Indian Forest Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

P. Rana, F. Fleischman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The unexpected nature of COVID-19 tested the institutional strength and resilience of state agencies across the world. Preliminary evidence is presented on how reduced mobility due to COVID-19 affected the functioning of the Forest Department in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and triggered changes in forest use by local communities as perceived by forest officials. Our evidence shows mixed outcomes in terms of the effectiveness of the forest bureaucrats in handling the COVID-19 pandemic as assessed through their own perceptions and other forestry records. The positive and negative elements relating to the bureaucratic forest administration during the COVID-19 lockdown are presented, and some possible reasons behind these varying patterns across the state of Himachal Pradesh are suggested. Lessons drawn from the COVID-19 crisis that can help guide forest bureaucracies to deal effectively with unpredictable events in the future are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Forestry Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 6 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Commonwealth Forestry Association. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • India
  • forest governance
  • rural livelihoods


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