Abstracts and papers presented during the Congress
A Comparative Analysis of Community Forestry and Joint Forest Management: Policies, Institutions and Approaches
Authors: Rasul, Golam & Karki, Madhav
Abstract: In an effort to develop effective and enabling institutions for the management of forest resources, several community based forest management approaches (CBFM) have evolved in South Asia. Most important of them are community forestry (CF) in Nepal; joint forest management (JFM) in India and participatory forest management in other countries. Although all the approaches aim at promoting community-based forest management, their nature and characteristics vary considerably which, in turn, has different implications in resource governance and livelihoods of the local people. Based on primary and secondary information, this paper makes an attempt to understand the nature of the two systems and their strengths and weaknesses. The analysis reveals that there are considerable similarities and dissimilarities between these systems in respect of level of institutionalisation, tenurial arrangement, degree of participation, decision-making authority, rights and obligations, and benefit sharing. An analysis of the two systems – CF and JFM indicate that while CF management model is supported by state legislation, JFM is based on administrative order. The degree of institutionalisation between JFM and CF also varies considerably. While in FUGs (forest user groups) under CF, local users have full decision-making authority; in joint forest management committees (JFMCs) the forest users have limited authority. Considerable variation also exists in the degree of participation between the two systems. While in CFM local participation is high it is relatively low in JFM, especially in how the forests are managed. Despite the emphasis on participatory management, the inclination and practice is still toward guided participation. The implications of the different approaches have been analysed in terms of their policy and legal framework, institutional arrangements, and level of decentralisation and devolution. Policy recommendations for the promotion of community based forest management are also made. Key words: Community-based forest management, community forestry, joint forest management, decentralization, forest user groups.
Applying Community Behavior Shaping Strategies for Fostering Sustainable Participatory Forest Management
Authors: Jain, Kalpana & Jain, Nihal
Abstract: Psychologists and the counselors use several tools and techniques for shaping behavior of individuals. Many such tools could be applicable in a group situation with some differences in strategies. This paper is aimed at examining the potential of applying behavior shaping strategies on community groups for getting desired collective behavior. Some of the techniques used in individual behavior shaping such as contingency management of reinforcement, modeling procedures and rational emotive approaches have considerable relevance for community groups. In community development activities, rights and incentives provided for motivating community members compare well with the provision of reinforcement in behavior shaping strategies. The increased benefit flow from collectively managed resources also acts as an important reinforcer. The exposure visits and success stories provide as models for communities and the participatory exercises, community meetings and other sensitization processes compare well with rational emotive approaches of behavior shaping. An analysis of selected villages from southern Rajasthan having varied levels of institutional effectiveness was carried out. The delivery and process of community development activities were analyzed in each community to understand how they compared with the community behavior shaping approaches. This was then related to the effectiveness of community institutions. The results indicated decline in effectiveness of institutions in many cases which was primarily associated with absence of proper scheduling of reinforcement while delivering development activities. While in some cases sustained collective action was observed where a combination of factors motivated community members. In overall, it was evident form the cases analyzed that collective action remained sustained when the combination of rights, incentives, benefits and sensitization processes was delivered in a manner that they acted as reinforcers of the desired behavior. Based on these observations, a strategy of delivering a combination of development interventions is discussed to promote sustainable community institutions. Key words: Behaviour shaping, participatory forest management.
Moving from rhetoric to reality: how can participatory forest management contribute to improving the livelihoods of the rural poor in Caribbean small island states?
Authors: Leotaud, Nicole; Mcintosh, Sarah; Seeramsingh, Hema
Abstract: This paper examines whether participatory forest management (PFM) in Caribbean islands is improving the livelihoods of the rural poor. It explores the dominant rhetoric, analyses current assumptions and models of participation, and describes how new approaches are being tested. The Caribbean is slowly moving beyond the rhetoric of participation to experimentation with a variety of different models designed to improve rural livelihoods. This paper presents findings from research and capacity building conducted under a National Forest Programme Facility regional project being implemented by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institution (CANARI), in partnership with the forestry authorities, in seven small island nations in the English-speaking Caribbean–Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The paper starts with the assessment of the extent to which policies, laws, and institutional structures in the Caribbean support PFM and the priority gaps and capacity building identified through this analysis. It describes the integrated approach used to address these gaps, using a mix of incremental and complementary initiatives, including: training workshops and small grants for community-based organisations; communications designed to influence decision-making at community and policy making level; case studies of different types of PFM arrangements; training of trainers programme in participatory forest management; and national and regional workshops that bring together stakeholders from communities, government, civil society organisations, the private sector, academia, regional and international development and technical assistance agencies. Action learning is a pivotal element of the project, particularly through the establishment of a multisectoral Forests and Livelihoods Action Learning Group (F&L ALG). The ALG contributed to the development of a research framework exploring the connection between livelihoods and PFM, and plays a key role in analysing and disseminating lessons learned. Mentoring is a key element of the action learning at community level providing support for, and facilitate reflection and analysis on lessons learned from on-the-ground projects seeking to develop livelihood opportunities from the sustainable use of forest resources. The paper presents preliminary findings, key questions, and priorities for further research and actions that have emerged so far. It also reflects on how findings can best be communicated to decision-makers in order to convert the rhetoric of participation into effective use of forests resources as a base for poverty alleviation in Caribbean small islands and beyond.
