC that constraint
them to participate in the program. They mentioned the neglect of their voice during
BZ program planning process due to very negative social perception towards them.
They also reported that social elites do not consider them as capable actor in the UG
management. This shows that a gap in understanding of participation and

inclusion/exclusion in conservation programs between people within the BZ

organisation. Although the BZ management plan encourages women's participation
in UG committees, a conflicting view about 'participation' reveals that policy
mechanisms are not sufficient to conceptualise participation as a right and a process
of positive social outcomes.

Community people identified following issues as most problematic to plan and

implement social oriented programs.
 Government’s control over the functioning of BZ user committees and user
groups. The decision making power rests with the Chief Warden. For
example, people can not implement management plan unless the Chief
Warden develops and approves it.
 Existing knowledge and role of the park authority are not supportive to
deal with social issues. People do not get timely services. Social issues
become less priority, when people approached to the park authority.

 Policy is inadequate to recognise people as 'citizen' and their indigenous

rights to natural resources
 The process of allocation of park income to the BZ management groups
relies on the decision of the chief warden. When it comes to the
community, it is influenced by the power of chair/vice-chair who are mostly
high-caste with strong social status and networks.
 Lack of social methods to identify users and boundary of BZ areas has
resulted in the exclusion of traditional users and low-income families from
BZ management programs

Community people identified the following areas that need to improve to ensure
inclusion of the excluded in gaining access to decision making and resources

 Autonomy of decision making at the community level in the development

of management plans

 Inclusion of social concepts in the BZ programs to support equity and

inclusion in program planning and benefit sharing

 The concept of community development need to orient towards social

equity perspective so that household with low social and economic status
can be treated in social just/fair way

 BZ management programs provide an access to physical services to the

community people, but the programs are outside their real needs. The
needs are addressing the livelihood issue of people affected by the
conservation policy and practice. This issue is dominated by
physical/material oriented development thinking such as provision of
income generation activities, infrastructure, and seeds. The institutional
process to ensure access to resources by the powerless is far from

Government officials’ perception on the BZ policy

Government’s perspective on the BZ policy contradicts with community views.
Government officials interviewed claim that the BZ management policy is people
oriented. They explain that the establishment of friendly relationships between
people and park authority, and people’s contribution to reduce wildlife poaching, and
access to forest resources and income are the indicators of success of the policy.
The entire officials we interviewed localise the problem of exclusion of the Bote Majhi
and women in decision-making within the community, women and Bote Majhi. The
officials argue that addressing social issue is the role of BZ user group and
committees. Their definition of exclusion/inclusion focuses on materials aspect of
deprivation than citizen’s rights. They see inclusion as inclusion of women and other
disadvantaged groups in user committees and provide them an access to resources
such as non-formal education, training and income generation activities. Participation
theory (Hickey and Mohan 2004) tells that participation is not only about access to
materials or physical resources. Participation is about to address exclusion and
social inequity in issues arise from local power relations and negative perception
towards powerless. In the Nepalese BZ context, inclusion/exclusion issues are
embedded with unequal power relations between rich and poor (Sharma 2004). The
conceptualisation of participation and inclusion/exclusion as process of tackling
structural issue is far from thought in the BZ program/policy and perspective of
people within government level.

4.3 Access to Livelihood Assets by Different Social Groups

Access to livelihood assets by different five social groups is the main part of the
finding for this research. The livelihood assets are measured in five categories:
human, physical, social, economic and natural capitals.

4.3.1 Access to Human Resources

Human capital represents the skills, knowledge, ability to labour and good health that
together enable people to pursue different livelihood strategies and achieve their
livelihood objectives (Cernea and Schmidt-Soltau 2006). Profession, education level,
training and knowledge about buffer zone program and policy are considered as
major indicator to measure human resources in the area.

Training and Awareness

The BZUC’s record shows that several skill development and awareness generation
training programs have been conducted in the study areas. The subjects discussed
include forest and wildlife, agriculture and livestock raring, health and sanitation,
sewing and knitting, electrician and bamboo craft.

Only 50 respondents out of 359 said that they were participated in above mentioned
training activities. As shown in figure 4, Janajati (i.e. 38%) and Brahmin/Chhetri (i.e.
34%) groups have higher opportunity of training than others. Only 6% of 50 trained
respondents are from Bote/Majhi followed by 8% Tharu and 14% from Dalit.

Figure 4
Percentage of trained people by different social groups

Education Level
Table 3 shows the education level of people in the study areas. The survey result
shows that the literacy status of the study site is 62.7 %, which is higher than the
national average of 53.74% (CBS, 2001). However, the percentage of people
receiving school leaving certificate (SLC) and higher education is very low and is
only 4.2% of the total respondents. The status of literacy varies across social groups.
Whilst the literacy of all other ethnic groups (Janajati, Tharu) and caste groups (dalit,
brahmin/chhetri) seems above 60%, the figure for Bote/Majhis constitutes only about
27%. The literacy percentage seems higher in Tharus than those with other groups,
which is 78%. However, none of the Bote Majhis and Dalits have the education level
“SLC and above”.

Table 3
Education level in different social groups

Level of Education (%)

Social Groups
n Illiterate Literate Under SLC SLC and above
Dalit 52 38.5 32.7 28.8 .0
Janjati 137 39.4 35.0 24.1 1.5
Tharu 53 22.6 22.6 43.4 11.3
Bote/Majhi 26 73.1 15.4 11.5 .0
Brahmin/Chhetri 91 31.9 42.9 17.6 7.7
Total 359 37.3 33.4 25.1 4.2
Source: Household survey 2006,

The focus group discussion in the Bote Majhi settlements reported that many of their
children could not continue school for several reasons. The key reasons explained
are their inability to afford the admission fee and taking care of siblings at home
while parents go for fishing.

Knowledge of BZ Program and Policy

Four statements were given to rate with the answer of ‘agree’, ‘disagree’ and ‘don’t
know’ to measure the knowledge level on BZ management program and policy.

Table 4
Knowledge on buffer zone management program and policy
Statement Response (%)
Agree Disagree Don’t know
BZ program is being implemented in this village
61.3 24.2 14.5

The BZ is an “area declared by government in the

periphery of PA to provide forest resources to the 50.1 19.2 30.6
local community in a sustainable basis”
BZMC, UC and UG are formed for the arrangement
49.0 25.3 25.6
of community development activities in the BZ
There is a provision to spend 30-50% of total
income that earned by CNP for the development of 22.3 13.9 63.8
local community
Source: Household survey 2006,

Figure 5 below shows the mean knowledge in different social groups. All four results
related to knowledge items have been summarised in this figure. The knowledge
scores are formed from the four statements as presented in table 4 above. A
knowledge score of 0.0 indicated that none of the questions obtained the correct
answers. A score of 4.0 indicates that all the questions were answered correctly.
High knowledge scores obtained, in this study, imply that residents are quite
knowledgeable about buffer zone management program and policy.

