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Kumasi, Ghana

Evans K.,Center for International Forestry Research | de Jong W.,Kyoto University | Cronkleton P.,Center for International Forestry Research | Nghi T.H.,Tropenbos International
Society and Natural Resources | Year: 2010

Forest devolution and government decentralization have increased community control over forests. Remoteness, low literacy, and lack of formal planning experience often leave forest communities unprepared for their new responsibilities. Forest communities need to develop skills that allow them to establish goals and make decisions transparently and democratically and to negotiate effectively with other local actors if they are to become more proactive participants in local governance processes. In Bolivia and Vietnam we tested four adaptations of scenario-based methods to assist forest communities to develop these skills. This article reflects on the strengths, limitations, and new applications of these methods. The methods encourage participation by members who have little experience with structured planning, including the most marginalized: women, elderly, and illiterate participants. The methods are useful as planning tools, for generating records of decision-making processes, and for preparing for negotiations between communities and local governments. © 2010 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Savenije H.,Ministry of Agriculture | Van Dijk K.,Tropenbos International
Unasylva | Year: 2010

H. Savenije and K. van Dijk reflect on forest sector trends in light of the XIII World Forestry Congress. The XIII World Forestry Congress was hosted by Argentina from October 18 to 23 in 2009. The increasing number of claims on forests - economic, social and environmental - and the plurality of stakeholders at all scales with forests, values and vocabularies, complicate the play of forces and the decision-making regarding forests, requiring an integrated, coordinated, collaborative approach. A general shift can be observed in many countries in governance practice and policy-making and in the role and position of central government. The connection between international dialog and local implementation of sustainable forest management has improved little since 2003. The greatest threats to forests come from beyond the domain of forestry, arising from the rapidly increasing demand for food, feed and fuel. Source

Ochieng R.M.,Regional Development Centre | Visseren-Hamakers I.J.,Wageningen University | Nketiah K.S.,Tropenbos International
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2013

Deforestation and forest degradation remain high worldwide, and one of the dominant underlying causes for this forest loss is illegal logging. Numerous international policies have been developed aimed at addressing these issues. This article studies two of these regimes, the European Union's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan and its Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with Ghana, and the climate mitigation policy of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). The interactions between these two international policies at the national level, namely in Ghana, are analyzed. The research shows numerous current and anticipated interactions between the two regimes. Most of these interactions potentially have a positive influence, but much depends on the future implementation of both regimes. The article makes recommendations on how to manage the interactions in order to improve the synergies and enhance effectiveness, including institutionalizing information sharing and learning, jurisdictional delimitation, and improving collaboration. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Boscolo M.,FAO | van Dijk K.,Tropenbos International | Savenije H.,Tropenbos International
Forests | Year: 2010

The problems that hamper the financing of sustainable forest management (SFM) are manifold and complex. However, forestry is also facing unprecedented opportunities. The multiple functions and values of forests are increasingly recognized as part of the solution to pressing global issues (e.g., climate change, energy scarcity, poverty, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and raw material supply). Emerging initiatives to enhance forest carbon stocks and cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with forest clearing (known as REDD+), together with voluntary carbon markets, are offering additional funding options for SFM. Indigenous peoples, local communities and small scale farmers feature as key players in the discourse on implementing such initiatives. Based on the experience of countries developing national forest financing strategies and instruments, we suggest the following points be considered when financing such initiatives, particularly for small scale forestry: (1) Integrate financing of REDD+ and similar initiatives within broader national strategies for SFM financing; (2) Design REDD+ finance mechanisms that are =community ready', i.e., tailored to local realities; (3) Consider existing livelihood strategies as the starting point; (4) Build on existing structures, but be mindful of their strengths and weaknesses; (5) Be strategic with your priority actions; and (6) Promote innovation, knowledge sharing and information exchange. © 2010 by FAO. Source

Cardona W.C.,Tropenbos International | de Jong W.,Kyoto University | Zuidema P.A.,Wageningen University | Boot R.,Tropenbos International
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

Over the last decade, important land and forest governance reforms have taken place in many tropical countries, including the devolution of ownership rights over land and forests, decentralization that created mechanisms for forest dwellers to participate in decision making in lowest tiers of governments. These reforms have resulted in an intensive academic debate on governance and management of forests and how actors should be involved. An important but understudied element in this debate is the ways in which communities cope with new legislation and responsibilities. Property rights bestowed by the government leave many aspects undecided and require that local forest users devise principles of access and allocation and establish authority to control those processes. We studied 16 communities in the northern Bolivian Amazon to evaluate how forest communities develop and control local rules for resource access and use. We found that the first requirement to community rule design, enforcement, and effective forest management is the opportunity to, and equity of, access to forest resources among members. Under the newly imposed forestry regulations, communities took matters in their own hands and designed more specific rules, rights and obligations of how community members could and should use economically important resources. The cases suggest that communities hold and maintain capacity to prepare their own ownership arrangements and related rules, even if they are strongly conditioned by the regulatory reforms. Very specific local histories, that may differ from community to community, influence strongly how specific ideas are being shaped, which in northern Bolivia resulted in notable local differences. The results suggest that new regulatory regimes should create appropriate conditions for communities to define adequate or at least convenient forestry institutions that assure an acceptable level of collective coexistence according to each particular communal history. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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