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Local Governments and Forests in the Bolivian Lowlands

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Johnson, James; Kaimowitz, David; Pacheco, Pablo; Vallejos, Christian; Pavez, Iciar; Velez, Roger
Date: 1999
Agency: Rural Development Forestry Network, Overseas Development Institute, London, UK
Series: RDFN Network Paper 24b
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/3710
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): forest management
state and local governance
decentralization
Abstract: "This paper evaluates Bolivia's recent experience of giving municipal governments a role in forest management. It first provides background information on Bolivia's decentralisation policies, including the 1994 Popular Participation Law and the 1996 Forestry Law. It then presents case studies of four specific municipalities: Ascencion de Guarayos, Rurrenabaque, Villa Tunara and San Ignacio de Velasco. It concludes that decentralisation has created new opportunities for marginal groups, but they have not always been able to take advantage of those opportunities. Municipal forest reserves could provide small-scale loggers with greater access to forest resources, yet institutional, technical, and organisational constraints impede their full implementation. Local government municipalities are interested in forest issues but their capacity to address them remains limited. While they show signs of interest in sustainable forest management, they are unlikely in the short term to make major progress on reducing deforestation, regulating concession management, or improving small farmer timber management."

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