As figure 5 revealed that very few percentages of the respondents were not able to
answer correctly for all four questions. The percentage of the respondents to answer
entire answer correctly were 23%, 4%, 11%, 17% and 6% from Brahmin/Chhetri,
Bote Majhi, Tharu, Janajati and Dalit respectively. It shows that there is no significant
difference on the mean knowledge among the different social groups. The Brahmin/
Chhetri group shows highest mean of knowledge followed by Janajatis and Dalits.
Unlike the other groups, the mean knowledge on the Bote Majhis is lowest.

Figure 5:
Knowledge level by social group and education level


M e a n K n o w le d g e 3.00



Dalit Janjati Tharu B/Majhi B/Chhetri

Note: mean knowledge score 0.0 = no questions was answered correctly,

4= all questions were answered correctly

4.3.2 Access to Physical Infrastructure

According to DFID, the physical capital comprises the basic infrastructure and
producer goods needed to support livelihoods (DFID, 1999). Infrastructures consist
of changes in the physical environments that help people to meet their basic need.
The physical capital also includes producer goods those are tools and equipment
that people use to function more productively (Ellis, 2000).

House Owned
In this study, physical capitals considered were the type of house owned, varieties of
the household amenities owned, sources of energy and access to health, education,
and communication and transportation services.

As shown in figure 6, many more percentage (34%) of residents live in temporary

types of house, which includes house made up of mud, timber and thatch roofed.
The majority of them (52.9%) live in the house types, which are made up of stone,
timber and galvanized tin sheet roofed and only few (13.1%) live in permanent type
or house made up of masonry materials. The result shows that 100% of the
respondents from Bote/Majhi and more than 58% of the Dalit group live in temporary
types of house.

Figure 6
Types of house owned by different social groups

Source: Household survey 2006,

Sources of Energy
The fuel wood is the main sources of cooking for more than 95% of the resident in
the study area followed by biogas which makes up about 3% and only about 1% of
the resident use natural gas (Figure 7). The higher dependency on the fuel wood
indicates the higher dependency on the forest resources.

Sources of energy for cooking

Data shows that the availability of cooking energy varies between social groups. The
result shows that fuel wood is the only one source of cooking for Bote Majhi group,
where as more than 9% of Bramin and Chhetri, about 2% of Janajati, Tharu and Dalit
groups have access to biogas. Other in the table includes kerosene and cow dung
cakes. The buffer zone program have encouraged and subsidized to use biogas for
cooking and lightning.

Access to Education Infrastructure

The survey result shows that more than 19% households do not have any school in
their settlement or hamlet. The majority of the residents (52.6%) have access to only
up to primary level education within their village. The percentage of respondents who
responded their access to lower secondary and higher secondary school in their
village is 12.5% and 15% respectively (Table 5). The primary level school for this
study is school which has students up to grade five, lower secondary level means,
school that teaches up to grade eight and the secondary level means the school that
has students up to grade 10 and ‘plus two’.

Table 5
Access to education infrastructure

Schools available in the village

Social Group Lower
N Not any Primary Higher
(%) Level (%) Secondary (%)
Level (%)
Dalit 52 38.5 40.4 19.2 1.9
Janjati 137 18.0 54.2 9.3 18.5
Tharu 53 22.6 32.1 16.9 28.4

B/Majhi 26 15.4 69.2 15.4 0.0

B/Chhetri 91 10.9 65.9 9.9 13.3
359 19.7 52.6 12.5 15.0
Source: Household survey 2006,

4.3.3 Access to Natural Capitals

Natural capital comprises the land, water and biological resources that are utilized by
people to generate means of survival (Ellis, 2000). There is a wide variation in the
resources that make up natural capital, from intangible public goods such as the
atmosphere and biological diversity to divisible assets used directly for the
production for example trees, land etc. (DFID, 1999). Natural capitals for this study
include land holding, irrigation availability to their land, forest sources of forest
resources and availability of the products.

Land Holding
The land holding by social groups shows that about 14% of the total households are
landless in the study area. A total of 47.6% own less than 10 Kattha, 20.9 % own 10
to 20 Kattha of land and only 0.6 % of total households own more than 80 Kattha
land. The results show that a remarkable percentage (42.3%) of the Bote Majhis are
landless and are depend on the rented land and labour work for their living. Only 1.1
% household from Brahmin/Chhetri and 0.7 % from Janajati own more than 80
Kattha of land in the study area where as larger percentage (59.6%) of Dalit, 50% of
Bote Majhi and 51.6% of Brahmin/Chhetri own the land area less than 10 Kattha
(Table 6).

Table 6
Land holding by different social Groups (Kattha2)

Land Holdings (%)

Social Group n Landless < 10 kattha 10 - 20 kattha 20 - 80 kattha > 80 kattha
Dalit 52 19.2 59.6 11.5 9.6 0.0
Janjati 137 12.4 48.2 23.4 15.3 0.7
Tharu 53 7.5 26.4 26.4 39.6 0.0
B/Majhi 26 42.3 50.0 7.7 0.0 0.0
B/Chhetri 91 8.8 51.6 23.1 15.4 1.1
Total 359 13.9 47.6 20.9 17.0 0.6
Source: Household survey 2006

Land under Irrigation Facility

Nepal is essentially an agriculture-based country and the research site is not an
exception to that. However, most agriculture is rain-fed in the study area. Table 7
below shows the available irrigation facility for different social groups. Only 142
1 hectare = 30 Kattha

households out of 359 reported that they have had access to irrigation facility for
their land. Majority of the households (54.2%) have irrigation facility for less than 10
kattha of land. The respondents from Tharu group have shown the higher
percentage of irrigation facility followed by Janajati. Only 4 households of Bote
Majhis reported the availability of irrigation facility in their land (Table 7).

Table 7
Availability of irrigation facility in different social groups

Social no Land under Irrigation (%)

Groups < 10 Kattha 10 - 20 Kattha 20 - 80 Kattha > 80 Kattha
Dalit 12 66.7 16.7 16.7 .0
Janjati 55 45.5 34.5 18.2 1.8
Tharu 30 36.7 26.7 36.7 .0
B/Majhi 4 75.0 25.0 .0 .0
B/Chhetri 41 73.2 17.1 9.8 .0
Total 142 54.2 26.1 19.0 .7
Source: Household survey 2006

Sources of Forest Resources and Availability

The majority of the population in the study areas make their living through
agriculture. Their dependency on the forest resources is high for a number of
reasons. They derive fuel wood for cooking and fodder and grasses for livestock.
Timber, poles, and roofing materials for building come from forests. In addition, root,
shoot and herbs for medicine are collected from forests.
In both study areas, people derive the forest resources from main four sources:
Buffer Zone Community Forest, Government Forest, National Park's Forest, and
other sources (Figure 8). Other sources include community forest outside the BZ,
river banks, public land in between settlements. Government forest includes those
state owned forests which have not been handed over to community as a community

The majority of the respondents from all the social groups (more than 57%) reported
that their forest product needs have been fulfilled from Buffer Zone Community
Forest. A remarkable percentage of the BZ residents still depend on national park’s
forest, despite conservation law restricts access. Almost 30% households reported
that they do not have alternatives other than national park’s forest for some specific

purposes such as poles, thatch grass, herbal medicine, and fodder and grass during
dry season. The dependency on national park forest is highest in Bote Majhis which
is 42% followed by Brahmin/Chhetris (40%) and Tharus by 32% (Figure 8).

Figure 8
Sources of forest resources

4.3.4 Access to Financial Capital

Financial capital refers to the finical resources that people use to achieve their
livelihood objectives and it is the stocks of money to which the household has access
(Ellis, 2000). DFID (1999) suggests that it is important to capture major livelihood
building block such as availability of cash or equivalent that enables people to adopt
different livelihood strategies (DFID 1999). In this research the sources of annual
income and expenditure, saving and loan, livestock, were studied to determine the
level of access to the financial capital by different social groups.

Sources of Income
As shown in figure 9 below, the major sources of income for the Buffer Zone
residents are agricultural and livestock including some green enterprise activities
such as vegetable, mustard and lentil. A remarkable portion (> 30%) of Bote Majhi
and about 6% of Dalit still rely on traditional occupation, which include fishing,
ferrying, and artisan metal work, fuel wood collection, and selling. This finding
corroborates with other (Sharma 2004). The household income for more than 7% of
the Bramin/Chhetri group seems to be supported by business, which covers local
restaurants, grocery stores, and tea shops. The result shows that off-farm
employment that includes in-country and out-country services contributes to a
nominal percentage of income for all ethnic groups.

Figure 9
Sources of annual income by different social groups

Saving and Credit Programs

All the households residing in the buffer zone are supposed to be included in the BZ
UG and engage with regular saving and credit activities. However, the survey result
shows that only 64% of the total households participate in the program (Figure 10).

Figure 10
Households involved in the regular saving program

As revealed in figure in 11, Tharus are active in the program followed by dalit,
Brahmin/Chhetri and Bote Majhi. While about 80% of total Tharu households are
involved in the program, Bote Majhi makes up it only about 53 percent. Within caste
group, more number of dalits households (70 %) takes part in the program than the
high caste families (58%).

Figure 11
Involvement of social groups in the regular saving program

As figure 12 indicates, the buffer zone inhabitants use different sources for credit
activities. A remarkable percentage of the households depend still on the informal
sources of loan such as villagers, money lenders and the BZ groups. A very few
portions of the households have reported that they got loan from financial sources
such as bank and cooperatives. It is interesting to note that Bote Majhi do not have
access to loan from financial institutions.

Figure 12
Sources of loan for social groups

4.3.5 Access to Social Capital

The social capital refers to the resources such as information, ideas; support that
individuals are able to secure by virtue of their relationships with other people. In the
context of sustainable livelihood framework it is defined as the social resources upon
which people draw in pursuit of their livelihood objectives (DFID, 1999). Collier
(1998) stated that social capital is institutions, relationships, and norms that shape
the quality and quantity of society’s social interaction and the glue that holds
societies together. It refers to the internal social and cultural coherence of society,
the norms and values that govern interactions among people and the institutions.
Social capitals in this study include membership in BZ user group, participation in
decision making, feeling of inclusiveness, and social cohesion and collective actions
on the residents of the buffer zone.

Membership in Buffer Zone User Group

Membership legitimises access to resources in common property resource
management (Lama and Buchy 2002,Rai Paudyal 2008). In the case of the BZ
program, social mobilization processes which include formation of user groups at the
settlement level are crucial part of membership. Despite the buffer zone regulation
emphasises the inclusion of all households from every settlement, this study shows
the exclusion of people in the membership.

The survey result shows that more than 20% households are not included in the
membership of the BZ user groups. It is interesting to note that a remarkable
percentage i.e. 26% from Braman/Chhetri and more than 27% from Janajati have not
been involved in the BZ user groups. The participation by Tharus have been highest
(86.8%) followed by Bote Majhis and Dalit, which comprise 80% and 77%
respectively (Figure 13).

Figure 13
Membership in the buffer zone user group

Participation in the Decision Making

The BZ user groups at settlement level meet in every two weeks. The attendance in
the meeting by every member of the user group is constitutional. The members of
the user group meet to discuss and decide on the agendas such as saving and
credit, conservation, and community development activities. Social groups
participate in the meeting differently in two ways: attendance and influence/voice in
the decision-making process. The influence in the decision making depends on the
position of individuals in the BZ groups or organization. The members holding the
key positions such as chair person, secretary, treasurer, are found influential in the
decision making than other members.

Data shows that Brahmin/Chhetri, Janajati and Tharu dominate the key positions,
such as, chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer of the user groups, the UC and
BZDC. None of the Bote Majhis are included as a chair, vice-chair and treasurer.
Inclusion of disadvantaged groups in the key position is found only in the hamlet
level groups which have no decision making power in planning and implementation
of the BZ programs. Only one respondent from Bote Majhi out of 21 was found as a
chair of the user group in his settlement. Likewise, out of total 40 dalits who have
been involved in the user groups, only one has been working as chair, one as a vice
chair and two as a secretary in the settlement level user groups (Figure 14).
However, none of dalits and Bote Majhis is holding a key position i.e. as chair, vice-
chair and secretary in the UC and BZDC of both study sites.

