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Decentralized Forest Management in South and Southeast Asia

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This article reviews the process of decentralization in forest management in developing countries in South and Southeast Asia. Decentralized forest management (DFM) is an alternative to centralized or state-regulated forest management, which transfers the forest use and management rights to local communities. It is a process of gradual change in forest management, which started in the 1970s when social forestry programs involving people's participation were first attempted and expanded in the 1990s when DFM policies were enacted to recognize the traditional forest rights of local communities. DFM has no single definition, depending instead on the state's willingness to move away from the command and control approach toward forest management. There are some plus points, but these are still limited and the drawbacks of decentralization far outweigh the gains.
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Keywords: South and Southeast Asia; decentralized forest management; local communities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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