Community forest management in the Peruvian Amazon: A literature review

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This review summarizes the published literature, as well as any available information provided by NGOs or project proponents, on the practice of community forest management (CFM) in the Peruvian Amazon. It provides an overview of literature related to land-use and forest management by rural populations in the Peruvian Amazon, placing this information in the broader context of the forestry sector in Peru. The review describes the different manifestations of CFM in Peru and the most widely studied cases of CFM projects. The document also examines some emerging initiatives, summarizes the main challenges for CFM and highlights important areas for future research. One key finding of this review is that there is a general lack of scientific analyses of CFM in Peru: most information is available only via project reports prepared by project proponents and/or donors. The review stresses that community forest management takes many forms. People throughout the Amazon have long relied on forest resources for their shifting cultivation systems, and timber and NTFPs are central to the livelihoods of many. Typically, forest use has occurred informally with little oversight or control by the state. Beginning in the 1980s, environmental NGOs have introduced CFM initiatives in Peru. To date, most CFM projects focus only on indigenous communities to support timber management; by contrast, scientific studies have focused on forest use within subsistence livelihood systems. Given that there are approximately 2 million non-indigenous rural Amazonians in Peru, the forest footprint and market impacts of non-indigenous smallholder forest management are likely to be much greater than recognized. However, very little is known about these endogenous smallholder-led systems. More research is needed to increase our understanding of the heterogeneity of these systems and the opportunities and challenges that they represent.

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