Forests and poverty - policy analysis

Development Gateway on Poverty, updated regularly (web link)
Development Gateway resources related to the effectiveness of poverty reduction schemes (all sectors).

This paper is a synthesis of findings from four country case studies and background research on the political dimensions of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach.
Policy note for DFID staff and partner governements.This note suggests four conditions that need to be met in the design of policies to achieve faster pro-poor growth.
This paper sets out the importance of land, land rights and land reform in developing countries, and considers how land policies can contribute to poverty reduction and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Forests and trees have an important role to play in the struggle to reduce poverty. Initiatives based on sustainable local forest management, as part of rural development and sustainable livelihood strategies, can support good governance and increase benefits to the poor. The challenge now is to turn this potential into a reality. Policy brief based on the results of the interagency Forum on the Role of Forestry in Poverty Alleviation in September 2001.
Este informe en materia de políticas es el resultado del Foro interinstitucional sobre el papel que desempeña el sector forestal en el alivio de la pobreza.
Ce document est le résultat des efforts communs des 60 participants au Forum interinstitutions sur le rôle de la foresterie dans la réduction de la pauvreté.

DFID/ University of Reading

This report assesses the reliability of statistics on the numbers of forest dependant people and proposes alternative methodogies for collecting such information.


General policy brief, Workshop, 1-2 October, 2002, Tuusula, Finland

Forest Trends

This study references an earlier study below. This analysis asks what amount of the world’s forest are being effectively conserved by indigenous peoples and other communities with or without legal protections. It presents the new evidence that community-driven biodiversity conservation covers significant areas of the world’s forests, creating real opportunities to achieve biodiversity conservation through pro-poor policies and forest-based livelihood activities.
Analysis of global forest tenure patterns and implications for policy.


2005, Poverty and conservation: landscapes, people and power, R.J. Fisher, Stewart Maginnis, W.J. Jackson, Edmund Barrow and Sally Jeanrenaud
original source:
This book focuses on conservation's potential to contribute actively to long-term sustainable development and, more immediately, to poverty reduction. Conservation has, at times, contributed to local poverty by denying poor people control over and access to the natural resources that underpin their livelihoods. However, the authors assert that conservation can and should do more to address poverty reduction, as poor ecosystem health will often undermine social and economic stability and the livelihoods of the poor.
Briefing note with recommendations for consideration for UNFF-4 on linkages between forest actions, poverty reduction and the Millenium Development Goals.
Position paper focussed on international agenda and main issues to be addressed at the national level. Key points of interest: advocates for forest poverty alleviation to be mainstreamed in PRSPs and argues for links with ministries of finance as well as training in forestry departments in using SL framework and targeting MDGs to judge value of their work.


This paper first looks at the equity issues surrounding the climate change negotiations, and then focuses on the poverty and sustainable development issues, considering the potential and limitations of win-win poverty and environmental options. It concludes by assessing strategies for linking poverty, equity and environmental outcomes.


Policy-makers are increasingly interested in valuing downstream services in monetary terms and exploring mechanisms by which beneficiaries pay upstream residents for their provision.


Table with a a summary of 100 Millennium Development Goal Country Reports for Goal 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.
This paper seeks to synthesise the ideas and lessons that emerge from the UNDP Poverty Strategies Initiative studies, including experiences with decentralisation, devolution and people's participation at the grassroots level.


Poverty and Environment Initiative, updated regularly (web link)
Linking Poverty Reduction And Environmental Management To Achieve the MDGs.

Wageningen UR

This policy brief summarises the present state of scientific understanding of the potential contribution of tropical forests to poverty alleviation and highlights the implications of this knowledge for forest-based poverty alleviation policies.


Income from ecosystems - which the World Resources Institute calls 'environmental income' - can act as a fundamental stepping stone in the economic empowerment of the rural poor. However, that authors argue that for this to become a reality, the impoverished must be in a position to exercise control and stewardship over their resources, which is rarely the case.
last updated:  Wednesday, July 18, 2007