Community based forestry

Almost one-third of the world's forest area is now estimated to be under some form of community-based management, notes FAO report.

According "Forty years of community based forestry: A review of extent and effectiveness", a report published by FAO in February 2016; the true potential of community based forestry is yet to be unlocked.

The report perceives that while community-based forestry has shown itself to be a potent vehicle for promoting sustainable forest management, reducing poverty and generating jobs and income for rural communities; unlocking its true potential will require greater support by governments through policy reforms and other measures.

Moreover, taking into account that almost one-third of the world's forest area is now estimated to be under some form of community-based management; a partnership between local communities  and governments could play a lead role in making land-use decisions and managing the forestry resources they depend on for their livelihoods beneficial.

However the report notes that  while in practice policies may exist for the decentralisation and devolution of rights and responsibilities to communities, the right conditions may not yet be in place for them to fully exercise their rights. 

The report therefore, outlines a series of actions needed to make community-based forestry more effective, including providing communities with secure forest tenure, improving regulatory frameworks, and transferring appropriate and viable skills and technology.

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(FAO/Ob)