Over the past 20 years, forest governance models that consider a certain degree of participation of lower level governments and the rural population have gradually gained ground.
The reasoning behind this shift is that local people, including local government officials, are believed to have an interest in sustainable natural resource management because local resources are the basis of their existence.
However, the practical implementation of locally based management arrangements has led to a variety of challenges that may limit their potential.
Also, the general environment for local forest management models is changing rapidly. International policies on climate change and illegal timber trade as well as the development of the carbon market lead to competing claims on the natural resources controlled by local actors, e.g. timber and carbon resources. Rapid changes associated with policies, markets, demographics and in some places, conflict, will increasingly challenge local forest management institutions.
Towards effective decentralized and local forestry arrangements
Within the context of these general questions and challenges, TBI contributes policy-relevant and practical information to the debate and the practice of decentralized and local forest governance. Our aim is to inform the development of effective decentralized and local forest management arrangements (including ownership and tenure), address weaknesses in current arrangements, and improve the way local and / or community interests are weighed in governmental, non-governmental and corporate policies related to natural resources, in the partner countries.
In particular, we are interested in
- The potential of alternative livelihoods schemes to provide sustainable local livelihoods for large numbers of poor people.
- The effects of REDD+ and other international regimes on community tenure, access to resources and benefit sharing
- The role of local institutions in the development of effective community forestry models
- The potential of community-based forest enterprises in driving sustainable local economic development.