International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Dr. Anita Fabos

Second Reader

Dr. Edward Carr


National park creation and ecotourism development often cause the internal displacement of local communities and shifts in traditional lifestyles. Loss of the physical and intangible home is frequently accompanied by changes to livelihood strategies that, for generations, supported a critical social order, set of power dynamics, and means of producing life meaning for people. Therefore, communities affected by displacement and confronted by rapid modernization often experience protracted risks and instability. This paper draws on information from thirty interviews in four communities surrounding the Royal Chitwan National Park in Southern Nepal to analyze how resettlement and ecotourism development have affected the way people live in the area, emphasizing the impact of shifting livelihood strategies on the post-displacement homemaking process. Findings suggest that loss of agrarian livelihoods has harmed communities with access to ecotourism jobs less, as financial security enables more time to be spent participating in cultural and family activities. Homestays and cultural museums also offer opportunities for communities to retain past culture, livelihood strategies, and ways of living while embracing modernization. However, the unequal distribution of these positive impacts suggests that the cultural diversity of the area is being underrepresented, harming the wellbeing of people and impeding the success of the area’s cultural tourism industry. Greater emphasis on supporting marginalized communities will benefit both the homemaking process and wellbeing of people, and the success of Nepal’s double sustainability goals.


I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Chiranjibi Prasad Pokheral, Program Manager of the Biodiversity Conservation Center in Chitwan, and to the entire field team at NTNC Chitwan and Parsa for making this research possible. A special thank you to Shashank Poudel and Shankar Chaudhary for organizing and translating interviews in the Parsa and Chitwan buffer zone communities. I would also like to thank Dr. Anita Fabos for her constant support and guidance as my first reader for this research project, and to Dr. Edward Carr for his role as my second reader. Dr. Fabos’s work on the Constellations of Home, and Dr. Carr’s concept of livelihoods as intimate government, are fundamental to the academic framing of this project.



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