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Community forestry is considered a tool for decentralisation and devolution and as efficient strategy to achieve the multiple goals of sustainable resource management and poverty alleviation. However, evidence worldwide has shown mixed results. A financial, economic and environmental cost-benefit analysis of two community forests in Cameroon revealed that community forests are economically and environmentally profitable, and benefit communities more, compared to a baseline situation. Sharp differences between the economic and financial returns highlight the importance of conditional factors. These include the communities' technical and managerial skills, access to finance, legal resources and market information, and the communities' capacity for vertical integration. The cases highlight the limitations of the current regulatory and policy framework as a determining influence on the exploitation of community forests and conclude there is a pressing need for institutional and organizational reforms within the governmental and support apparatus to increase the profitability and equity of community forestry.
We investigated how demand for war derived scrap metal influenced livelihoods, forest use and environmental outcomes near the biodiverse Annamite Mountains in Central Vietnam. We focused on one community, Khe Tran, and interviewed local villagers, active collectors from other communes, traders and officials. We also visited the forest. Collection is illegal during the dry season due to concerns about fires. Despite the threat of unexploded ordnance, villagers did not judge metal collection especially dangerous. Though metal is declining, scrap collection remained the principle reason people entered the forest. Though many Khe Tran villagers had past experiences as metal collectors most now favoured cultivation and plantation management. In contrast many collectors from elsewhere lacked such options. Collectors often sought other products when looking for metal, thereby facilitating trade in these forest products (e.g. bamboo and rattan). Alternative livelihood options are required for those reliant on this finite and declining resource.
This paper describes the role of forests in the development of China and the Chinese government's policies pertaining to national forests, from 1949 to 1977, in the sparsely inhabited north as well as the more densely inhabited south. During this period, government policies tended to be based on (communist) ideologies rather than the successful experiences of other countries. The most important events during this period was a land reforms that distributed the forestland among households from 1949; the collectivisation of the land through the commune system from around 1953; the Great Leap Forward, which aimed at a very rapid industrial development of the country, from 1957; and the Cultural Revolution, from 1966. Because of the lack of experience — and foreign examples — of the national leaders, this period was marred by reforms that would drastically overhaul the erstwhile policies. However, the purpose of forests remained largely unchanged: to produce cheap raw material and fuel for the national drive towards industrialisation, and to be transformed into agricultural land to feed the burgeoning population. This is first of three papers on the history of Chinese forest policies from 1949 to the present.
In the peatlands of Central Kalimantan, expectations of payments for reducing carbon emissions shape the discourse over natural resource management as a means of influencing policy and exercising power. Different types of actors have their own choice of argument and interpretation of facts, rules and norms over resource use or conservation. This article examines the discursive strategies used by contestants in the struggle over property rights in a failed development project (‘ex-Mega Rice Area’) in Central Kalimantan and traces their changes and developments in the justification for policy influence in the face of REDD implementation. Shifting national policy priorities have affected the distribution of power that shapes the practice and use of forest peatland. The case study highlights the historical baggage of perceived injustice between state and local communities and the contest between national and provincial government authorities that complicates the debate on current efforts to mitigate climate change by emission reduction.
How do tropical forest people cope with natural disasters? We worked with four communities in East Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia, before and after a catastrophic flood. We interviewed 42 of 102 heads of households affected by the floods. All 42 households suffered some major loss of property — crops, lands, houses, and/or livestock. Each household adopted one or more coping strategies: increasing their reliance on forest resources; seeking paid employment; relocating their houses; and finding temporary land to establish their crops in upland areas. Immediate reliance on the forest was greatest for those most heavily impacted, the poorest, the least well educated, and those with the easiest access. Overall, those with the fewest resources and alternatives made most use of the forest. But access to such forest benefits is becoming increasingly difficult. The often crucial value of forests to local forest-dwellers needs to be better recognized in the context of current developments. These forest derived safety-values should be maintained or — where necessary — substituted.
This research details the concerns and requirements of investment managers considering international timberland investments. It also summarizes investor questions with respect to considering timberland investments in an emerging timberland market, in this case Colombia. Twenty (20) senior managers and investors across thirteen (13) firms and institutions involved in executing timberland investment strategies were interviewed. Respondents differ somewhat in how they identify and evaluate international investment risks. In part, these differences reflect alternate client objectives and differences in the experience and strategies of the TIMOs themselves. In addition to the need for available timberlands for investment purposes, key requirements for international investments highlighted across interviewees included country economic and political stability; available and growing markets for wood; and respect for and enforceability of contracts and property rights.
Imposing logging ban has become widespread in the tropics. Bangladesh government enforced logging bans in 1970s and 1980s to halt deforestation. Such bans have been considered as a strategy to protect and conserve forests although success requires rigorous analysis. In this paper, the performances of the existing logging bans in Bangladesh are examined to assess their effectiveness. Responses of forest management systems, policies, production and governance in attaining the objectives of logging bans are thoroughly addressed and investigated. From this study it is evident that unwise implementations of logging bans have failed to secure forest conservation and production related objectives of the government. Based on the findings, five future directives are advised: (I) continuation of bans in critical natural forests, (II) reinitiating of management practices in the plantations, (III) introducing multipurpose forestry in the protected area co-management systems, (IV) adoption of adaptive community based forest management, and (V) ensure good forest governance.
Since the 1980s, developing countries have invested increasing efforts in decentralization initiatives intended to achieve development goals, improve governance and enhance popular participation in the management of natural resources, notably forests. However, better understanding of the issues pertaining to, and the challenges facing, the decentralization of forest management is paramount for the success of such initiatives. This study examines the issues and constraints related to implementation of a decentralizing, participatory forest management program in the Centre-west region of Burkina Faso. For this purpose, information was gathered through a literature review and focus group discussions involving government authorities at various levels, local Forest Management Groups (FMGs), technical support staff and the regional association of fuel wood wholesalers. The acquired data show that Forest Management Units (FMUs) established by the State are not clearly demarcated, and in some cases fall within several administrative units, creating difficulties in devolving responsibility for resources to specific local administrations. This problem is compounded by conflicts over decision-making power among actors, especially elected local leaders, traditional village leaders and representatives of FMGs (which were officially established to manage resources at local level within the FMUs). The central government has also retained substantial control over forest resources through its Forest Service. Thus, the FMGs have little institutional strength, and their authority is further weakened by limited local competence and a lack of transparency and robust accountability mechanisms. Hence, adjustments to the decentralization reforms are required to transfer forest management power to local levels more effectively, which should enhance access to forest resources, thereby increasing benefits for local communities.
Five reputable international bodies have recently asserted that the use of ‘traditional’ woody biomass energy is not sustainable and they propose steps to substitute alternative non-polluting fuels/devices. No evidence for this assertion was presented. The production of terrestrial net primary production was examined: this indicated that there was a large surplus of biomass to meet demands. The growth and yield of aboveground woody biomass by country and region was calculated using conservative estimates of supply based on FAO's published data. This was then compared to generous estimates of demand. It was found that in every region of the world, especially in developing countries, there is a considerable surplus compared to demand. Rather than curtailing the use of biomass energy it should be expanded, principally through the efforts of the rural poor as an input to foster sustainable development and assist poverty alleviation.
After 15 years, it is timely to review the 4-year bachelor degree in forestry offered by Southern Cross University (SCU), now the only remaining such 4-year degree in Australia. The SCU program is characterised by innovative teaching, a strong fieldwork component, emphasis on research, and strong links with local interest groups (both environmental and industrial). The progressive introduction of two-site delivery and on-line lectures has maintained the viability of the course despite modest student demand.