Access to state-owned forests critical for rural smallholders, study finds

A villager cuts down small trees using a machete in Orellana Province, Ecuador. A new study explores how forest tenure influences the ability of rural households to generate income from forests. Tomas Munita/CIFOR photo

A villager cuts down small trees using a machete in Orellana Province, Ecuador. A new study explores how forest tenure influences the ability of rural households to generate income from forests. Tomas Munita/CIFOR photo

BOGOR, Indonesia — A global study on the relationship between forest income and tenure has found that state-owned forests generate more income for rural smallholders than private or community forests.

“The findings are unexpected because there is a lot of literature emphasizing that community forests are most important, especially for poor people,” said Pam Jagger, principal author and a scientist at the University of North Carolina. “Many people are surprised that state-owned forests could be yielding more income both per hectare and per household, but we have confidence in our results, even in highly divergent settings.”

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