Figure 14
Position in the BZ User Group by different social groups

Though there is provision of the regular meeting in the user groups, very little
percentage of the members reported their regularity in the meeting. More than 25%
Dalit, 5% Janajati, 4% Tharu and 4% Bramin/Chhetri said that they have never had
attended the meetings (Figure 15). There could be various institutional, economical
and social factors that affect their attendance which is beyond the scope of this study
and needs further investigation.

Figure 15
Attendance in the BZ user group meetings

The figure 16 shows the response of respondents about the role they played in the
user groups meeting. The majority of the respondents from the entire ethnic groups
answered that they did participate in the discussion. However, a remarkable
percentage from Bote Majhis and Dalits said that they only attend the meeting and
none of the respondent from Bote Majhis has a role in the decision making. Only one
respondent out of 35 in from Dalit answered as a decision maker or initiator during
the meetings (Figure 16).

Figure 16
Role in the decision making of the User Group meetings

The political justice of participation (Hickey and Bracking 2005:851) issue is clearly
observed in the BZ context. The socio-economically weaker groups are excluded in
the decision making position, even if their representation is outnumbered in the

membership within the BZ user groups. As said earlier, about 22 percent of the
Brahmin/chhetri are not included in the membership, but their hold in the key
positions and influence in decision making. Therefore, the current BZ policy practices
the politics of representation in which inclusion in membership is focused instead of
structure and position that impact on the livelihood of the powerless in the BZ
intervention. Focusing representation is not enough when the politics of justice issue
become low profile in participatory approach in natural resource management.

5. Conclusion

5.1 Summary of research findings

This main objective of this research was to identity the implications of the buffer zone
management policy of Nepal on the livelihood of the socio-economically excluded
groups. Guided by theories on exclusion, participation, policy, institutions, and
access, the study used the livelihood framework as analytical tool. The study
analysed four elements: policy, accessibility of livelihood assets by different social
groups, their livelihood strategies and priority, and the extent of vulnerability of the
excluded groups.

Although the buffer zone management policy was emerged with the objective of
helping local people especially the poor and natural resource dependent groups,

empirical evidence revealed that the policy has affected them negatively. Focused on
environmental concern, the policy has not sufficiently addressed the livelihood needs
of the excluded groups such as Bote Mahji. Instead, it has assisted to reinforce
unequal power relationship and opportunities at the community level. Local level
conservation organisations such as BZMC or UG are abided by rules/regulations and
operational procedures of government. They are made accountable to fulfil the
requirement of park authority than community members per se. Since the
requirements necessitate ability to communicate and report the BZ activities, the
chance of the powerless and illiterate to include in institutional structure of the BZ is

Livelihood of those groups relying on agriculture and livestock, and traditional

occupation such as fishing, blacksmithing and ferrying has been seriously affected
by the resources use restriction laid down by the Park. Dalit and Bote Majhi suffer
more than other groups in terms of gaining access to resources and decision making
opportunity in the BZ programs. They own limited or no land. They live mostly at the
Park’s boarder and experience most of the damage to their crops, livestock and
human beings caused by wildlife.

This study illustrated that different social groups practice different livelihood
strategies in the study areas. While Tharu, Dalit, Janajati rely mostly on agriculture
activities for survival, Brahmin/Chhetri have more access to business and in-country
services along with agriculture. The minority group such as Bote Majhis engage in
traditional occupation and have no access to off-farm employment opportunity. A
remarkable percentage of the Bote Majhi is landless and depends on share cropping
and non-skilled work for their living.

Access to livelihood assets by different five social groups is the main element of this
research finding. The livelihood assets were measured in five categories: human,
physical, social, economic, and natural capitals. Bote majhi have less access to
these assets than other groups. Natural resources such as forests and fishing
constitute important sources of livelihood of people in the study areas. Nevertheless,
the degree of the use of the resources varies between social groups. Firewood is the
main source of energy for all social groups. However, the dependency on firewood
for cooking is high among Bote Majhi than others. The buffer zone program have
encouraged and subsidized to use biogas for cooking and lightning. Bote Majhis are
excluded from the opportunity. While high-caste, dalit and tharu have access to bio-
gas services, Majhis do not. Brahmin/Chhteri have relatively greater accessibility
than dalit.

The study revealed that the BZ management council (BZMC) and user committee
(UC), which are decisive bodies for managing local natural resources and incentives
under the BZ policy, are exclusive and operated mostly by elites from within the high-
caste groups, and male members with high social status and political position.
Likewise, BZ user group is the lowest management unit established at the settlement
level. Brahmin/Chhetri, Janajati and Tharu groups occupy the key positions such as
chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer, in the user group. None of the respondents
from the Bote Majhi groups and very few people from Dalit are in the key position.
Braman/Chhetri, Tharu and Janajati play decision making role in community
meeting. Participation of Bote Majhi and dalits in decision making process is far from
thought in the BZ programs, policy and actors involved in the implementation of the

The use of participation concept as a process of empowerment of socially

disadvantaged groups is absent in the study areas. The programs emphasises the
women's participation, but it focuses on 'instrumental form of participation' in the
sense that their involvement in activities such as control of poaching, training and
saving is understood as participation. Participation as the process of tackling social
inequality and structural exclusion has not been conceptualised by the BZ
management policy and policy implementation strategies. The aim of participation in
the areas highly emphasise on ecological conservation rather than recognition of
right to participate and benefit from the BZ programs. For example, Bote majhi takes
part in saving and credit program implemented within the user group and they attend
meeting, but their exclusion is vividly observed when it comes to decision making
position and decision of the BZ development programs.

5.2 Policy implications

This research identifies two major policy implications. First, mismatch between the
concept of participation in conservation programs and the disciplinary nature of
governing organisation. Second is that of the capacity building programs of the BZ
for community empowerment.

The BZ policy is implemented through the forest sector which has expertise on
dealing with nature and ecosystem than people and actors with dominant
perspective on conservationist ideology (Jana 2008) along with exclusionary
thinking, beliefs, and knowledge system (Khadka 2008). The high-caste and
advantaged ethnic group and male foresters trained in Western knowledge system
dominate the sector’s policy making level (Khadka 2008). Jana (2008) also
demonstrates the domination of conservationist ideology in the protected areas

management. This institutional context of intervening agency has linked to mobilise

the participatory BZ program that is affecting the poorest and ethnic minority groups
negatively. Researches from other contexts have shown that the limitation of
technical organisation to define policy and process from social and political
dimensions (Mollinga and Bolding 2004,Rap 2004). Researches also inform the type
of actors and their interaction patterns affect social outcomes in conservation sector,
despite the conservation policy aims to addressing poverty and inequity (Mahanty
2000). In such context, the shift in traditional forestry ideology is essential to make
the BZ policy and policy practice inclusive and social just. Jana (2008) suggests that
active civil society and people's movement are effective than government in making
conservation policy and program people oriented (Jana 2008). However, above
discussion shows that weaker sections of population are included in gaining physical
resources (e.g. training, and saving programs), but their voices in planning
development programs are excluded.

