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Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber

Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber: Communities, Conservation, and the State in Community-Based Forest Management

Nicholas K. Menzies
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber
    Book Description:

    Community-based forest management (CBFM) is a model of forest management in which a community takes part in decision making and implementation, and monitoring of activities affecting the natural resources around them. CBFM provides a framework for a community members to secure access to the products and services that flow from the landscape in which they live and has become an essential component of any comprehensive approach to forest management.

    In this volume, Nicholas K. Menzies looks at communities in China, Zanzibar, Brazil, and India where, despite differences in landscape, climate, politics, and culture, common challenges and themes arise in making a transition from forest management by government agencies to CBFM. The stories of these four distinct places highlight the difficulties communities face when trying to manage their forests and negotiate partnerships with others interested in forest management, such as the commercial forest sector or conservation and environmental organizations. These issues are then considered against a growing body of research concerning what constitutes successful CBFM.

    Drawing on published and unpublished case studies, project reports, and his own rich experience, Menzies analyzes how CBFM fits into the broader picture of the management of natural resources, highlighting the conditions that bring about effective practices and the most just and equitable stewardship of resources. A critical companion for students, researchers, and practitioners, Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber provides a singular resource on the emergence and evolution of CBFM.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51023-3
    Subjects: Environmental Science, Economics, Political Science, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-15)

    A GLOBAL review of forest ownership published in 2002 estimated that approximately 11 percent of all the world’s forested land is under some form of community-based ownership (White and Martin 2002). In the eighteen developing countries in a sample of the top twenty-four of thirty forested countries, the same survey found an even higher total of 22 percent of land to be under community ownership. The statistics are impressive, but they reduce to simple numbers the rich diversity of experience and the many pathways that have brought communities to a point at which they are accorded the recognition that is...

  5. 2 Naidu Village, Yunnan Province, China
    (pp. 17-29)

    NAIDU VILLAGE is set in lush forested hills overshadowed by the peaks separating Yunnan Province from Tibet. The intricately carved woodwork on the window frames and in the main living spaces inside the large houses are witness to the modest prosperity of this Tibetan community, located little more than one hour’s drive from the county town, officially renamed Shangri-la recently in a bid to attract tourists to what had formerly been the remote county of Zhongdian in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. One recent source of prosperity is the summer harvest of matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma matsutake) gathered in the community’s...

  6. 3 Jozani Forest, Ngezi Forest, and Misali Island, Zanzibar
    (pp. 30-49)

    ONLY A few small patches of forest remain on the islands of Zanzibar off the coast of East Africa. This chapter tells the story of the communities that use three of these patches and their experiences since the government of Zanzibar committed itself to a policy of community forestry in 1995. Jozani and Ngezi are two forests surrounded by villages whose residents use them for fuelwood and charcoal burning, poles for construction, and fishing in the mangroves. Misali is an uninhabited forested island used as a fishing camp and believed by the Islamic communities of the nearby villages to be...

  7. 4 The Várzea Forests of Mazagão, Amapá State, Brazil
    (pp. 50-68)

    CABOCLOS ARE the people who live on the banks of the tidal, flooded forests and waterways of the Amazon estuary and its many tributaries. They speak Portuguese, and their mixed ancestry embraces the region’s original forest dwellers and the many waves of people who have been brought here or have settled here since the sixteenth century: escaped slaves of African origin, settlers from Europe, and more recent settlers from Japan. The term caboclo is said to come from the Tupi word caa-boc, meaning “that which comes from the woods,” but the caboclos are not indigenous in the sense that the...

  8. 5 Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
    (pp. 69-86)

    THESE HEARTFELT words are in a 1993 document prepared by several cooperative forest societies in the Himalayan district of Kangra, sent to the prime minister of India, the governor of the state of Himachal Pradesh, and other government leaders. A copy of the document is included as supporting material in a civil suit brought before the High Court of Himachal Pradesh during 2000 in which representatives of the Kangra District Cooperative Forest Societies Union ask that the Forestry Department recognize their existence and return to a policy of collaboration with the cooperatives that it had implemented from the 1940s to...

  9. 6 The Community Narrative of Forest Loss and Degradation
    (pp. 87-99)

    EACH OF the preceding four chapters tells a unique story in a distinct voice. The stories are unique but not unconnected. The Tibetan farmers of Naidu might barely recognize the tidal islands of Mazagão as a forest, but they would have little difficulty in understanding the importance of the producers’ associations and their actions against members who threaten the productivity of the shrimp fishery when they graze water buffalo on the river bank. The claims of two different labor organizations to represent the interests of the caboclos of the várzea forest might sound familiar to the fishing communities of Pemba,...

  10. 7 Invoking the Community
    (pp. 100-122)

    COMMUNITY IS a concept whose meaning and salience differ according to the observer’s point of view. This chapter traces the history of communities’ exclusion from forests and describes how different actors in CBFM have more recently invoked community as much as an instrumental pathway to more effective management as an ethical imperative. It tells how communities have reentered the arena of forest policy and management and explores the diversity of interests within communities. It considers how communities set boundaries to distinguish between who is and who is not included as well as to differentiate themselves from the other social, economic,...

  11. 8 The Capacity to Manage
    (pp. 123-151)

    IN THE early 1990s China moved from complete state control over forest resources toward conceding a degree of management authority to communities or households. It was not long before the complexity of the endeavor began to awe forestry staff. Over the previous decade, the decollectivization of agriculture had proceeded remarkably smoothly, with an almost immediate response on the part of farmers, reflected in increased grain production and rising household incomes. Involving communities in forest management proved to be a very different task. Degraded land in many places did regenerate rapidly, but new areas of contestation emerged. Farmers chafed against restrictions...

  12. 9 Negotiating Partnerships: WHOSE VOICE IS LOUDEST?
    (pp. 152-170)

    CBFM INVOLVES partnerships between communities, government agencies, NGOs, the private sector, and a number of other possible actors. Partnerships can expand the repertoire of skills and capacities dedicated to forest stewardship, provide a forum in which to search for common ground, and negotiate toward a management regime that can be implemented, monitored, and adjusted to meet changing demands on the resource. A poorly negotiated partnership, though, can set the scene for misunderstanding, tension, and continued or renewed loss of forest cover. This chapter asks, Why do partners have such different interests in forest resources? Who is setting the agenda in...

  13. 10 Governance and Empowerment
    (pp. 171-189)

    VEERAPPAN WAS killed in a police ambush on 19 October 2004 after a lifetime of kidnappings and crime, dealing in poached ivory and sandalwood. His death has only served to burnish his legend as a daring—albeit fearsome—outlaw fighting for the poor from deep in the forests of south India. Veerappan’s forested domain was home to tribal people whose presence the state only tolerated while excluding them even from gathering honey, medicines, or foods such as tubers and fruit from ancestral lands it now claimed as its own. Dispossession and alienation had made them receptive to the appeal of...

  14. 11 Conclusions
    (pp. 190-202)

    THIS STUDY has had the dual ambition of capturing the diversity of CBFM while asking how and under what circumstances communities and their partners have moved from a history of exclusion and confrontation to a negotiated accommodation of interests over access to and utilization of forests. The stories it has told and the analysis of community, capacity-building, partnerships, and governance conclude that the “full and effective participation in sustainable forest management” that the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) called for in its plan of implementation has yet to be realized.¹ Communities, government agencies, and their partners all over the...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 203-214)
  16. References
    (pp. 215-244)
  17. Index
    (pp. 245-264)