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Research Report

Criteria and Indicators of Sustainability in Community Managed Forest Landscapes:: An Introductory Guide

Bill Ritchie
Cynthia McDougall
Mandy Haggith
Nicolette Burford de Oliveira
Copyright Date: Feb. 1, 2000
Pages: 113
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vii-vii)

    This guide is intended to make a contribution to the larger efforts worldwide at improving forest management, human well-being, and the sustainability of natural resources. In order for it to do so, three important points should be noted by anyone intending to use the Guide:

    1) As with any such tool, everything in this guide needs to be considered in, and adapted to, the local context in which it is to be used. We consider it not a ‘blueprint’, but a ‘springboard’ to appropriate action…

    2) Successful implementation of the approach suggested in this guide relies on adequate understanding of,...

  2. (pp. 1-4)

    In response to a complex and rapidly changing community managed forestry environment, CIFOR has undertaken a programme of research to develop and test suitable Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for assessing the sustainability of Community Managed Forests (CMF).¹ Three tests were carried out, in Brazil, Indonesia and Cameroon, as part of the broader CIFOR project ‘Assessing the Sustainability of Forest Management’. Current research builds on this by exploring in more depth the role of C&I in adaptive and collaboration-oriented management by communities and other forest stakeholders.

    This guide draws on the results of CIFOR’s CMF C&I research to date,² and suggests...

  3. (pp. 5-12)

    Many rural, and especially indigenous, communities have a long tradition of community forest management, i.e., where the management of forest resources is the responsibility of a local community and the management practices are carried out through co-operative or collective efforts by the community members. They have built up a considerable store of wisdom, knowledge and practical skills which can be drawn on to help ensure the sustainable management of many of the world’s forests.

    CMF was and is still, in many places, actively practised all over the world, in every continent and every forest type from the tropics to the...

  4. (pp. 13-18)

    C&I literally stands for Criteria and Indicators, but is used in this manual, and generally in practice, as a shorthand for the entire hierarchy of Principles, Criteria, Indicators and Verifiers. C&I provide a means of linking CMF Wisdom, Knowledge, Information and Data in this four-level hierarchy in a comprehensive, coherent and consistent manner that is capable of verification.⁸ It is by creating these clear linkages that C&I may become a powerful tool in the pursuit of the overall objective of sustainable forest management. C&I can help organise local and scientific knowledge in such a way that it can be used...

  5. (pp. 19-46)

    This section is about the process of developing a set of locally appropriate C&I. It briefly summarises some of CIFOR’s experiences with CMF C&I, explores participation and collaboration as important elements of C&I implementation, then outlines a possible approach to using C&I based on CIFOR experience to date.

    This research was undertaken in response to a high demand for consistent, cost-effective C&I for assessing timber management primarily for certification purposes. It began by developing methodologies to test the relevance and utility of some of the more widely applied existing C&I sets developed for timber production in natural forest areas. Five...

  6. (pp. 47-90)

    This part of the guide is about the content of C&I developed at the CIFOR test sites. Selected C&I from the three tests are presented (i.e., it is a series of related and combined examples, not a single set of C&I). They are intended to illustrate the breadth of issues and related C&I that were considered important across the three test sites. They are presented as a starting point for further development of C&I at the local level – a means to generate ideas for what is appropriate in a specific context. They should not be viewed as a definitive...