ACM was a major CIFOR program from 1998 until the mid-2000s. It evolved out of two previous projects: Assessing Sustainable Forest Management: A Test of Criteria and Indicators, led by Ravi Prabhu; and Local Livelihoods, Community Forests, and Devolution, led by Eva Wollenberg.

CIFOR’s definition of adaptive collaborative management

ACM is a value-adding approach whereby people who have interests in a forest agree to act together to plan, observe and learn from the implementation of their plans while recognising that plans often fail to achieve their stated objectives. ACM is characterised by conscious efforts among such groups to communicate, collaborate, negotiate, and seek out opportunities to learn collectively about the impacts of their actions. Working with a given group of people requires involving other people acting on other scales—usually at least one level down and one level up (e.g., user groups within a community and district officials). Effective facilitation can act as a catalyst to empower communities to improve their own conditions, both human and environmental.

ACM team members, including both CIFOR researchers and partners, conducted participatory action research in a dozen countries around the world and produced a vast array of materials (tools, descriptions, analyses, policy briefs, etc.) that have proved useful in a number of subsequent projects. We hope to make these products available to the readers of this web page as well.

The following nine realms of current action at CIFOR and beyond represent examples wherein the ACM research has contributed to moving our empowerment goals forwards. They demonstrate some aspects of the evolution of the approach and expanded uses.

Modelling Methods and Tools Conflict Studies Rights Resources Decentralisation Climate Change Adaptation Landscape Biodiversity and Livelihoods Collective Action Grassroots Networking

These realms (with the appropriate contact person) include:

1) Methods and Tools (Linda Yuliani,

2) Decentralisation (Moira Moeliono,

3) Modelling (Herry Purnomo,

4) Conflict Studies (Yurdi Yasmi,

5) Grassroots Networking (Peter Cronkleton,

6) Collective Action (Heru Komarudin,

7) Rights and Resources (Elena Petkova,

8) Landscape Biodiversity and Livelihoods (Jean-Laurent Pfund,

9) Climate Change Adaptation (Bruno Locatelli,

To find those involved in the original 11-country program, go to ACM Team Members. They represent a cadre of people knowledgeable about the approach.