Forty years of community-based forestry: A review of its extent and effectiveness
This report assesses the effectiveness of community-based forestry (CBF) over the past 40 years. Governments have been implementing programs such as participatory conservation, joint forest management, community forestry with partial or full devolution, and private ownership over several decades, and the authors assess the biophysical and social impacts of these programs, and outline the key lessons learnt during this time.
Research goals & methods
The authors conduct a review of literature on the history, types, extent, current trends, effectiveness, and international implementation of CBF. They also outline the lessons that have been learnt over the past four decades and issues for the future.
Conclusions & takeaways
There is increasing evidence that community-based forestry can contribute to both sustainable forest management and improved livelihoods. However, the most poor and marginalized have often been excluded from the benefits of CBF as the local elites tend to capture the benefits of CBF. The report outlines six conditions for CBF to deliver improved socio-ecological outcomes, namely: security of land tenure through property rights, a regulatory framework which finds a balance between rights and responsibilities, effective governance, technology to establish and maintain forests, knowledge about markets and market access, and bureaucratic and administrative support. Going forward, they recommend applying existing knowledge on CBF to improve socioecological outcomes, strengthen tenure security for local and indigenous communities, and improve the commercialization of forest-based products.
Gilmour, D. (2016). Forty years of community-based forestry: A review of its extent and effectiveness. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations