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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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   2012| April-June  | Volume 10 | Issue 2  
    Online since June 18, 2012

 
 
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ARTICLES
Co-management in community forestry: How the partial devolution of management rights creates challenges for forest communities
Peter Cronkleton, Juan M Pulhin, Sushil Saigal
April-June 2012, 10(2):91-102
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97481  
Forest tenure reform has opened economic and livelihood opportunities for community forestry management through the devolution of management rights under broader decentralisation reforms. However, the transfer of rights and associated power to forest communities is usually partial. The view of property as composed of 'bundles of rights' allows for the disaggregation of rights transferred from government to local people. In practice, it is common that rights held by natural resource stakeholders encompass only part of the rights bundle. This partial transfer of rights shapes community forestry institutions and the manner in which they function. When communities and state agencies share responsibilities and benefits of forest management, they collaborate within co-management systems. Co-management systems are attractive to governments because they open avenues for local participation in resource governance and more equitable benefit-sharing while maintaining some level of state control. However, co-management systems can place a greater burden on community level actors without providing the corresponding benefits. As a result, co-management can fail to meet expectations. In response, the promotion of community forestry may require greater emphasis on adjusting forest regulatory frameworks, institutions, and agencies, to allow more freedom by community-level actors in developing forest management systems.
  15 7,087 1,381
Fractured tenure, unaccountable authority, and benefit capture: Constraints to improving community benefits under climate change mitigation schemes in Ghana
Emmanuel Marfo, Emmanuel Acheampong, Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong
April-June 2012, 10(2):161-172
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97488  
The debate on climate change and ecosystem services has grown substantially over the past two decades. The post-Kyoto protocol period particularly has witnessed increased formulation of financial mechanisms to compensate for green efforts towards carbon sequestration and reduction in deforestation. In most cases, communities substantially depend on forests for their livelihoods or their actions have a direct bearing on the sustainability of the forests. Will the economic incentives from emerging initiatives offer new sources of income to support rural livelihoods and reduce poverty? There is some doubt about this potential, because there is enormous evidence across the world to show that forest exploitation and use has not substantially benefited local people and Ghana is no exception. This paper draws on existing evidence in Ghana to show that the lack of secure community tenure rights and the dominance of unaccountable authority-which leads to benefit capture by local elites-are critical constraints to equitable forest benefit sharing. Building on the evidence, this paper argues that unless these issues are addressed in policy and practice, the potential economic benefits from the various emerging mechanisms under climate change and ecosystem services may not benefit local people; they may even reinforce the gap between the rich and the poor.
  11 5,921 710
Beyond the decade of policy and community euphoria: The state of livelihoods under new local rights to forest in rural Cameroon
Phil René Oyono, Martin Blaise Biyong, Serge Kombo Samba
April-June 2012, 10(2):173-181
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97489  
This paper interrogates the state of livelihoods under the exercise of new community rights to forest in rural Cameroon. The assessment makes use of a set of livelihoods indicators. The granting and exercise of new community rights, namely, management rights and market rights, are not synonymous with improved livelihoods, despite initial predictions and expectations. The resource base has not changed; it is more and more threatened by poor local level institutional arrangements and social and bio-physical management strategies, in addition to the weak central level regulation and monitoring actions. Similarly, the rights-based reform and community forestry are not improving basic assets and means at the household level. Nevertheless, this paper suggests that this experiment should not be judged hastily, since fifteen years are not enough to judge social and institutional processes like those in progress in Cameroon. The authors draw policy options likely to improve the livelihoods dimension of the reform and launch a debate on the real contribution of community income derived from community forests towards poverty alleviation at the household level.
  11 5,034 622
Enhancing forest tenure reforms through more responsive regulations
Anne M Larson, Juan M Pulhin
April-June 2012, 10(2):103-113
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97482  
Forest tenure reforms have offered new opportunities for communities to obtain formal rights to forests and forest benefits, but at the same time a variety of limitations are placed on livelihood options. This article draws on several case studies of reforms in Africa, Asia and Latin America to analyse the regulations accompanying reforms. It identifies three types of regulations, namely rules that limit areas available to local communities; rules that delineate conservation areas and impose related limits on use; and bureaucratic requirements for permits and management plans, which restrict the commercial use and marketing of valuable forest products. It discusses problems with these regulations, and proposes a simple framework for identifying ways to promote regulations that work for forest conservation but are more responsive to the needs of communities and forests.
  6 5,631 790
INTRODUCTION
Forest tenure reform: New resource rights for forest-based communities?
Anne M Larson, Ganga Ram Dahal
April-June 2012, 10(2):77-90
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97478  
  6 6,533 1,307
ARTICLES
Smallholders and communities in timber markets: Conditions shaping diverse forms of engagement in tropical Latin America
Pablo Pacheco
April-June 2012, 10(2):114-123
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97484  
Forest tenure reforms have granted smallholders and communities formal rights to land and forest resources. This article explores the various ways in which these local actors engage with timber markets in the context of such reforms. I argue that the economic benefits that communities can capture from the use of forest resources, mainly timber, are mediated by two sets of factors that are beyond the process of tenure reform. The first set of factors relate to communities' capacity to interact with other actors-intermediaries and companies-in timber markets, and the second to specific conditions of market development. Interactions between community capacity and market conditions shape the ways in which smallholders and communities engage with timber markets, thereby influencing the benefits they can obtain from commercial use of their timber forests. This article focuses on forest communities that have acquired legal tenure rights in Latin America; specifically four communities located in tropical landscapes in Bolivia, Brazil, and Nicaragua. The types of engagement revealed by the analysis should be taken into account in differentiated public policies in order to improve the outcomes of forest tenure reforms.
