DRY FOREST - Center for International Forestry Research

Forestry Double Standards

Introduction

This is a project on double standards of forest management. Several studies have observed that while urban-based government and private sector interests are given commercial rights to exploit forests and to sell forest products, local populations are rarely able to obtain such rights. The work is based on cases of forest use and wildlife management by government, the private sector, and communities in Burkina Faso and Mali. The work identifies key criteria (levels of approval, intensity of monitoring, checks and balances, access to recourse, extensiveness of social information, etc.) and compares the level of theoretical standards that are imposed on village forestry versus state forestry, the level of actual implementation of the standards, and the outcomes of different management regimes. It compares the barriers to entry created by forestry and other regulatory policies for local communities and for outside commercial interests. It explores how unequal access develops in policy and its implementation, enabling outside commercial interests to exploit and profit from these resources while blocking commercial opportunities for the local communities living in and around forests. The work develops recommendations for reform and improvement that might enable rural populations to derive greater benefits from the resources they depend on.

The work is funded by WRI.