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Community Forestry Initiatives in Myanmar: An Analysis from a Social Perspective

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Community Forestry (CF) initiatives took place in Myanmar after a series of forest policy reforms and decentralisation arrangements during the 1990s. The Forest Department has been instrumental in the introduction of CF in degraded areas with primary objectives of afforestation and meeting the local consumption of forest products. Despite the policy reforms and initiatives by the Forest Department, the Myanmar CF program suffers from serious setbacks due to lack of social skills and professional attitude among local forest staff, the uncertainty of land tenure policy and lack of a community empowerment approach. A local empowerment approach supplemented with transparent and accountable land tenure and a viable common property regime is recommended to overcome the growing constraints. The empowerment approach should emphasize promoting a local voice and representation within the local socio-economic context, developing local networks towards federalised institution and honouring local decisions.
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Keywords: Community Forestry (CF); common property regime; decentralisation; empowerment approach; land tenure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Asia Pacific School of Economics & Government, J.G Crawford Building, Building #13, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia (Member of Mangrove Service Network in Myanmar).

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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