Implication of Migration on the Livelihoods and Community Forest in the Middle Hills Region of Nepal
Migration of people is a widespread global phenomenon and is a key livelihood strategy for an increasing number of rural households across the developing world, including Nepal.
The majority of people in the middle hills of Nepal depend on small-scale agriculture as their primary livelihood activity. Their livelihoods are supplemented by surrounding forests for inputs to their farming systems, such as fodder for livestock, edible and medicinal plants, and timber for fuel and construction materials. The majority of forests growing in the middle hills of Nepal have been transferred to local communities, who are now responsible for the conservation, management and utilization of forests.
Over recent decades, outmigration has led to a dramatic change in the communities in the middle hills, with fewer people available for agricultural and forestry, and people’s livelihoods less dependent on subsistence farming and more focused on paid employment, commercial enterprises and remittance received from family members working in city centres. This demographic change has led to underutilization or abandonment of agricultural land and profound changes in community institutions that manage community forests.
It is uncertain whether these rapid and profound changes in rural areas are beneficial for short term only and creating greater dependence and vulnerability in long term. Thus, this research will try to explore how livelihoods of rural people are changing due to outmigration and its implication; how it is impacting the rural agriculture and forest landscape; how it is impacting the governance of local institution and feminization in local institutions.
The research will inform policymaker and organisation about the short term and long term implication in rural communities and local institutions following out-migration and help to seek strategies for sustainable rural livelihoods, forest landscape with engagement of user groups and other stakeholders.
Tropical Forests and People Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast
Bhawana KC - PhD Candidate
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RTP scholarship, A$26682/yr