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Collective Forest Management System in Japan: a Case Study in Osawa Property Ward Forest
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 Title & Authors
Collective Forest Management System in Japan: a Case Study in Osawa Property Ward Forest
De Zoysa, Mangala Premakumara; Inoue, Makoto; Yamashita, Utako; Hironori, Okuda;
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Iriai an Indigenous forest management system in Japan from the viewpoint of "common pool resources" was a success resilient institution and resulted with sustainable production system and environmental conservation. This study was conducted in Osawa of the Nagano prefecture through group discussions, field observations and an in-depth field survey. Osawa Property Ward Forest is managed under the concept very much similarly to traditional "Iriai". This study firstly examined the changes of collective forest management system in terms of awareness and interest in forest management; forest management activities; role of forest; and collection of forest products. Then it analyzed the current threats for collective forest management have been identified as: land abandonment due to loss of benefits and lack of active community participation; deterioration of forest environment particularly the micro-climate and aesthetic values; conflict with local government authorities restraining the use of money in property ward forest and conflict with outsiders on damping of the garbage. Community cantered forestry management rules; livelihood contribution; protection of environment; local initiatives for protection and economic activities are the prevailing opportunities for collective forest management. The main requirements for revitalization of collective forest management are explained as local reciprocity; imposition of community based forest rules; encouraging local innovations; and building partnerships with stakeholders. Collective forest management system addresses the limitations of conventional forestry models, which had invalidated traditional `iriai` institutions, and key to restoring sustainable use of forest and environmental resources. Cross-institutional collaborations together with responsibilities of local communities would ensure the revitalization of forest resources.
collective forest management;threats;opportunities;revitalization;
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