Community forestry is an evolving branch of forestry whereby the local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision making by themselves in the facilitating support of government as well as change agents. It involves the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders including community, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The level of involvement of each of these groups is dependent on the specific community forest project, the management system in use and the region. It gained prominence in the mid-1970s and examples of community forestry can now be seen in many countries including Nepal, Indonesia, Korea, Brazil, India and North America.
Community forestry is a branch of forestry that deals with the communal management of forests for generating income from timber and non-timber forest products as forms of goods while in other hand regulating ecosystem, downstream settlements benefits from watershed conservation, carbon sequestration and aesthetic values as in forms of services. It has been considered one of the most promising options of combining forest conservation with rural development and community empowerment and poverty reduction objectives. Community forestry is defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations as "any situation that intimately involves local people in forestry activity". Community forestry exists when the local community in an area plays a significant role in land use decision-making and when the community is satisfied with its involvement and benefits from the management of the surrounding forest and its resources. Community forestry is deepened by SPERI via the concept of spirit forest where is source and space for maintaining livelihood identity and cultural values of local communities.
Community forestry is first implemented through the establishment of a legal and institutional framework including the revision of legal norms and regulations for forest management, the development of National Forest Plans and the strengthening of decentralization processes to sub-national levels of government. The second principal line of action is the implementation of pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of the community forestry framework. However, a study by the Overseas Development Institute shows that the technical, managerial and financial requirements stipulated by the framework are often incompatible with local realities and interests. A successful legal and institutional framework will incorporate the strengthening of existing institutions and enable the dissemination of locally appropriate practices as well as the local capacity for regulation and control.
Community forestry first came to prominence in the mid-1970s and has continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number of countries. The availability of forest resources are often greatly reduced for use by the local people due to increasing pressures to cultivate the land, reliance on the forest resources are also affected by economic and political changes. The evolution of community forestry in Nepal dates back to the late 1970s and was first instilled as an attempt to improve the management of forest resources and address environmental issues that were of great concern with the countries failing centralized forest policy. Over the past two decades, community forestry has been applied successfully in many developing countries, with its main goal being the alleviation of poverty amongst local forest communities and forest conservation. More recently, community forestry has been implemented in developing countries and it has been successful in its aims of sustainable forest management, climate change adaptation plan of action, and securing socio-economic benefits for local communities.
There is a large variety of stakeholders involved when considering community forestry. Participation from some of the various levels of community, government and non-government organisations (NGOs) are essential in the project's success. While specific stakeholders vary between different community forestry projects the primary stakeholder groups are as follows:
|Communities living adjacent to or within the forest|
|Traditional leaderships including village chief, elderly, clan heads, and spiritual leaderships|
|Community-based organisations including forest users groups, networks of inter-villages forest protection, etc.|
|Community representatives / local councils|
|Departments of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment etc.
(specific the country and/or region)
|Commercial forestry industries|
|Industries reliant on forests
(i.e. harvestable products other than wood, e.g. game meat)
|Animal welfare groups|
Stakeholders of community forestry have a vested interest to establish sustainable practices, whether this be to develop and maintain a regular income, ensure that forests are sufficiently protected to ensure their longevity or to reduce illegal activities and manage the area in such a way to promote tourism and conservation. In this situation, stakeholders came to conclusion to handover forest resources to local communities for conserving, managing and utilization by their own decision. Despite significant development, continued improvement in the collaboration between local governments and forest communities seems to be a key point for better community forest management. A wide range of futures scenarios have been put up to help the environmental decision process.
