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Title: Socioeconomic planning in social forestry with particular reference to Orissa State, India
Author: Sharma, Ram Avtar
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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Social forestry programmes arc being implemented in India as a government land-use policy, using investment funds from Forest and Rural Development Departments. Such programmes include plantation and agro-forestry components and are generally subsistence-oriented and labour intensive. Their production objective is to satisfy the villager's needs for staple food, fuelwood, fodder and small timber for construction and agricultural implements. Equally important is the social objective of providing employment for the poor and thereby generating some income with which to raise their living standards. This thesis develops an analytical planning methodology, based on both hard and soft approaches, for evaluating social forestry within the framework of the stated socioeconomic policy objectives. The historic influence of socioeconomic factors on the management of forests is investigated mainly with respect to the planning and policies pursued. These have finally led to the implementation of a social forestry programme. The relative merits and weaknesses of existing decision-making techniques for evaluating a multi-objective land-use project such as social forestry are then examined. A goal programming model is developed to incorporate the multiple socioeconomic objectives of social forestry into a dynamic planning framework. This achieves the desired multiple goals within the constraints of physical resources and is illustrated by a case study from the State of Orissa. In order to maximize the net socioeconomic benefits, data is generated by carrying out social cost-benefit analyses (based on modern welfare economics) for all five social forestry components (agroforestry, dense plantations of Eucalyptus hybrid, institutional plantations of Acacia nilotica, village woodlots of Dalbergia sisso, and rehabilitation and strip plantations of Casuarina equisitifolia). The socioeconomic profitability and optimum tree rotations are determined, having specified the social welfare function (incorporating consumptions of different groups of individuals) and derived the social discount rate from an intertemporal utility model. Socioeconomic variables which influence villagers' decision-making regarding the uptake of social forestry implemented according to multiple objective planning are then identified, based on an exhaustive socioeconomic survey. In order to investigate a broader holistic approach which is useful and manageable it is desirable to organise the data into a dynamic analytical framework, the structure being sufficiently flexible to incorporate both tangible and intangible data generated by the cost-benefit analysis, the multiple objective planning model and the survey respectively. Expert Systems are shown to have a potential role in achieving such an approach by integrating rather than replacing the hard analytical techniques such as social cost-benefit analysis and goal programming, whose role in generating a tangible knowledge base for a realistic evaluation of social forestry is demonstrably vital and cannot be ignored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available