Rural Development Forestry Network: Policy, rights and local forest management: The case of Himachal Pradesh, India

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London, UK: ODI, Regent's College, Regent's Park


This paper shares the history of forestry usage, and policy, while describing the evolution of forestry rights in two districts of Himachal Pradesh, India. The historical context allows us to understand before attempting to intervene in the local social, economic and physical context. In terms of gender, the paper shares some lessons learned from experiences, such as; some women's groups (Mahila Mandals) can be powerful taking action for the protection of forests. To ensure continuation and protection, these groups need legislative support. Threat to resources unified groups to create collective action. Current forest use shows an influence of old formal and informal access rights. Most recently, policy makers began allowing collective management of resources. What is now needed is for local people to take responsibility for managing and improving their resources.


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Women, Gender, Forestry


Network Paper 13b