Drivers of Regrowth in South Asia's Human-Impacted Forests

Drivers of Regrowth in South Asia's Human-Impacted Forests


This study is an assessment of institutional factors and human drivers that impact forest management and cover change in developing countries, focusing on Nepal and India.

research goals & methods

The study uses United Nations Food & Agriculture Association (UN FAO) forest cover change datasets that begin in 1980 to examine the validity of forest transition theories in a tropical context.

conclusions & takeaways

The study found four important factors impacting human-driven forest cover change: 1) Actual rules and mechanisms governing forests are more important than formal legitimacy; 2) Low-cost monitoring methods designed by and carried out by local communities improved forest out comes; 3) The most effective forest management is carried out by intermediate-sized groups, and 4) Governments and institutions must adapt to local conditions when creating rules and mechanisms.


Nagendra, H. (2009). Drivers of regrowth in South Asia’s human impacted forests. Current Science, 97(11), 1586–1592.


  • Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Royal Enclave, Sri Ramapura, Bangalor, India
  • Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change ( CIPEC), Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA