Decentralization: Issues, Lessons and Reflections (Manuscript Draft)

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"Decentralization of forest governance has been defined and implemented in different ways in a variety of contexts around the world. It has had varying results and impacts both on forests and on different groups of stakeholders with interests in these resources. Although the details may vary, countries' experiences with decentralization include some remarkably similar patterns, particularly in the aspects that appear to contribute to the success of failure of decentralization efforts. "The International Workshop on Decentralization at Interlaken, Switzerland, in April 2004 featured and shared lessons from different countries' experience with decentralization of forest governance. This chapter distills some of the main issues and insights woven through the papers and captures important ideas highlighted during the various sessions of the workshop. It summarizes the patterns that have emerged and reviews how decentralization looks in practice, as opposed to in theory. The chapter also briefly reviews the implications of decentralization for forests and biodiversity conversation. Finally, the chapter notes common challenges and concludes with lessons and observations."
forest management, forest policy, environmental protection, decentralization, governance and politics, biodiversity, conservation, stakeholders