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A fair share? Sharing the benefits and costs of collaborative forest management

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Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) has attracted significant attention in Asia in recent years, with around 25 percent of forests currently outside direct State management. Advocates of CFM suggest that it has the potential to achieve sustainable forest management in a way that improves the welfare of the rural poor. Whether this potential is realised in practice largely depends on the type and scale of benefits created through CFM relative to costs, whether communities are able to secure any of these, and how they are distributed locally. This paper provides an overview of benefit sharing from community-managed forests in Asia based on a recent joint initiative of some key international CFM support organisations. The paper examines why the flow of benefits from community-managed forests to local actors is lower than it could be, highlighting institutional and policy constraints that need to be addressed for this to change, as well as the role and arrangement of community-level governance.
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Keywords: Asia; benefit sharing; collaborative forest management; equity; institutions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Resource Management in Asia Pacific Program, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 0200, Australia. 2: Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand.

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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