A study published earlier this year by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) shows that community forest enterprises are a proven mechanism for conserving forests and biodiversity. The earnings generated from their activities are reinvested into social services and development within the communities.
But the communities still struggle to obtain sustained government support in some cases, and rights to consultation are often sidelined in favor of large infrastructure projects or extractive industry interests.
The new guideline attempts to tackle the issue from a policy angle. It lays out an elaborate list of questions that decision-makers and stakeholders involved in the community forest can use to develop and review legislation.