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Equity in community forestry: insights from North and South

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Who benefits from community forestry and who gets left out? Soon after it emerged as a significant trend in the global South in the 1980s, practitioners, advocates and scholars began to ask such questions of community forestry. The distributional impacts of its more recent development in industrialised countries have been less examined. More unusual still has been the explicit attempt to exchange experience between North and South. In response, a symposium was organised to bring together participants of two Ford Foundation-funded projects on community forestry in the US, Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania. Enriched by additional cases from the United Kingdom and Asia, this introductory article and issue report on the symposium's results. These include the finding that, while community forestry can reduce social inequity, it generally does so by generating positive change at community and higher levels, rather than by delivering benefits directly to poor and marginalised households.
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Keywords: benefits; community-based resource management; livelihoods; participatory forest management; poverty

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rutgers University, Department of Human Ecology, Cook Office Building, 55 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 USA. 2: School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, Southampton University, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK.

Publication date: 01 June 2009

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