Dealing with social issues in the natural resource programs in the agrarian and
unequal Nepali context requires the conceptualisation and institutionalisation of
social agendas in government level. This is even important in the forest sector in
which political economy of aid and policy is dominant. This research has opened up
a policy debate on approaches to address exclusion outcomes of community based
natural resource management like the BZ. It raises a serious question whether
conservation intervention at the grass roots can help the poorest, when the existing
institutional culture and knowledge system of the Department of National Park and
Wild Life conservation is not supportive for dealing with social issues of
conservation. Given the historical existence of exclusion in state, society and
household levels, the BZ intervention has to consider addressing exclusion from
structure perspective. Inclusion in structure provides economic and political
opportunities to the disadvantaged groups. All actors, government, donors, and non-
state actors, need to rethink exclusion issue in the BZ programs from a wider
perspective of knowledge and power relationships between individuals within a
conservation organisation and its role in policy planning and implementation.

Second, dealing with social issues in the BZ programs needs understanding of social
concepts such as gender relations, power relations, participation, and
inclusion/exclusion. The existing capacity building program of the BZ largely focuses
on community development, awareness, and conservation. The programs are not
linked with power relations and transformative participation. The lack of perspective
about the importance link between BZ policy/programs and social outcomes among
community leader and government actors provide is an example of capacity gap that
has also supported for leading exclusion of the powerless in the BZ program. They

feel what they are doing is fine, even though they are aware of exclusion of Bote Maji
in decision making. This reveals that there is a gap in understanding real meaning of
participation and social change. This study identifies the need to include social
concepts in training and awareness programs and the use of actors who have good
bases of power relations and participation concept in the training programs.

Finally, policy matters for social outcomes. This research shows that the role of the
BZ policy to include people in conservation programs. It also shows the inclusion of
some groups while excluding other to take advantage of the BZ programs
implemented according to the policy. The main issues is that how to make the BZ
policy and programs social inclusive. Domination of technocratic ideology and single
science in policy sphere has a relation to make the BZ policy/program conservation
oriented. Therefore, the concept of inclusion/exclusion also need to link with
governance of government agencies, but not only at the grass roots.

5.3 Theoretical and methodological implications

This research used livelihood approach in the analytical framework to identify the
extent of exclusion/inclusion in the BZ management context. The theories such as
exclusion, policy, participation, institutions, and access guided the analysis. This
study identified the way the BZ policy has affected different social group's livelihoods
at the community level. Though the BZ management policy emerged with the idea of
participation of local people in development and conservation, the policy practice is
unable to address the livelihood needs of the powerless and ensure their
participation in the BZ functioning. While this study explored the livelihood strategies
and access to assets, and the extent of vulnerability at the micro level, it has
limitations to study about how intervening actors at different levels interact with each
other in the BZ management policy context and its relations to livelihoods of the
poorest and forest dependent groups. Further research is needed to understand the
complex relationships between actors' relationship, their roles, and understanding of
exclusion/inclusion in conservation programs. The concept of actors' relationship,
knowledge system, and actor's perception on poverty and inclusion/exclusion can be
used to analyse actors' roles and accountability towards addressing exclusion issues
in the participatory BZ context.

Mainstreamed literature in community based natural resource management has

informed the role of global and national politics in environmental management
system. Scientific ideology, knowledge and political economy are crucial in shaping
policy ideas and mechanisms in environmental management (Keeley and Scoones
2003,Leach and Fairhead 2002). In addition, scholars have also argued the need to

make natural science people oriented to conceptualise environmental management

practice as socio-political process and recognise people’s knowledge in the
management of forest and biological resources (Leach 2008, Nightingale 2005). In
the Nepalese BZ context, tackling exclusion and the protection of the citizen rights of
the indigenous people and other forest dependent poor require generation of
academic knowledge not only at the outcome level, but also policy process level
(e.g. the knowledge system in the intervening actor level, actor’s participation in
policy planning, and their understanding on inclusion/exclusion). Further research in
this direction would help better understand exclusion/inclusion from policy process
perspectives within the participatory approach to natural resource management.


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Annex 1: Map of Research Sites



Annex II: Questionnaire for Household Survey

Question Answer SN Question Answer

Questionnaire No 8 Name of BZCM
Name of District 9 Name of BZUC
Name of VDC 10 Name of UG (if any)
Ward No 11 Distance to district
HQ (km)
Name of 12 Distance to NP HQ
village/tole (km)
Ethnicity/caste 13 Interviewer
Religion 14 Date of interview

1. Information on Human Capital

1. 1. What is the education status of your family members (above 6 years age group)?
Respondent’s Sex Age Education (age above 6 Code for Education
relationship (Years) years)
Illiterate =1
Under SLC =2

SLC and above =3

1.2. Are any of your family members aged 5 to 20 years who were enrolled in Yes
school, currently not going to school without completing school level education? =1 If no, skip
No =2

If yes, please give the following information.

Respondent’s Sex Main Code for the reason
Relationship reason for
drop out
Financial problem Gender discrimination =4
Family problem Disabled/ill =5
Social problem Other------------------------ = 6

1.3 What trainings and workshops have you and your family member undertaken so far?
Respondent’ S Train Who Code for training
s relationship ex ing organized the
Non =1 Sewing/knitting = 5
Forest /wildlife management = 2 Exposure visit/tour =6
Health/agriculture/livestock = 3 Other …………. . = 7
Carpentry/ electrician/plumber =4 Others……….

