However, this participatory management can only work if the community is sufficiently structured and truly sticks together. In some communities, the economic benefits come in the form of improved infrastructure and roads or an increase in school enrollment. But, as the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) revealed in a case study in Central Africa, sometimes only the community elites enjoy the benefits of logging.
“Currently, the participatory mode of governance appears fraught with paternalism, laxity, abuse of power and corruption,” reads a 2014 Revue d’Ethnologie article on participatory forest management in Central Africa. The authors of the study singled out the top-down approach left over from the colonial period.