Recognising and Resisting Injustice: Knowledge Practices and Politics Amongst Nepal’s Community Forestry Professionals

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Abstract / Description of output

The future of inclusive forestry in Nepal depends on forestry professionals who can recognise patriarchal roots of gender injustice as they operate in the ideologies and apparatus of forest governance, and who can resist those injustices through their work. This paper uses the notion of knowledge practices to explore the recognition of injustice amongst Nepal’s community forestry professionals, and the relationship between recognition and resistance, highlighting the inherently political nature of all knowledge practices. By drawing on over fifty interviews and ethnographic insights, this paper goes beyond the typically black-boxed and essentialised ‘forestry professional’ and unsettles the false dichotomy between ‘the professional’ and ‘the personal’. Nepal’s community forestry professionals represent a plurality of knowledges, emerging from unique positionalities and personal experiences; however, the demand for quantifiable, short-term project outputs (attributed to funders and donors) shuts down their opportunities to meaningfully practice their knowledges. This paper articulates how, in order to resist injustices within both forest user communities and forestry institutions, professionals are demanding a greater focus on learning—from the lived realities of forest users, from each other as practitioners, from qualitative engagements with complexity and processes of change, from so-called mistakes, and ultimately from greater reflexivity. Through such learning and reflection comes the opportunity to recognise and resist injustices and create socially just community forestry. This paper urges scholars to go beyond black-boxing those in the forestry sector, and instead to offer solidarity and support in promoting knowledge practices that recognise and resist injustices and thus help build socially just forest futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalRural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

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