1.4 How do you or your family members Skill improvement =1 Forest product available =5
benefited from the above training? Knowledge gained =2 Employment Generated =6
Family Health Improved =3 Other….. ………. =7
Cash Income =4 …………

1.5 What do you know about the buffer zone Strongly agree ------------------------- Strongly Don’t
management program? disagree know

BZ program is being implemented in this village 1 2 3 4 5 6

The BZ is an “area declared by government in the periphery of 1 2 3 4 5 6

PA to provide forest resources to the local community in a
sustainable basis”
BZMC, UC and UG are formed for the arrangement of 1 2 3 4 5 6
community development activities in the BZ

There is a provision to spend 30-50% of total income that 1 2 3 4 5 6

earned by CNP for the development of local community

2. Information on Physical Capitals

Questions Ans Codes for answer
2.1 What types of house do you have? Thatch hut =1 Permanent =3
Temporary =2 (RCC)
2.2 Who owns your house? Self =1 Person outside family = 3
Other family memb. =
2.3 How many houses do you own? Yes =1 No =2
2.4 Does your house include a latrine? One =1 More than 2 =3
Two =2
2.5 What is the main energy source for cooking in Fuel wood =1 LP gas =4
your house? Dung cake =2 kerosene =5
Bio gas =3 other …… =6
2.6 What is the main energy source for light in your Fuel wood =1 Kerosene =3
house? Bio gas =2 Electricity =4
………………. =5
2.7 What is your drinking water source? Supplied pipeline =1 River/stream =4
Hand pump =2 Other ………. =5
Well =3
2.8 Do you have personal drinking water at your door Yes =1 No =2
2.9 If not, how much time do you need to fetch water? Less than 30 m =1 More than 60 m =3
30 to 60 m =2
2.10 What education infrastructure available in your None =1 High school =4
village? Primary school =2 College =5
Middle school =3
2.11 What is the distance to the school from your Less than 1 km =1 2 km to 3 km =3
house? 1 to 2 km =2 More than 3 km =4
2.12 What health infrastructure available in your None =1 Hospital =4
village? Health post =2 Others …….. =5
Health centre =3
2.13 What is the distance to the health post from your Less than 1 km =1 2 km to 3 km =3
house? 1 to 2 km =2 More than 3 km =4
2.14. What other infrastructures are there in your
village? (community building, ….)
2.15. What is the distance to the telephone centre Less than 1 km =1 2 km to 3 km =3
from your house? 1 to 2 km =2 More than 3 km =4
2.16. What is the distance to the motorable road from At the doorstep =1 2 km to 3 km =3
your house? 1 to 2 km =2 More than 3 km =4
2.17. What is the distance to the market from your At the neighbour =1 1 km to 5 km =3
house? Within 1 km =2 More than 5 km =4
2.18 Others …………………….

2.19 What household assets do your HH own and how many?

Type of assets No of Type of assets No of assets Remarks
Radio Sprayer
Cassette player Fishing net
Television Boat
Refrigerator Bicycle
Telephone/cell Rickshaws
Kerosene/gas Motor cycle
Sewing machine Jeep/Car
Tractors Bus/truck
Threshers …………..

3. Information on Natural Capital

Questions Answer Code for landholding
3.1 How much land does your household have? Non =1
Cultivable land < 10 kattha =2
Forest land 10 – 20 Kattha =3
Grass and shrub land 20 -- 80 kattha =4
3.2 How much land do you have with year round > 80 kattha =5
irrigation facility?
3.3 How much land have you given to others or
taken from others for cultivation?

Questions Answe Code for crop pattern & crop rotation

3.4 What crops do you produce in your land? Not any =1 Seasonal vegetable
(multiple answer possible) Cereals =2 =4
Cash crop =3 Off-seasonal
Vegetable =5
--------- = 6
3.5 If crop pattern is changed, what are the
3. 6 How many crops do you produce in a 1 crop =1 3 crops
year? 2 crop =2 = 3
> 3 crops
3.7 If crop rotation is changed, what are the

Questions Ans Possible Codes

3.8 Food availability to feed the family < 6 month =1 Year round but no
from own production. 6 to 9 month =2 surplus =3
Enough & sell surplus

3.9 If food availability is changed

(increased or decreased), please specify the
3. 10 If food availability is not sufficient, Wage earning Labouring
how do you manage to meet your food =1 =4
needs? Firewood/NTFP selling Migrating
3.11 How often do you eat = 2 Everyday = 5 Once in three month
meat/fish/milk/egg? (How often do you eat full- =1 =4
set of Nepali food?) Once a week Once a year
=2 =5

3.12 Please specify the types and number of live stocks you have.
Live stock # live Reasons for decreasing or increasing the livestock
Cow/bull stock
Buffalo/he buffalo

Question on forest resources Answe Codes

3.13 What types of forest resources available in CF/BZ CF =1 NP forest
your area (multiple answer possible) Government forest = 2 =3

3.14 What are your forest product needs for a Non =1 50 to 100 bhari
year? =4
Fuel wood Less than 25 bhari =2 More than 100 bhari
Grass 25 to 50 bhari =3

Thatch grass/poles
Timber Non =1 25 to 50 cft
Less than 25 cft =2 =3

3.15 From which sources do you get your forest product? (Multiple answer possible )
Name of forest products Ans Code for sources
River bank =1
----------------------------------------------------------- Private forest =2
Government forest =4
---------------------------------------------------------- National park forest =5
Others --------------------- =6

If there is Community Forest (CF) or Buffer Zone Community Forest (BZCF) in your village, please give
following answer
3.16 Is your HH member of the CF/BZCF? Yes = 1 If not, why?
No = 2
3.17 How much forest product do you get from Enough =1 If not enough, why?
the CF/BZCF? Some =2
Non =3
3.18 Are you satisfied with the forest product Yes, I am = 1 If not, why?
distribution system followed by your FUG? No, I am not = 2

4. Information on financial capital

Question Ans Code
4.1 What financial service Bank /finance =1 Money lender =4
organizations or groups available in your Cooperative =2 Other -----------------------------------= 5
village? BZ user group =3 Don’t know =6

4.2 Does your HH take loan sometimes? Yes = 1 If yes, please provide the following information
No = 2

Question Ans Code

4.3 For what purpose do you take Housing/HH assets =1 Health & education =5
loan? Food purchasing =2 Rituals, religious, marriage… = 6
(multiple answer possible) Agri. Equipt + livestock =3 Other--------------------------------
Business/enterprises =4
4.4 Where do you get the loan Bank /finance =1 Money lender =4
from? Cooperative =2 Other -----------------------------------= 5
BZ user group =3 Other----------------------------------- = 6
4.5 In what conditions do you get Without any =1 Labour/wages =4
the loan? (multiple answer possible) With interest =2 Other -----------------------------------= 5
With collateral =3 Other----------------------------------- = 6

