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Fourteen years of monitoring community-managed forests: learning from IFRI's experience

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Although community managed forests constitute a significant proportion of the worlds' forests, there is little information about their condition or how they are managed. The International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) network is a research programme established in 1992 to collect interdisciplinary information about forest sustainability and governance. IFRI is unique in terms of the large number of small-scale sites monitored (more than 350 communities and 9000 forest plots) for more than a decade, under the guidance of strong central leadership, a well defined research framework, relative autonomy of network members, and a strong inward focus. These features have enabled IFRI to have particular impacts on new knowledge, policy and local communities, and capacity building. Lessons about how to further strengthen, extend and sustain these impacts include developing more robust agreement about measures of forest sustainability, building network members' capacities to conduct comparative analysis, ensuring the database meets the needs of multiple users and expanding the membership and outreach of the network.
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Keywords: community forests; governance; monitoring; networks; research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, 63 Carrigan Drive, University of Vermont, Bington VT 05405. USA. 2: Professor, Institute for Social Research, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Circuito Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad de la Investigacin en Humanidades, Ciudad Universitaria, C. P. 04510, Coyoacn, Mxico, D. F. 3: Associate Professor, IFRI Coordinator, School of Natural Resources and Environment 440 Church Street, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 48104, USA. 4: Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, Co-Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 North Park Avenue Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA.

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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