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Decentralization in Forestry

Perspectives from Guatemala, the Philippines and Zimbabwe

Throughout the world, local and regional governments are becoming increasingly involved in forest-related issues. In some cases such growing dynamism reflects government policies designed to decentralize forest governance and forest management. In other cases it reflects initiatives of local and regional governments themselves, including communities living in and surrounding forest areas, and the increasing power, leverage and resources they have.

In light of this trend, the Governments of Switzerland and Indonesia and CIFOR organized a country-led initiative on experiences with decision-making in decentralizing in Interlaken, Switzerland, on April 26-30, 2004. 

The workshop considered how to effectively incorporate the participation of large and diverse groups in national forest program or similar processes.

To contribute to the dialogue at the workshop, PROFOR sponsored a Community Round Table discussion where challenges related to decentralization at the community level were discussed. Through case studies from Guatemala, Zimbabwe and the Philippines, the round table looked at:

  • managing shifts in power balances,
  • how the voices of local people are heard (or not)
  • and decentralized protected area management.

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Author : Switzerland, Indonesia and CIFOR
Last Updated : 02-24-2017