Decentralized Forest Management in South and Southeast Asia
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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