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Research Report

Guide to Participatory Tools for Forest Communities

Kristen Evans
Wil de Jong
Peter Cronkleton
Douglas Sheil
Tim Lynam
Trikurnianti Kusumanto
Carol J. Pierce Colfer
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2006
Pages: 43
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)
    Markku Kanninen

    The future of tropical forests is increasingly linked to the people who live in or near forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. Likewise, the potential for improving the lives of forest dependent people will rely to a great degree to how well people will be able to manage their forests. In many countries tropical forest management still falls officially under the responsibility of forest agencies. However, the trend is changing, and increasingly local people are receiving custodianship and control of tropical forests. The direction that tropical forest management takes will be greatly influenced by how well local people...

  2. (pp. 4-7)

    The communities that live in tropical forest areas and rely on forest resources for food, housing, and work are often isolated, with small populations and little formal education. Many of these communities have recently emerged from paternalistic power structures such as patronage systems, dictatorships, or feudal economies. These legacies have left them with little power or experience when negotiating for the future of their communities and their forests. Government officials, private economic interests and other stakeholders often struggle to understand and value the perspectives of local people. As a result, community voices are less likely to be heard and their...

  3. (pp. 9-15)

    Consider a hammer in a carpenter’s toolbox. The carpenter relies on her hammer to do many things, but it performs some tasks, such as pounding nails, better than others, such as pounding screws. The hammer is useful in many contexts: building a home, fixing a table, or hanging pictures. However, the hammer is simply a device; it is neither an approach nor a methodology. How well the hammer is used and the quality of the construction depend almost entirely on the judgment, skill and planning of the carpenter wielding it.

    When we selected the tools for this guide, we looked...