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An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Approach To Joint Forest Management

Chander Shahi, Shashi Kant


Joint Forest Management (JFM) is a total departure from the conventional forest management practices where government agencies used to manage forest resources by excluding local communities from forest management process. JFM (or co-management) has been analyzed using an evolutionary-game-theoretic approach. The interactions between two partners of JFM - local communities and state agencies (forest managers) – are modeled as an asymmetric bi-matrix game and the concepts of evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) and asymptotically stable states (ASS) are used to understand spatial and temporal variations in the outcomes of JFM program. The JFM game has both pure strategy and mixed strategy Nash equilibriums, but only the mixed strategy Nash equilibrium is evolutionary stable. The state of cooperation by both agents is asymptotically stable under certain conditions. Implications of these results are discussed, and need to enhance evolutionary game theoretic formulation of JFM is highlighted. The JFM model has been developed with specific reference to India, but the broad outcomes are applicable to most co-management situations around the world.


Asymptotically stable states, co-management, evolutionary games, evolutionary stable strategies (ESS), forests, game theory, India

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