Reducing Poverty through Community Based Forest Management in Asia

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"Recent years have seen a growing interest in the role and potential of community based forest management (CBFM)1 as a vehicle for poverty reduction. Some analysts suggest that CBFM initiatives have limited potential for poverty reduction because they are prone to elite capture; focus on low value, degraded forests; emphasise forests rather than integrated NR based livelihood development; and because of the high transaction costs facing the poorest of the poor in harnessing high-value goods such as timber. This paper proposes that CBFM has the potential to help the poor cope with or even begin to move out of poverty, but this potential is as yet only partially realised. We examine the issues involved in promoting CBFM as a vehicle for poverty reduction and review selected pro-poor approaches to CBFM in the Asian region. We conclude that there are three key areas in which more work is needed by CBFM professionals in order to harness the poverty reduction potential of community forestry: governance, appropriate enterprise development and integrated approaches."



CBRM, livelihoods, community forestry, poverty alleviation