  4 4,267 630
Legitimacy of forest rights: The underpinnings of the forest tenure reform in the protected areas of petén, Guatemala
Iliana Monterroso, Deborah Barry
April-June 2012, 10(2):136-150
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97486  
In recent decades, forests across the world have undergone a significant process of recognition and transference of tenure rights to local communities or individuals, referred to here as forest tenure reforms. Among developing regions, Latin America has seen the most important recognition and transference of these tenure rights to forest dwelling and forest dependent communities. This paper examines the process in Guatemala, where the state has recognised and transferred rights to organised local groups-establishing a community concession system in the multiple use zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. We analyse the evolution of claims over forest uses, and focus on the legitimacy elements underpinning the process of a claim becoming a right. The results indicate that in order to sustain this forest tenure reform process over time, it is important to understand how tenure arrangements are transferred and distributed among rights-receivers, and how this process is influenced by the elements that underpin legitimation as well as those that define authority. Understanding the underpinnings of the legitimacy behind forest tenure reforms is central to identifying ways in which these processes can work, and also becomes important for developing more sound policy frameworks that fill gaps and resolve incongruence in governmental systems for forest management.
  4 3,641 592
Communities, property rights and forest decentralisation in Kenya: Early lessons from participatory forestry management
Jephine Mogoi, Emily Obonyo, Paul Ongugo, Vincent Oeba, Esther Mwangi
April-June 2012, 10(2):182-194
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97490  
The introduction of participatory forestry management (PFM) in Kenya has led to the formation of community forest associations (CFAs). Data collected from 12 forests over a decade indicate that most associations are confederating to manage shared forests through the Forests Act of 2005. Emerging findings indicate that associations are responsible for diverse management activities in forest protection, monitoring, and management, yet access to decision-making, revenue streams, and overall resource control rights are vested in the Kenya Forestry Service. Still, this is an improvement as CFAs perform most governance functions autonomously, including the crafting of resource harvesting rules, the choice of leadership, and conflict resolution. In order to balance community incentives with the burdens and responsibilities they bear, rights to revenue streams generated from forest resources must be shared with communities to ensure continued commitment to the PFM process. Furthermore, the viability of CFAs is threatened by power struggles, leadership wrangles, and the splintering of groups. Negotiation support to moderate conflicting interests, and strengthen internal conflict resolution and governance is necessary.
  4 7,669 1,063
Public policy reforms and indigenous forest governance: The case of the Yuracaré people in Bolivia
Rosario León, Patricia Uberhuaga, Jean Paul Benavides, Krister Andersson
April-June 2012, 10(2):195-207
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97493  
The recent surge in the efforts to reform forest governance-both through decentralisation and tenure reforms-has been coupled by an increase in empirical studies that assess the virtues and limitations of the new regimes. Despite an increasing body of literature, however, there is still limited knowledge about the effects of these reforms on the indigenous groups and their forest governance institutions. This study seeks to contribute to the empirical literature by analysing how policy reforms in Bolivia have affected one indigenous territory, its inhabitants, their de facto property rights regime, and their consequent efforts to govern their forest resources. The case study, about forest use decisions and actions among the Yuracaré people in the Bolivian lowlands, is an example of what the Amerindian indigenous societies face in terms of both opportunities and limitations associated with the implementation of formalised de jure rights over forests. We pay particular attention to the effects of the 1996 forestry reforms on the institutional conditions for governing common-pool forests resources. The study draws on primary field data that were collected both before and after the implementation of the reforms. We find that the introduction of formal rights has led to increased security in tenure rights and the emergence of more opportunities for diversifying the sources of income for the Yuracaré people. But there are also significant costs associated with the achievement of these benefits. The reforms induced the Yuracaré people to integrate with the surrounding public and private economies, but we find that these interactions have strained traditional governance arrangements.
  2 2,923 443
Secondary level organisations and the democratisation of forest governance: Case studies from Nepal and Guatemala
Naya Sharma Paudel, Iliana Monterroso, Peter Cronkleton
April-June 2012, 10(2):124-135
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97485  
This paper examines the emerging role of secondary level organisations in the democratisation of forest governance by analysing two cases of forest-based collective action in Nepal and Guatemala. It explores the conditions surrounding the emergence and growth of these secondary level organisations, and examines the nature of their organisational approaches, strategic actions, and the resulting outcomes in terms of democratising forest governance. The organisations discussed in this paper are products of broader decentralisation processes and represent organised and empowered forest people. They are capable of shifting the balance of power in favour of community level institutions, and can compel state agencies to become more accountable to the needs of forest-dependent citizens. As a result, by leading collective action beyond the community to a secondary level, these organisations have influenced forest governance by making it more democratic, equitable and productive.
  2 3,974 691
From communal forests to protected areas: The implications of tenure changes in natural resource management in Guatemala
Silvel Elías
April-June 2012, 10(2):151-160
DOI:10.4103/0972-4923.97487  
Protected area initiatives have sometimes led to conflicts with indigenous peoples who depend on forests for their livelihoods. This article examines the efforts to promote formal protection in the communal forests of the Guatemalan highlands. It analyses the institutional mechanisms used to create protected areas in the context of a history of profound inequity and of Guatemala's new law recognising the existence of communal lands for the first time. Rather than supporting communal institutions and land rights, however, conservation efforts have strengthened the role of municipal governments, leading to fundamental changes in local governance and livelihood strategies and displacing community participation in natural resource management. The article responds to the following questions: What is the relationship between conservation discourse and the demands of indigenous peoples? How are the daily local practices of natural resource access and use modified with the creation of protected areas? What implications do these processes have on local territorial management institutions? And how can conservation mechanisms be designed to strengthen indigenous peoples' rights?
  - 2,146 482
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