Cultivating leadership, participation and inter-sectoral dialogue through the development of forest financing strategies: emerging lessons
Authors: Boscolo, Marco; Zapata, Jhony; Savenije, Herman; Van Dijk, Kees
Abstract: Environmental awareness, international conventions and globalisation of markets are prompting most countries to manage their forests more sustainably than they have in the past. However, progress is hindered by a lack of suitable financing. Many countries recognize that to address this challenge it is necessary to examine ways to tap into new sources of finance, increase the effectiveness of existing financing mechanisms, and develop innovative ones. The acknowledgement of the role that forests can play in climate change mitigation is also providing new opportunities to finance sustainable forest management. In order to expand and diversify financing sources and mechanisms and to take advantage of emerging financing opportunities, the development of forest financing strategies represents a critical and essential step. Beginning in July 2007, FAO, the nfp Facility, and their partners have supported the development of national forest financing strategies in Namibia, Guatemala, Suriname, El Salvador, Peru and Paraguay. This support has been provided within the framework of national forest programs and tailored to the needs of the countries. It has taken many forms: From the development of diagnostic assessments to the delivery of capacity building workshops, from the facilitation of follow-up activities to technical advice in the development of new financing instruments. While it is too early to reach final conclusions on the impact of this support, it is evident that these activities have produced different results in the various countries, both measured in terms of process (participation, sense of ownership, learning, communication, partnership development) and outcomes (development of a strategy and of innovative financing instruments). Building on these experiences, this paper summarizes a number of lessons learned that emphasize the importance of strengthening local leadership, participation, and inter-sectoral dialogue and collaboration. One of our key approaches has been to capitalize on national stakeholders’ resourcefulness, creativity, and ability to find solutions to the challenges they face. This has resulted in a greater sense of ownership, motivation and continuity. Efforts to attract and actively involve representatives of the financing sector translated into greater clarity of the communication barriers between the two sectors and of the different cultures, methodologies and requirements they operate under. This clarity is facilitating the identification of new ways in which these two sectors can work together effectively. Finally, building alliances with other sectors is also helping the forest sector to better integrate with other development activities and gain greater political and public visibility and recognition. Full paper
Participation, governance of community-based organisations and poverty alleviation: issues and lessons from 10 years of co-management of protected forests in Benin (West-Africa)
Authors: Natta, Armand; Tamoudagou, Kinnin; Kiansi, Yantibossi
Abstract: Benin Republic (West Africa) have experimented the co-management of protected forests from 1993. Several Forest Management Projects organised neighbouring populations to achieve the overall goal of protecting forest resources and alleviate poverty, through the control of anthropogenic perturbation, the development of income generating activities, and the building of social infrastructures. In the present paper, stakeholders’ participation and governance of community-based associations are analysed from the experiences in two National Parks and their hunting zones, and five forest reserves. A key assumption is that co-management of forests and better participation of local population in all the steps of the management plan process are the best ways for biodiversity conservation, good governance of community-based organisations, equitability in forest resources accessibility and benefits distribution, efficiency of common resources use, as well as poverty alleviation in rural populations neighbouring national parks, hunting zones and forest reserves. Field surveys and interviews of key actors revealed an enthusiasm among population in all steps of forest management process. Decentralisation, democratisation and the reality of local elections in Benin unblocked the energy and scepticism of poor or illiterate populations’. Many questions arise concerning governance of community-based organisations, which seem to be the syndicate of a few literate persons at local level, leaving the majority unsatisfied. Accessibility to forest resources, efficiency of common resources use and equitable distribution of benefits are not always guaranteed among all stakeholders. In general, immigrants, women and the youth are not always associated in planning and decision making, as well sharing financial benefits. So far at national level, each project has its own planning process. Likewise criteria and indicators of good participation and governance of community-based organisations are yet to be set. As a result after nearly 10 years of participation in Benin poverty alleviation in the poorest populations of resources dependent communities is still not achieved.
Community forestry governance and conflict in Nepal: mitigating problems and enhancing opportunities in Terai
Author: Rajan Kotru
Abstract: Forest crimes including illicit activities such as illegal logging, illegal occupation of forestland, wildlife poaching, encroachments and corruption is a common concern, often instigating latent to violent conflict, especially in developing countries where forest governance is weak. A World Bank estimate claims that illegal logging in public lands alone cause losses in assets and revenues to the range of USD 10 Billion annually, which is six times higher than the total official development assistance dedicated to sustainable forests management worldwide. Meanwhile, these same activities, resulting in imposed poverty, increase the likelihood and intensity of forest-related violence and civil unrest, fuelling fluid latent to violent inter-institutional to trans-boundary conflicts. This global trend has not surpassed Nepal as increased cases of forest land encroachments, illicit fell ing, illegal NTFP trade, related poverty and conflict have pervaded the country, especially since the past decade of political instability. Despite the decentralization reform process in Nepal, which is manifested in several decentralized forest governance initiatives (CF, CFM, DFCCs etc.), the counterweight to trans-boundary forest product smuggling, forest land encroachments and illegal conversion of forest land has yet to be achieved resulting in little to no poverty and conflict mitigating impact. Although there are cases in Nepal of collective action and decentralized forest governance that have resulted in effective regulation and forest law enforcement, at times these same decentralization efforts have also weaken regulatory enforcement and made the situation more complex and difficult. Therefore, as this paper details, to ensure a strong and effective conflict mitigating Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) that ultimately adds in poverty reduction, it is essential that strong political support and commitment at the national, regional and international levels is exercised. This would require that local, bilateral and regional collaboration is strengthened to address violations of forest law and forest crime. Furthermore, this conflict mitigating FLEG effort would be necessarily complemented by: comprehensive awareness programmes; reward/incentive based mechanisms; rapid legal process and enforcement of law; inter-agency cooperation; use of technology; trans-boundary information-sharing and monitoring; mutual agreements with India and China; and, finally a capacity building package (e.g. natural resources conflict transformation negotiation and mediation, etc.) for the key forest engaged actors. The current forest management regimes in Terai, such as CFM, has the potential for such an effective conflict mitigating FLEG mechanism based on community -line agency interface.