Forest tenure reforms have offered new opportunities for communities to obtain formal rights to forests and forest benefits, but at the same time a variety of limitations are placed on livelihood options. This article draws on several case studies of reforms in Africa, Asia and Latin America to analyse the regulations accompanying reforms. It identifies three types of regulations, namely rules that limit areas available to local communities; rules that delineate conservation areas and impose related limits on use; and bureaucratic requirements for permits and management plans, which restrict the commercial use and marketing of valuable forest products. It discusses problems with these regulations, and proposes a simple framework for identifying ways to promote regulations that work for forest conservation but are more responsive to the needs of communities and forests.
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Conservation and Society 10(2): 103-113