|Title||Community forestry and forest conservation: friends or strangers?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Casse, T., and Milhj A.|
|Journal||Environmental Policy and Governance|
|Keywords||community forestry, Forest conservation, meta-study|
This paper is a meta-study of local forest management experiences in developing countries drawn from a review of 56 case-studies presented in 52 papers. Many case-studies report positive links between community forestry and forest conservation. In international organizations and NGOs there is a generally accepted agreement that collective management (community forestry) will yield success in forest conservation. However, the claim is seldom rigorously examined. We suggest to have a review of the literature and to propose a first step to a test of the claim in order to reach a first generalization as to the success of community forestry in forest conservation. The review of the literature is the first step towards such an examination, enabling us to make some initial generalizations for further research. In the present paper, a statistical test is performed and the claim is found wanting. The reviewed papers are very heterogeneous in their approaches, and it is also suggested that the state still has a role to play, even when the transfer of management rights to the forest resources is genuine. Community forestry does not work in a vacuum, and we suggest that a minimum requirement is probably the presence of a legal structure, which exists in India and Nepal but not in many other countries.