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Subject overview

Decentralization has been a hot topic in forestry over the last ten years or so, in part spurred by a general movement in many countries towards empowering local governments. It is a central theme in the forest programmes of many countries and brings an added dimension to nfp planning and implementation

Subject scope

Decentralization of institutions and administration is frequently covered in tandem with devolution of power to make decisions in forest management, collect forest revenue and so on. As many authors point out, however, they do not have to automatically go together.

A key variable of decentralization and devolution is the groups to which administration and decision making is develved and decentralized. This is usually either local government units, communities or a combination of these. Material listed here deals with both flavours.

Experiences of devolution have been mixed and there is a large literature of case studies and lessons learned available to planners to guide implementation.

Interfaces with other digests

Decentralization of institutions and administration brings a need for local level capacity building and for reform of forest finance systems.

Devolution involving local communities and other stakeholder groups ties in to the literature on participation.

last updated:  Friday, December 2, 2005