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Forests 2015, 6(10), 3433-3451; doi:10.3390/f6103433

An Uneven Playing Field: Regulatory Barriers to Communities Making a Living from the Timber from Their Forests–Examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam

1
RECOFTC-The Center for People and Forests, P.O. Box 1111, Kasetsart Post Office, 10903 Bangkok, Thailand
2
Forest Action, Nakhu, Lalitpur, P.O. Box 12207, 44700 Kathmandu, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wil de Jong, Pia Katila, Glenn Galloway and Pablo Pacheco
Received: 7 August 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 24 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Incentives and Constraints of Community and Smallholder Forestry)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [450 KB, uploaded 29 September 2015]

Abstract

Community forestry (CF) is widely viewed as the solution to many of the challenges facing forest management and governance in the Asia-Pacific region. However, it is often felt that CF is not delivering on its potential. This paper focuses on one possible limitation: the role of regulations in curbing communities’ ability to make a living from their timber resources. The work covers Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam, using policy analyses, national level experts’ workshops, and focus group discussions in two CF sites in each country. The results highlight the fact that there are numerous, often prohibitive, regulations in place. One challenge is the regulations’ complexity, often requiring a level of capacity far beyond the ability of community members and local government staff. The paper puts forward various recommendations including simplifying regulations and making them more outcome-based, and facilitating key stakeholders, including government and community based organizations, working together on the design and piloting of forest monitoring based on mutually agreed forest management outcomes. The recommendations reflect the belief that for CF to succeed, communities must be allowed to make a meaningful living from their forests, a result of which would be increased investment in sustainable forest management. View Full-Text
Keywords: Community forestry; commercialization; forest regulations; livelihoods; sustainable forest management Community forestry; commercialization; forest regulations; livelihoods; sustainable forest management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gritten, D.; Greijmans, M.; Lewis, S.R.; Sokchea, T.; Atkinson, J.; Quang, T.N.; Poudyal, B.; Chapagain, B.; Sapkota, L.M.; Mohns, B.; Paudel, N.S. An Uneven Playing Field: Regulatory Barriers to Communities Making a Living from the Timber from Their Forests–Examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam. Forests 2015, 6, 3433-3451.

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