A study conducted in the Brazilian Amazon determined that there are a number of challenges that must be faced when developing a sustainable management strategy for community forestry. These challenges are outlined in Table 2 and Figure 1 shows the impact each management challenge has on other obstacles. The model is segregated into two phases: the development phase during which several enabling factors (land ownership, organisational capacity, technical knowledge and capital) are needed to obtain a legal management permit and secondly the operational phase where factors (clandestine loggers, access to markets, infrastructure and managerial skills) influence the successfulness of the management program. Each of the challenges outlined in Table 1 must be addressed in order for a self-sustaining community forestry management program to be established.
|Land ownership||It is not uncommon for small settlements living traditionally to lack clear title to the forests and lands, as such their rights to harvest the land may come into dispute. Formal recognition of land ownership or rights to use is needed for legal forest management. In Nepal, there is still confusion to communities about their tenure into services such as income from trading of carbon sequestration come from forestry resources. Government wants to hold revenue raised from trading of carbon but communities claim that it is our property due tobe managed by us.|
|Organizational capacity||Organizational capacity refers to the community's competence to organize a forest management program.|
|Capital||A community will require start-up capital to invest in the required infrastructure, equipment, and to hire a forester to organise and oversee management plans.|
|Technical knowledge||While it is common for community members have a thorough understanding of forest ecology in a natural and historical sense, they often lack the technical knowledge and legal certification required to manage forest resources legally.|
|Legal management||Community forestry needs to be based on a legal management plan, prepared and approved by the relevant government authority (usually state environment agencies). Approval of the management plan can often be a long, bureaucratic process.|
|Clandestine loggers||Clandestine (illegal) loggers can enter a region and illegally log valuable species without the community's consent, and without a legal management plan. Illegal harvesting often significantly degrades the forest as few limitations are observed by the illegal loggers. Communities are either robbed of their valuable timber, or are paid below market prices.|
|Market access||Small villages that are often the focus of community forestry initiatives generally have limited access to markets due to their physical isolation, precarious transport and communication, limited contact with buyers and lack of marketing knowledge. Often they will also face difficulties competing with large-scale operations and illegal timber that flood the market with cheaper products.|
|Infrastructure||Forest management, for all types of enterprise, requires a certain amount of physical infrastructure, such as roads, logging equipment, buildings for storage and management headquarters and/or a reliable power supply.|
|Managerial skills||Skills related to effective management of the program, business knowhow and entrepreneurial ability, day-to-day decision-making, marketing skills, ability to resolve internal conflicts, and ensuring community benefit sharing are often lacked in rural villages.|
|Economic returns||The result of inadequacies in management is small and often insufficient economic returns to keep the program afloat, and furthermore to keep the community interested in the activity.|
Table 2. Challenges faced by stakeholders managing forests
For a conservation program within a Community forest to succeed, community involvement is imperative. Governments with interest in forest conservation introduce statewide policies and legislations which have historically failed to deliver the desired outcomes such as in China, Nepal and Peru. Moreover, no single stakeholder by itself can ensure the success of such a program.
Though there is a little research on the role of community forestry to wildlife conservation, some empirical studies suggests that it help in wildlife conservation. It is done by decreasing the human disturbance, increasing regeneration of forest and increasing of ground cover.
Common land in Nepal is owned by the state which often does not have the capacity to monitor and manage the area. This often leads to the over use of the resources by the community due to lack of incentives. To overcome this, programs involving community participation were introduced and 'Forest User Groups' (FUG) formed to manage the forests resources without giving them ownership of the land. Community forest management system in Nepal becomes one of the successful program out of 8 around world that is recognized on Rio 20+. This has resulted in better outcomes in the region.
Villagers from three communities in Bantaeng district in Indonesia, with the assistance of a funded project obtained a Forest management license and secured a 35-year lease on their local forest. With the incentive to preserve their source of income, the villagers have had a positive impact on forest conservation. This is now viewed as a reference model for the Ministry of Forestry's future projects.
Farmers enter into a profit sharing contract with the 'Village Forestry Association' (VFA) to form a cooperative which assists farmers with reforestation in keeping with the legislation. VFA, though loosely linked to the Office of Forestry enjoys a degree of autonomy facilitating community participation. This system demonstrates the desirable mix of top-down and bottom-up planning ensuring government control as well as effective reforestation through active community participation.
