Local Enforcement as a Critical Driver for Sustainability of Forests

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Date
2008
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Abstract
"A large number of variables may potentially determine the success or failure of community-based forest management. Yet the success in finding critical drivers has remained elusive. A research network called International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) through its large-N studies is attempting to precisely resolve this issue. Although the larger question is not fully settled, local enforcement has emerged as one of the most important determinants of sustainable governance of forests and protected areas. Drawing on the recent work of Chhatre and Agrawal (2008) this policy-brief provides justification for instituting local monitoring and enforcement systems in the field. The new research clearly shows that even when a number of other factors are taken into account, higher levels of local enforcement can result in improved regeneration and lower the possibility of forest degradation across a variety of ecological, economic and social contexts. This understanding has immediate practical utility in the field. We are now at a juncture when enough science is available to persuade practitioners to craft robust systems of monitoring and enforcement. Practitioners themselves have argued earlier that given the stakes and complexity involved, the crux of the sustainability of joint forest management is the proper monitoring and adaptation. IFRI study should provide us a conclusive evidence for giving the desired thrust for local monitoring to generate context-specific knowledge, and local enforcement to link that knowledge to action."
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sustainability, monitoring and sanctioning, community forestry, Joint Forest Management, IFRI
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