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Benefits of community-based forestry in the US: lessons from a demonstration programme

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Community-based forestry (CBF) in the US involves a diversity of activities that can occur on public or private lands, and extends beyond land ownership and management into the processing and marketing of forest products and services. Like CBF in many other parts of the world, it shares the interdependent goals of achieving ecological health and social well-being. Actual benefits achieved through CBF are not yet well documented in the literature. This paper illustrates the diversity of CBF activities in the US through the participating projects of the Ford Foundation's Community-Based Forestry Demonstration Program and examines programme outcomes with attention given to the conditions under which benefits accrue to poor and marginalised people. The discussion reflects on the importance of looking at institutional change as well as project level benefits when assessing environmental and social outcomes.
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Keywords: USA; community forestry; livelihoods; participatory forestry; poverty

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Vermont, 153 S. Prospect St., Bington, VT 05401, USA.

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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