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Forest devolution and social capital

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: Francisco Magno

This journal article examines how state-civil society interactions have shaped forest devolution policies in Philippines. Since the 1970s, policy reforms transferring greater forest authority to local communities have contributed to the growth of reform advocates inside government and their strategic interactions with civil society organizations. The author examines the impacts of these state-civil society interactions in the following context: How different stakeholders affect authority structures in the forest zones; The extent to which local communities, with the support of civil society organizations, are able to expand their opportunities to decide the fate of forest under contemporary laws and policies; The role of social capital as an institutional asset in improving local participation and capacity in forest governance. The author argues that the effective implementation of forest devolution depends on the preparedness and capacity of local communities to exercise forest authority and management functions. Moreover, he suggests that local communities should be adept not only in agroforestry and enterprise management but also in negotiating resource conflicts inside and outside the community. Community residents should be vigilant in ensuring that transparency and democratic participation is exercised in the management of devolved forest zones.

Author(s): Francisco Magno

Location: Philippines

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