4.6 What is the present status of your HH credit (loan)?

Relation to you Loan at present (NRs) Interest rate (%) Remarks

4.7 What is the present status of your HH saving?


Relation to you Total saving Since Time of Saving (NRs) Remarks

(NRs.) when

Question Ans Code

4.8 What strategy do you follow when you Borrow from friends & relative =1 Go for labour work =3
are not able to return the loan within the due Migrate Go to money lender
period? =2 =4
Other--------------------- =

4.9 What are regular sources of your HH annual income? Please tick the appropriate
Possible sources of HH income Answer Remarks
Agriculture based productions (cereal, cash crops, fruits,
Livestock raising (milk/meat)
Services within the country
Services foreign country
Business (Shop/hotel/restaurant/)
Daily wages
Farm based micro enterprises (poultry/ carpenter/
Off farm micro enterprises (sewing/knitting)
Occupational activities
(fishing/shoe making/tailoring/iron work)
Non timber forest based enterprises
(selling herbs/roots/fruit/fuel wood)
Other ………………………

4.10 What are major areas of your household’s annual expenditure? Please tick the appropriate boxes.
Areas of expenditure Answ Remarks
Housing/Major HH assets (construction/repairs

Food purchasing
Agricultural equipments and livestock purchasing

Business and enterprises

Health and education
Rituals, religion, marriage & festivals

Other __________________________

4.11 Who decide about where to spend your household income?

Decision on HH income Ans Remarks
By husband
By wife
By both
By all HH member’s consensus

5. Information on Social Capital

Question Answer
5.1 What service providing groups/organizations BZ UGs =1 Others =4
available in your village? Govt. orgs =2 Do not know =5
Non Govt. orgs =3

Question Answer
5.2 Are you or any member of your family a member in any Yes Don’t know =
user group or organization? =1 3

5.3 If yes, please give the following information.

Respondent’s Se Name of the group or organization Positio Code for position
relationship x n
Chairperson =1
Vice chair =2
Secretary =3
Treasurer =4
Member =5

Question Level of participation Code of participation

Male Female
5.4 How is the level of participation by Meeting initiator =1
your HH in the meetings of these Participate in discussion =2
organizations? Attend mtgs., not participate in discussion =3
Never attend meetings = 4.

5.5 Give your view on the following statements recalling Agree ----------------------------------- disagree Don’t
the time that you present in any assembly or meeting of the know
above groups or organizations
Your voice is heard 1 2 3 4 5 6
Your saying/ logic is incorporated in the decision 1 2 3 4 5 6
Your saying/logic is implemented in practice 1 2 3 4 5 6

Question Ans
5.6 What is the main source of Friends/relatives/messenger =1 Radio/TV =5
information for your HH about Buffer Zone Training /meeting/workshops =2 Other -------------- = 6
Management Program Journal/newspapers =3 Other ------------- = 7
flyers/pestering =4

6. Vulnerability context and shocks

6.1 What activities made you and your family members shock or vulnerable during last ten years? And what
coping strategy did your HH followed?

Activities that made shock within Possible causes of shocks Major coping strategies followed by your
last 10 years household

Death/loss of livestock
Damage/loss of crop
Death/injured HH member
Major illnesses in family
Loss of cash income
Arrest of HH member
Damage/destruction of House

Possible example of coping strategy:

Loans from UG/CFUG = Selling land/livestock/other =6
1 property
Loan from other = Changing occupation =7
organization/individuals 2
Relief fund/donation from = Withdrawing children from school =8
Relief fund/donation from = Migration for labor =9
Donation from I/NGOs = Others ------------------------- = 10

7. Would you like to say something more?


Annex III: Checklists for Focus Group Discussion and Group Interview

A. Group Interview with members of BZMC and BZUC

When was the BZMP formed?

Formation process
How was formation process?

How many members?
Which caste/ethnic/age?
How many women in committee? Which position?
There are many caste/ethnicity in the community, but why not in the committee?
There are almost half women in the community, but why only few in the
What are their view towards inclusive participation?

Leadership which caste/ethnicity/age and sex?
Is leadership changing? How many times? Why?
View towards leadership changes?

Program planning/implementation/monitoring and evaluation

What programs, how do they plan? Who plan? Who implement? Who evaluate?

Understanding of BZ management policy and program:

What legal instruments (documents) have been brought about to implement the
BZ policy? (Bylaws, guidelines, constitutions, …..)

What are major rules and regulations incorporated in the BZ legal documents?

What does it says about the representation of users in the decision making
positions and processes?

What does it says about equitable representation of all social groups?

What does it says about equitable representation of male and female? What % of
female and male is entitled to be in the decision making position?

What provisions have been incorporated in the policy about equitable benefit
 Use of revenue from park
 Use of forest products (fuel wood, fodder, grass, grazing)
 Use of water/ river /streams
 Use of other public properties in the buffer zone

Implementation of BZ policy

Whose participation is more in the BZ management programs?

In planning process? , In implementation? How?

How do you like your present procedure of program planning, implementing and
How should it be in future?


Are there any activities done by actors which drag people to the vulnerable or
shock situation?

What are these? Which class/caste are more on it?

How should it be planned?

Perspectives towards access to resources by dis-advantaged group in BZ Area

Has the BZ policy implantation help to increase people’s livelihood improvement?


If yes, which groups or class of peoples are more benefited? How?

What livelihood outcomes have been brought about from the implementation of
BZ program in this BZ?

Which class groups do you think should be more benefited from this program?

What capacities have been brought about?

B. Checklists for Focus Group Discussion (FGD)

Name of District/ NP
Date of interview
Distance to district HQ (km)
Distance to NP HQ (km)
Character of focus group (age, sex, caste/ethnicity..)
Number of Participants in FGD

1. Major occupation
 Present and past
 If changing, why?

2. Educational status of the group

 Non literate %
 Literate %
 Under SLC %
 SLC and higher%

3. Any special skills

 What skills?
 Where did they get?
 …..

4. Knowledge on:
 National Park (NP)
 Buffer Zone (BZ) program
 BZ institutional framework
 Major policy (30-50% revenue ……….)

5. Major physical infrastructures available and access to them

 Health, Education, Road, Drinking water, Energy source, Irrigation,
Market …
 What services available and in what condition?
 Who are mostly benefited from these services?
 ………..

6. Organizations and institutions available

 What organizations institutions (formal/informal) established?
 What service do they provide?
 What is the prerequisite for membership?
 Which groups/caste/sex involves? And in which position?
 Lead by which caste/ethnic group/sex?
 What is the decision making process?

