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Win-win approaches to development and the environment: Forest stewardship contracts: Trees for land access

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: USAID, Center for Development Information and Evaluation

This paper is a synthesis of a larger USAID report, Forestry and the Environment: An Assessment of USAID Support for Farm and Community Forestry (1995). It highlights USAID efforts in the Philippines, Nepal, Gambia and Costa Rica. Developing-country governments are finding they cannot save dwindling forest resources by patrolling and repressing encroachment for logging and farming. They have neither the budgets nor the human resources to convert forests into fortresses. Creating local partnership with governments appears essential. With USAID support, several countries have begun to employ formal agreements or contracts with local communities and indigenous groups for managing forest resources. In exchange for greater control over and longer-term access to forest resources under their stewardship, local communities and user groups have demonstrated a willingness to take back the forests and manage them on a sustainable basis. From USAID's experiences, the following were identified as outstanding issues in the development of forest stewardship contracts: The lack of confidence and trust in public officials poses a major obstacle to the formation of stewardship contracts between local groups and government institutions;The common role of enforcement and policing by government agencies in these countries must be changed to one of forest extension in order to facilitate the development of stewardship contracts;Uncertainty in the distribution of benefits to local communities, particularly those without short-term income and protection from loss;ack of contract administration and organization skills among local groups.

Author(s): USAID , Center for Development Information and Evaluation

Publication Date: 1996

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