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Understanding community forestry: a qualitative meta-study of the concept, the process, and its potential for poverty alleviation in the United States case

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This paper provides an assessment of the conceptual basis of community forestry from around the world, based on case studies presented in the literature, mainly over the last decade. More than 400 documents were examined for this comprehensive qualitative meta-study (meta-theory, meta-analysis, meta-method, and meta-synthesis) of community forestry. An overall conclusion is offered regarding the extent to which community forestry can be adapted to foster practices that enhance livelihoods, particularly for poverty populations, in rural United States communities. Special attention is paid to signifiers of community empowerment and reflexivity as well as other elements of success suggested in the literature.

Keywords: United States; community forestry; evaluation; meta-analysis; qualitative methods; social forestry

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA s: ;, Email:

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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