7. Relation and network

 What networks? With whom? How is it?
 Relation with NP authority?
 Relation for what?
 Which group (sex/caste/class) is near, why?
 How it is now and how was it in the past?

8. Forest resources available and access to them

 What resources available?
 Forest product demand and supply
 Access to which sources (CF/GF/PF/NPF….)
 Who controls the sources? Why?
 Entering to NP for forest product?
 For what specific purpose?
 Increasing or decreasing?

9. Community forest
 Community Forest (CF) or Buffer Zone Community Forest (BZCF) in
the village,
 When was the CF/BZCF handed over to FUG?
 Does the FUG have a constitution?
 Does the FUG have an operational Plan?

 Condition of CF/BZCF at present and before handing over to the FUG?

 What forest management activities undertaken in the CF/BZCF?
 How many HH are the members of the FUG?
 What are prerequisites to be a member of FUG?
 What is the forest product distribution system?
 If the CF in not able to fulfill forest product need of members HH, what
is their alternative sources?

10. Land Use and cropping patterns

 What is the average land holding of HH?
 What is the percentage of landless and landlord?
 What is the percentage of land under year round irrigation?
 What is the percentage of land under one season irrigation?
 Who owns more land? People in the village or outside?
 What is cropping pattern and crop rotation?
 Is it changing? If so, why?

11. Food availability and vulnerability

 What is the period of food availability from own farming?

 If not sufficient, how do they fulfill it?
12. Domestic Animals
 What animals
 How many
 Decreasing or increasing, why?

13. Financial Capital

 What financial service organizations available in the village?
 What services do these organizations provide?
 To which organizations do people have access to saving and credit
 To what degree do these financial service organizations have fulfilled
financial need of people in this village?
 What is the average saving and credit of hh?
 Rate and period of saving and credit
 For what purpose do people take loan?
 In what conditions do people take loan?

14. Household income and expenditure and gender role

 What are regular sources of people’s income?
 What are regular areas of household expenditures?
 What enterprises have been established in this village?
 What scale?
 Who decide about where to spend income?

15. Condition of vulnerability and shock

 What activities made people shock or vulnerable in the area?
 And what coping strategy did they follow? Why?

C. Checklists for Interviewing Government Officials

 How the idea of BZM program came in (what problems were perceived
by the DNPWR, who were the key actor to initiate the idea, and what
are the belief of the DNPWR for development of BZ policy)?
 What are the responses on participation of women, the poor and
indigenous people in BZMP?
 How do the Government Office staff perceive the impact of BZMP and
issues and problems?
 What are their responses on exclusion of powerless on access to
benefits and decision making of BZMP processes (how do they see the

Annex IV: Lists of People Interviewed

Kalabanjar User Committee, Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone

1. Ammar Bahadur Tamang, UC Chair person

2. Ramkrishna Kafle, Office Assistant – Gunjanagar
3. Shikharam Chaudhari, CF Heralu _ Dibyanagar
4. Shukharam Majhi, Temporary Forest Heralu – Dibyanagar
5. Indreni Pariyar – Dibyanagar
6. Sahadev Pariyar - Dibyanagar
7. Prem Bahadur Thakuri – Gunjanagar
8. Arjun B.K. – Dibyanagar
9. Dhana Bahadur Kumal – Dibyanagar
10. Shusila Regmi – Teacher - Gunjanagar
11. Bhimlal Mahato – Teacher – Dibyanagar
12. Krishana Prasad Khanal – Dobyanagar
13. Jony Mahato – Dibyanagar
14. Jit Bahadur Mahato, landless – Dibyanagar
15. Laxmi Kumal – UC member - Gunjanagar
16. Bed Prasad Pokharel – UC secretary – Dibyanagar

Manohari UC, Parsa Wildlife Reserve Buffer Zone

1. Muktinath Adhikari, Chairperson – Samudaik Prakop Bikas Sanstha

2. Bishnu Bahadur Rai, UC member Manohari UC
3. Lilanath Pathak, UC Treasurer – Manohari UC
4. Ek Raj Upreti, Advisor – Community forestry user group
5. Hari Prasad Ghimire, Chairperson – Manohari UC
6. Padam Lama, Secretary – Manohari UC
7. Gautam Lama, former secretary – Manohari UC
8. Suk Bahadur Majhi –Ramauli
9. Bimala Karki, member – Parijat UG
10. Ambika Khadka, member – Manohari UC
11. Sarita B.K., vice chari person – Cooperative and member- CFUG

Staff from Major Stakeholders

Mr. Bishwa Nath Upreti, Ex Director General - DNPWC
Mr. Surya Bahadur Pandey, Conservation Officer – DNPWC
Mr. Mr. Babu Ram Yadav – CW PWR
Mr. Ram Deu Chaudhari, Conservation Officer – PWR
Mr. Somat Ghhimire, leader – CDO

Mr. Narendra Karki, BSO – PCP PWR

Mr. Bhupal Joshi, CM - PCP PWR
Ms. Shanta Maya Shrestha, Assistant Forest Officer Manohari Ilaka
Mr. Ganesh Dhungana, Ranger – Manohari Ilaka
Mr. Shukadev Chaudhari, Campus Chief – IOF Hetauda
Ms. Sarawoti Sapkota, Student IOF Pokhara

Annex V: Some Photographs from the Fieldwork

A Typical Buffer Zone Village (settlement), Manohari UC, Parsa BZ


Training to Field Enumerators for HH Survey Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan


Coaching to Field Enumerators for HH Survey, Manohari UC, Parsa


Coaching Field Enumerator for HH Survey, Kalabanjar UC,

Chitwan BZ

A Majhi Man and Ban Heralu Showing the Area for Forest Product and
Fishing, Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan BZ

Training Observation, Women Members, Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan BZ


Conducting Interview with School Teachers, Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan


Conducting in-depth Interview with aMajhi Man Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan BZ


An Informal Interview with a Tharu Lady, Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan BZ

Man and Woman Carrying Thatch Grass from NP Forest During Formal
Opening Kalabanjar UC, Chitwan BZ

An Informal Interview with a Majhi woman, Kalabanjar UC Chitwan BZ


Present Research Findings and taking Feedback, Kala Banjar UC Members,

Chitwan Buffer Zone

Group Interview with Chairmen of Buffer Zone Management Committee


Data Coding and Cleaning to enter to the Computer, Kathmandu