Transiting to Green Growth: Natural Resources in Nepal (TGG-N Project) is working on conservation and trade of MAPs which has the potential to drive the transition to a green economy by promoting sustainable resource use, generating inclusive employment, and contributing to poverty alleviation. However, lack of empirically-based knowledge renders this transition difficult. This research project will investigate how the transition to green growth can be undertaken in the medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) sector in Nepal. The sector involves millions of people and has potential to promote pro-poor employment and earnings as well as sustainable resource use. The project focuses on (i) identifying, describing and quantifying transnational production networks for MAPs traded in and from Nepal to India and China, and (ii) socially equitable employment potential by identifying points of intervention that enhance inclusive job creation, increase earnings and their redistribution, and promote sustainable resource use. Data is generated through transnational production network actor interviews, from harvesters through traders to end consumers and regulatory bodies, and ecological inventories. The project is developed and managed by the University of Copenhagen, the Federation of Community Forestry Users in Nepal, Tribhuvan University and the Agriculture and Forestry University in Nepal, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Project outcomes will inform the development of policies and strategies for transiting to green growth in natural resource sectors in low income countries. Outputs include international peer-reviewed papers, policy briefs, strengthening Nepalese partners’ human and social capital, and sector-wide stakeholder participation.
Science and Power in Participatory Forestry (SCIFOR) is a research and education capacity development project in partnership between four institutions in three continents. In Denmark, the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen (http://www.ifro.ku.dk) is one of Europe’s largest research environments on development and natural resources management. This is bolstered with additional ethnographic expertise by the Department of Culture and Society (DCS), Aarhus University, Denmark. The Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation (FFNC), Sokoine University of Agriculture, is by far the largest forestry research and educational institution in Tanzania (http://www.forestry.suanet.ac.tz). The Institute of Forestry (IOF), Tribhuvan University is the first and foremost higher level forestry research and educational institution in Nepal (http://iof.edu.np/) (http://www.iofpc.edu.np/). The project runs for the period 2014-18 and is financed by the Danish Consultative Research Committee on Development Research. The SCIFOR project profile can be accessed via the University of Copenhagen website at http://www.ifro.ku.dk/scifor
Overall, in a nutshell the SCIFOR project investigates politics in the production, circulation, and application of scientific knowledge guiding forest management in Tanzania and Nepal. The project was conceived out of the observation that scientific forestry knowledge that originated in central Europe in early 19th century, initially for taxation purposes, remains the standard today also in Participatory Forest Management (PFM) processes. The project starting point is problems with implementation of PFM: inadequate funding, plans not based on rigorous inventories, unclear whether management plans are used, unclear whether PFM forests generate values that justify the costs of intensive inventories, just to mention a few. Despite all these problems, the framing of PFM in technical and procedural terms endures.