Measurement and evaluation of livelihood assets in sustainable forest commons governance

Haiyun Chena, Ting Zhu*, Max Krotta, José F. Calvo, Shivakoti P. Ganesh, Inoue Makot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses case studies to measure and evaluate livelihood assets in the process of sustainable forest commons governance. The aims of the study are based on two key hypotheses: Community Based Co-Management (CBCM) has changed the livelihood assets of local community residents in the study area; and the changes in livelihood assets are different between participators in CBCM and non-participators. The findings of the study show that the total value of livelihood assets was 0.56 in 2006 and increased to 0.71 in 2010, which supported hypothesis A and illustrated that livelihood assets indeed changed significantly from 2006 to 2010. Livelihood asset conditions are significantly different between participators and non-participators in CBCM projects (0.77 for participators and 0.51 for non-participators), and the findings, taken together, also supported hypothesis B. Physical capital does not show a remarkable increase, but application of energy-saving stoves, mash gas pools, and the use of alternative energy sources optimize the household energy structure and decrease the amount of firewood used. The change in natural capital demonstrates that the majority of local community residents, in their subjective consciousness, are willing to protect forest resources and biodiversity. In terms of human capital, the capacity building of local people shows significant improvement, but their health status and medical situation are associated with a series of problems that need to be resolved. In terms of financial capital, household income and expenditures both show significant improvement, and alternative and diverse livelihood approaches have appeared and been well developed. Social capital shows significant improvements in some aspects regarding the status of women and the relationship between the government and communities. Finally, we advocate incurring the lowest natural resource costs to obtain the greatest benefits in the process of sustainable livelihood development and forest common governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-914
Number of pages7
JournalLand Use Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Capital
  • Community participation
  • Forest resources
  • Governance
  • Livelihood assets
  • Powerful stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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