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Research Report

Recent Experience in Collaborative Forest Management

Jane Carter
with Jane Gronow
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2005
Pages: 57
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-6)

    Taking a conventional view of forest management, a broad distinction may be drawn between

    professional forest management as a ‘scientific’ discipline that enables states and nations to control, regulate and exploit forest resources under their jurisdiction; and

    indigenous forest management systems, developed locally by forest-dependent communities and varying greatly in technical and social sophistication.

    Professional foresters have not always recognised the latter form of management. Indeed, for many years local people were often viewed as destroyers of forests through agricultural activities such as grazing and land clearance. As the global forest area shrinks, the reasons for forest loss have been...

  2. (pp. 6-18)

    What forms of collaboration have arisen and why? The central feature of all effective CFM approaches is devolution of some control over the management of forests to local people. This approach goes considerably beyond earlier perceptions of community involvement that focussed on use rights. Collaboration can take many forms, depending on the roles assumed by each partner and the degree of control they can exert over forest management. This section looks at different forms³ of collaboration that have arisen in different (legally defined) land property categories⁴. These are loosely grouped under the broad headings of state-owned land and non-state land....

  3. (pp. 18-33)

    Whereas the previous section explored the diverse forms collaboration has taken to date, this section examines the key lessons learned from the experience. To what extent has collaboration achieved its dual aims of addressing both social issues—including sustainable livelihoods, rights of access and control, equity, promoting local governance and, ultimately, social justice—and sound forest management? Can promising mechanisms for developing collaborative programmes be identified?

    Section 3 also considers the challenges of institutionalising collaboration, including policy and legislative concerns and the circumstances under which collaboration is most appropriate. It should be stressed, nevertheless, that these lessons are not static....

  4. (pp. 33-42)

    This section reviews our understanding of the factors that determine whether CFM is likely to succeed. Under what conditions is CFM most likely to be appropriate, and how (if at all) can these be promoted? This question needs to be examined both at the local level and at broader institutional and political levels. The section ends with a brief consideration of regional differences.

    Locally, lessons from common property resource (CPR) theory (particularly, Ostrom 1999) can provide insight into some of the social dynamics and forest characteristics that may militate towards successful CFM—although recent work by CIFOR has questioned some...

  5. (pp. 42-44)

    This survey set out to review current experience in CFM. The essence of collaboration was defined at the outset as being ‘a working partnership’. It is clear that, worldwide, the number and form of forest management partnerships is increasing; the past decade or so has been a period of proliferation. There is a growing acceptance of the value of collaboration in both the ‘North’ and the ‘South’, in both developing and industrialised nations. In some instances, CFM represents a fundamental shift in the framework of forest governance, in others, it constitutes a small adjustment to address a specific problem or...