As it is unlikely for any two areas to have identical socio-economic and environmental conditions, there is no blueprint management plan that would provide a blanket solution to all the problems. Based on research over several years in Nepal, it was noted that to have and effective management system, we need to identify variables which would affect the success of the system and group them into the following five sets:
In some cases, it is unrealistic to expect progress in a community level management of forest activities, as often conflict arise with respect to land use and benefit sharing within the community. Such issues can be overcome by recognising that a community level of management may not be the most effective management technique. Instead, adopting the following approach will provide a solution –
Faith communities are increasingly participating in efforts to promote ecological sustainability. Whereas the last 50–100 years has seen them lease out their territory to industry, they are beginning to reclaim and restore this land. Their recognition amongst local and national authorities have allowed community forestry schemes to develop and there have been several highly successful efforts across Cambodia, which have been extended to Vietnam and Laos. In September 2010, Buddhists monks were awarded the UNDP's Equator Prize for their ongoing conservation work. This comprises the establishment of tree nurseries, seedling distribution, ordination activities, composting schemes and a vegetable garden. They are using this work to promote sustainable living and conservation throughout three districts; the pilot project, launched in 1997 in Kratie consists of a six pagoda network that covers 1,461 hectares (3,610 acres). The site has become a valuable source of information and environmental education as well as a base for the local community. Villagers regularly hold panel discussions about how they can go on to best take advantage of what the natural forest has to offer without destroying it.
Tree growing can take on the characteristics of a crop where there is a market for wood products such as poles, fuel wood and, pulp for production of paper. Companies tie up with farmers for supply of these products giving a steady source of income to the farming community. For example, in Philippines, over 3000 farmers cultivate trees for pulp production for an industry that provides a market as well as a minimum price for the product, and Cooperatives of Village Forestry Association in Korea have helped local communities cater to a growing market in forest products such as timber and mushrooms.
Amaná National Forest (Portuguese: Floresta Nacional do Amaná) is a national forest in the state of Pará, Brazil. Most of it has been allocated for use in sustainable forestry or community forestry. Mining is allowed.Commons
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit. Characteristically, this involves a variety of informal norms and values (social practice) employed for a governance mechanism.
Commons can be also defined as a social practice of governing a resource not by state or market but by a community of users that self-governs the resource through institutions that it creates .Community Forestry International
Community Forestry International, Inc. also known as CFI, is a non-profit organization that helps communities regenerate and preserve forests.Community forestry in Nepal
The community forestry program in Nepal is a government effort to reduce forest degradation and to promote sustainable forestry practices as well as to improve the livelihood of the community. It incorporates distinct policies, institutions and practices. The two main goals of the community forestry program is to empower local communities whilst encouraging environmental conservation benefits on the Himalayan forests.Nepal has become one of the first developing nations to adopt a community forestry management program which gives authority to the community and groups to manage forest resources. As a result, Nepal now stands as one of the leaders in community based forest management as they have made direct progress in halting environmental degradation and by regenerating forests in barren areas. Studies have proven the potential benefits that community forestry will have in combatting environmental degradation as well as utilizing resource in a sufficient manner.Deforestation in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the world's most forest endowed countries that has not yet been drastically deforested. However, massive deforestation for economic development threatens its forests and ecosystems. As of 2005, the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, third only to Nigeria and Vietnam, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The Cambodian government has played a large role in shaping the use of the country's forests. An unusually large area of Cambodia has been designated as protected areas, about 20% of the total land mass, but many protections have subsequently been overruled by concessions sold to both national and foreign companies for agricultural and industrial developments, even in national parks. The government has been broadly criticized domestically and internationally for these contradicting policies, and a general lack of enforcement of environmental laws. They have faced pressures to practice a more sustainable forestry overall. The fate of Cambodia's forests will largely affect local communities that rely on the forests for their livelihood.
