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Local forest management: The impacts of devolution policies

Local forest management

Edited by David Edmunds and Eva Wollenberg
Published by Earthscan
Website: www.earthscan.co.uk
2003, 208pp, ISBN 1 84407 023 9(Pb), £19.99/$32.50

Devolution of forest management, as of other natural resources management, has been the trend for the last two decades. Among the assumptions driving this change was that "devolution would bring the large numbers of rural poor who live in or near forests better access to forests and more self-determination in decisions about local resources". This book reports impact studies to examine whether this has been the case, with particular focus on effects on the lives of the poorest people and other disadvantaged groups such as women and ethnic minorities. The case studies were carried out in the three Asian countries with the longest experience with devolution - China, India and the Philippines. The findings are mixed, but a significant conclusion is that in fact "devolution often has the opposite effect from that intended, resulting in a decrease in local control over resources rather than an increase". This book adds constructively to the debate on the future of natural resource management and the best ways to ensure benefits for the poorest people who rely directly on local resources.

Date published: September 2004


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