Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 2407–2426 | Cite as

A comparative study of two community-based conservation models in Nepal

  • Nabin Baral
  • Marc J. Stern
Original Paper


Conservation areas (CAs) and community forests (CFs) are generally considered to be two successful community-based conservation (CBC) models in Nepal. Nepal’s two CAs are administered by a nongovernmental organization (NGO), and all of its CFs are administered by a government agency (GA). The goal of this research is to compare and contrast these two models using quantitative and qualitative data collected through field research in the Annapurna Conservation Area in the summer of 2007 and adjacent CFs in the fall of 2008. The Conservation Area Management Committee (CAMC) and the Community Forest User Committee (CFUC) are the functional decision-making entities at the local level in CAs and CFs, respectively. We conducted one-on-one semi-structured interviews with 66 executive members of 10 CAMCs and 67 members of 9 CFUCs. While both models appear to have performed well overall, the CA under the direction of the NGO appears to have fared better with regard to (i) developing trust of local constituencies, (ii) garnering favorable attitudes among villagers, (iii) building capacity of executive members, and (iv) improving standards of living. We suggest that the particular accountabilities associated with NGOs may situate them in a better position to cultivate local governance than state entities on their own.


Annapurna Community-based conservation Community forests Management effectiveness Nepal Park governance Protected areas management 



The Rufford Small Grants Foundation, UK and the Sigma Xi, USA provided the research grant. We would like to thank all the respondents for their time and alacrity. Our special thanks go to the ACAP and DFO office for granting the research permission. We appreciate the help of Som Ale, SR Jnawali, Lizan Maskey, NR Chapagain, Bhim Upadhaya, Laxmi Pun, Raj Kumar Gurung, Manish Pandey, Krishna Gurung, Ram Gurung, SK Neupane, Suresh Thapa, Janardan Bastola and Namrata Baral during the various stages of the research project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forest Resources and Environmental ConservationVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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