Deforestation has directly resulted from poorly managed commercial logging, fuel wood collection, agricultural invasion, and infrastructure and urban development. Indirect pressures include rapid population growth, inequalities in land tenure, lack of agriculture technology, and limited employment opportunities.Cambodia's primary forest cover fell dramatically from over 70% in 1970 at the end of the Vietnam War to just 3.1% in 2007. Deforestation is proceeding at an alarming rate, with a total forest loss at nearly 75% since the end of the 1990s. In total, Cambodia lost 25,000 square kilometres of forest between 1990 and 2005, 3,340 square kilometres of which was primary forest. As of 2007, less than 3,220 square kilometres of primary forest remain, with the result that the future sustainability of Cambodia's forest reserves is under severe threat.Deforestation in Nepal
Deforestation in Nepal has always been a serious issue, which has a severe effect on the lives of poor people. In the past, Nepal was a widely forested nation. However now with the requirement for the extension of rural areas, migration of hills people to the plains, the developing regional interest for timber, and the local residents dependence on firewood as the essential source of energy, less than 30% of the nation's forest cover remains. Due to the continuous deforestation in Nepal, many people and creatures are dying. Around 70 percent of the people in Nepal work in agriculture, even if it is difficult to farm in the prevailing unfavourable weather conditions.Forest management
Forest management is a branch of forestry concerned with overall administrative, economic, legal, and social aspects, as well as scientific and technical aspects, such as silviculture, protection, and forest regulation. This includes management for aesthetics, fish, recreation, urban values, water, wilderness, wildlife, wood products, forest genetic resources, and other forest resource values. Management can be based on conservation, economics, or a mixture of the two. Techniques include timber extraction, planting and replanting of various species, cutting roads and pathways through forests, and preventing fire.Index of forestry articles
This article is the index of forestry topics.Lethbridge, Newfoundland and Labrador
The community of Lethbridge (48°22′06″N 53°52′10″W) is located 20 km (12 mi) from Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador along Route 234, on the Cabot Highway, to Bonavista, and has a population of roughly 900 and is an unincorporated community.
Forestry (including pulp and saw mills) is a main industry in the area, as well as the farming of such crops as: potatoes, carrots, turnips, cabbage and various berries. There is limited poultry and beef production.National Urban Forestry Unit
The National Urban Forestry Unit (known as NUFU) was a British charity established in 1995 to promote urban forestry. It was a charitable organisation which worked to raise awareness of the positive contribution that trees make to the quality of life in towns. It championed urban and community forestry to those tackling such issues as public health, leisure and recreation, land reclamation, built development, heritage and education. It was wound up in 2005.
The National Urban Forestry Unit's aims were: To increase awareness, understanding and popular support for trees in towns; to encourage a strategic approach to the development of urban forestry; to promote technical excellence, research, innovation and best value in all aspects of urban forestry; to provide a national focus for the exchange of information and good practice in urban forestry; and to champion the work of the growing number of UK urban and community forestry projects
NUFU evolved from the smaller Black Country Urban Forestry Unit into a national charity. Its greatest achievement was the Black Country Urban Forest a programme of urban forestry supported by the Millennium Commission which achieved 362 hectares of new woodland planting across the Black Country.
NUFU also produced a series of case studies of best practice in urban forestry, now preserved in an online archive by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black CountryNebraska Forest Service
The Nebraska Forest Service is the state forestry agency for the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Forest Service serves the citizens on Nebraska by operating with the mission to provide services and education to the people of Nebraska for the protection, utilization and enhancement of the State's tree, forest and other natural resources. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Nebraska Forest Service is embedded within the Institution of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Nepal
Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल, ISO:Nēpāl), officially Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south, east and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic country with Nepali as the official language.
The name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, and was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy.The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, affirms Nepal as a secular federal parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces. Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, and friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of which it is a founding member. Nepal is also a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. The military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia; it is notable for its Gurkha history, particularly during the world wars, and has been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations.RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests
RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on capacity building for community forestry in the Asia Pacific region. It advocates for the increased involvement of local communities living in and around forests - some 450 million people in Asia-Pacific - in the equitable and ecologically sustainable management of forest landscapes. The Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC) opened in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 1987 with support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Government of Switzerland (through the Asian Development Bank), and Thailand's Kasetsart University.Originally a regional training and research hub for community forestry, RECOFTC now works on the ground through a network of strategic partnerships with governments, NGOs, development organizations and local people throughout Asia-Pacific, and has worked in parts of Africa. In 1999, a charter was developed with a proposal to turn RECOFTC into an international organization, which was signed by seven countries (all the Mekong countries and Switzerland). In 2000, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) signed an agreement with RECOFTC that formally recognized the Center as an autonomous international organization.Training, capacity building and other learning activities remain central to RECOFTC's work, now complemented with on-the-ground projects, policy work, and strategic communications. In 2009, the organization adopted the new name RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests to reflect this broader scope of work.To strengthen its regional program, RECOFTC established country program offices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam in 2010.Social forestry in India
Social forestry means the management and protection of forest and afforestation of barren and deforested lands with the purpose of helping environmental, social and rural development.
The term, social forestry, was first used in 1976 by The National Commission on Agriculture, Government of India. It was then that India embarked upon the social forestry project with the aim of taking the pressure off currently existing forests by planting trees on all unused and fallow land.
Social forestry is basically for the people by the people and of the people approach. it is therefore a democratic approach of forest conservation and usage.Terai
The Terai (Hindi: तराई Nepali: तराइ) is a lowland region in southern Nepal and northern India that lies south of the outer foothills of the Himalayas, the Siwalik Hills, and north of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. This lowland belt is characterised by tall grasslands, scrub savannah, sal forests and clay rich swamps. In northern India, the Terai spreads from the Yamuna River eastward across Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Terai is part the Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion. The corresponding lowland region in West Bengal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Assam in the Brahmaputra River basin is called 'Dooars'.
In Nepal, the Terai stretches over 33,998.8 km2 (13,127.0 sq mi), about 23.1% of Nepal's land area, and lies at an altitude of between 67 and 300 m (220 and 984 ft). The region comprises more than 50 wetlands. North of the Terai rises the Bhabhar, a narrow but continuous belt of forest about 8–12 km (5.0–7.5 mi) wide.TreePeople
TreePeople is a California based nonprofit environmental advocacy group located in Los Angeles.TreePeople promotes sustainable urban ecosystems in the Greater Los Angeles area through education, support for volunteer community-based action, and advocacy. It focuses on increasing the region's urban forest by supporting people in planting and caring for trees at homes, on school yards, and in neighborhoods. It also supports volunteers in restoring damaged local forest ecosystems in the Santa Monica Mountains, Angeles National Forest and San Bernardino National Forest.Beyond simply planting and caring for trees, TreePeople works to promote urban watershed management, using green infrastructure to address critical urban water issues. It educates and advocates for water conservation and stormwater capture in the urban landscape for Los Angeles' long-term sustainability.
Andy Lipkis founded TreePeople at age 18 in 1973, and remains its President today. With thousands of members and volunteers and more than 50 staff members, TreePeople operates out of the Center for Community Forestry at 45-acre Coldwater Canyon Park.Urban forestry
Urban forestry is the care and management of single trees and tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. Urban forestry advocates the role of trees as a critical part of the urban infrastructure. Urban foresters plant and maintain trees, support appropriate tree and forest preservation, conduct research and promote the many benefits trees provide. Urban forestry is practiced by municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, city planners, consultants, educators, researchers and community activists.Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) is a private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. WPC has contributed land to 12 state parks and conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands. The Conservancy plants and maintains more than 132 gardens in 20 Western Pennsylvania counties, as well as planting thousands of trees through its community forestry program. WPC has protected or restored more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of rivers and streams. In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann Jr. entrusted Frank Lloyd Wright's masterwork Fallingwater to the Conservancy. The house was called the most important building of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects.
Charity Navigator awarded the Conservancy its highest rating for the seventh year. Of the thousands of charities the independent evaluator has reviewed, only 2 percent have received as many consecutive four-star ratings.Wombat State Forest
The Wombat State Forest (locally: Bullarook) is located 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, between Woodend and Daylesford, at the Great Dividing Range. The forest is approximately 70,000 hectares (170,000 acres) in size and sits upon Ordovician or Cenozoic sediments. The Bullarook Wombat State Forest was proclaimed in 1871.The only initiative in Australia to introduce community forestry, within the internationally understood context, is in the Wombat State Forest. It is managed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment. The management plan covers several areas such as firewood and other products; protection of water supplies, conservation of biodiversity, and conservation of landscape. Other areas of importance include cultural heritage, research, education, tourism, recreation, mineral exploration, mining, and grazing.