On Sustainability Journal Award

The On Sustainability Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the On Sustainability Research Network.

Award Winner for Volume 13

Operationalising the Ideas of Justice in Forest Governance: An Analysis of Community Forestry and REDD+ Processes in Nepal

The aim of this paper is to consider the ways in which ideas of justice are applied in the national context of policy design and practice of forest management in Nepal. Concerns about justice have become increasingly prominent in forest management objectives across a range of governance initiatives—from state-controlled forests to community forestry and REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) development. However, there remains a considerable gap between theoretical and public conceptions of justice as to its institutionalisation and practical operationalisation. With a detailed case study of Nepal’s community forestry and REDD+ processes, this paper analyses whether and how the ideas of justice are applied in forest governance. In particular, it assesses justice implications of policy processes and outcomes, including the Forest Act (1993), Forestry Sector Strategy (2014), Forest Policy (2015), and REDD+ Strategy (First Draft, 2015) and discusses the opportunities and challenges of addressing issues of justice and forest peoples’ rights through community forestry and REDD+ in Nepal. In so doing, this paper also draws some useful insights on how to link twin agendas of justice and sustainability in forest management.


Drawing from his 13-years long research on forestry sector in Nepal, in this paper, Dr Satyal applies an environmental justice analytical framework to look into the issues of equity, justice and participation in the national context of policy design and practice of forest governance in the country. Despite some challenges and national context of poor public-sector management, Nepal has become a world leader in community forestry. Nepal's example of forest management offers an empirically rich material, which should be of interest to a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars, policy-makers and practitioners worldwide. The ideas of justice, as discussed in the paper, can also be easily translated into the everyday lives we experience, particularly in relation to various policy-making contexts elsewhere.

Poshendra Satyal

Past Award Winners

Volume 12

Implementing Bioremediation Technologies to Degrade Chemical Warfare Agents and Explosives from War Affected Regions in Sri Lanka.

Sithamparanathan, Elackiya, The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability 12 (3): 1-20.


Volume 11

Sustaining African Cities: Urban Hunger and Sustainable Development in East Africa

Andrea M. Brown, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.1-12



Volume 9

A Systematic Search of Trends in Rural Development Research: Type of Research, Originating Regions, and Engagement with Sustainability

Neus (Snowy) Evans, Michelle Lasen, and Komla Tsey, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.1-17


Volume 8

Avenue J: Lessons from the Past and from Nature to Heal Lubbock’s Future

David A. Driskill, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.11-27


Volume 7

Incorporating Community Governance: Planning Sustainable Energy Security

Diane Costello, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.349-366


Volume 6

Social Sustainability and Ecotourism: Rethinking Development for Social and Environmental well-being in the Caribbean

Veronica Dujon, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.181-192


Volume 5

Community Sustainability and Social Justice: Whose Vision?

Diane Costello and Brian Bishop, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.141-160