The book analyzes the evolution of decentralization of natural resource management in the Brazilian Amazon using a comparative approach. It is a collection of eight case studies: the municipalities of Mâncio Lima and Xapuri, in the State of Acre, and Altamira, Moju, Paragominas, Porto de Moz, Santarém, and Uruará, in the State of Pará. The research was a joint effort of CIFOR, three Brazilian NGOs (LAET, IPAM, and PESACRE) and a Federal University (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN). Besides the case studies, the authors discuss how the existing institutions affect decentralization and shape the role of the municipal governments in forest management. In spite of the small number of cases studied, the research also analyzed the role of population size, area, revenues, political economy and other factors that may affect local governance of natural resources. The authors concluded that the local political economy, the expansion of the agricultural and forest frontiers, the presence of strong social movements, and the preferences of the mayors are some of the most significant factors that affect local forest management.