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  • Global Development
  • Department of Global Development
  • Dyson School
  • Environment & Natural Resources
  • school of integrative plant science

Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series: Spring 2021

Community forestry programs in Nepal have been incredibly successful in terms of carbon sequestration, reforestation, and localized environmental conservation practices. The decentralized governance model of Nepal’s community forestry initiatives has been replicated in several other developing countries, and there are numerous environmental benefits. However, the role of gender equity and social inclusion among these groups is unclear. Although substantial efforts in terms of gender mainstreaming and social inclusion initiatives have been undertaken and women participate in and lead community forest user groups (CFUGs), barriers to group entry limit social inclusion. This talk presents a case study of community forest user groups in Nepal in order to highlight the need to discuss gender equity and social inclusion as two different - yet often intersecting - components international development programs, rather than as one unit – gender equity & social inclusion (GESI). This research was conducted as part of an MPS degree completed in August 2020, with generous funding from AWARE and Engaged Cornell.

About the presenter

Leala Rosen is a Program Officer with the Wildlife Conservation Society, where she works primarily with an external partnership - the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) - which builds leadership and program management capacity of early-career conservationists through trainings and grants to work on the conservation of at-risk species. She completed an MPS in International Agriculture & Rural Development at Cornell University In August 2020, where she studied the intersection of community-based natural resource management, sustainable food systems, and environmental conservation. Her master’s research centered on gender equity & social inclusion among community forest user groups in Nepal, where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2014-2015. Leala has worked extensively in leadership/capacity building initiatives primarily in agricultural food systems, gender equity, and youth development. She has a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Hendrix College.

Learn more about Leala's research in Nepal.

About the seminar series

The "Perspectives in International Development Seminar Series" is co-sponsored by the Department of Global Development, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the School of Integrative Plant Science as part of courses IARD 6960NTRES 6960PLSCS 6960 and AEM 6960. For additional questions, contact course teaching assistant Khusel Avirmed at ta346 [at]

Leala Rosen headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Khusel Avirmed, Teaching assistant

  • ta346 [at]


Leala Rosen, Program Officer, Conservation Leadership Programme at the Wildlife Conservation Society


Department of Global Development

Natural Resources and the Environment

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

School of Integrative Plant Science

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