Thursday, February 3, 2011

New publication on forest management

The Rights and Resources Initiative has announced “The Extent and Scope of Community and Smallholder Forest Management Enterprises,” by Augusta Molnar, Marina France, Lopaka Purdy, and Jonathan Karver: CBFEs are truly local institutions; this is one of the reasons for the diversity of models on which they are based. It is also a reason why, as a development strategy, they bypass many of the costs and hurdles other development initiatives face in implementation. Created on the ground by local actors, they are well adapted to local social, cultural, and economic conditions and landscapes. Unlike large export- and commodity-driven business models, CBFEs are intrinsically tied to the communities in which they operate.

They therefore provide local communities with many vital opportunities: local employment and revenue, sustainable production and trade of required goods and services, and wealth that stays within the community. To maximize the potential of community-based forest management and CBFEs, concerted action is needed on the part of governments to create a level playing field for communities and smallholders in fiscal policy and regulations, access to technical and financial services, and the marketplace. In many developing countries, CBFEs and other SMFEs are often relegated by statutory law and regulation to an informal economy and a ‘shadow’ marketplace in which they are unable to realize their natural competitiveness.

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