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Arborealisation and the limitations of community forestry

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The campaign for community forestry in upland areas of northern Thailand reflects an arborealised perspective on upland agriculture. Arborealisation is defined as the process whereby upland livelihoods are recast as forest livelihoods. As a result of an arborealised perspective, securing rights to forest resources has come to be seen as the key to enhancing the livelihoods and tenure security of upland farmers. However, the emphasis of proposed community forest legislation on communally managed forest resources means that it will do little to enhance the tenure security of farmers in relation to agricultural land. An alternative, and more realistic, approach may require rethinking of attitudes towards the environment, agricultural commercialisation and the state.
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Keywords: arborealisation; community forestry; northern Thailand; tenure; upland agriculture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Fellow Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Coombs Building, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200 Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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