An uneven playing field: regulatory barriers to communities making a living from the timber from their forests–examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam

Article


Gritten, David, Greijmans, Martin, Lewis, Sophie R., Sokchea, Tol, Atkinson, Julian, Quang, Tan Nguyen, Poudyal, Bishnu, Chapagain, Binod, Sapkota, Lok Mani, Mohns, Bernhard and Paudel, Naya Sharma. 2015. "An uneven playing field: regulatory barriers to communities making a living from the timber from their forests–examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam." Forests. 6 (10), pp. 3433-3451. https://doi.org/10.3390/f6103433
Article Title

An uneven playing field: regulatory barriers to communities making a living from the timber from their forests–examples from Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam

ERA Journal ID210472
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGritten, David (Author), Greijmans, Martin (Author), Lewis, Sophie R. (Author), Sokchea, Tol (Author), Atkinson, Julian (Author), Quang, Tan Nguyen (Author), Poudyal, Bishnu (Author), Chapagain, Binod (Author), Sapkota, Lok Mani (Author), Mohns, Bernhard (Author) and Paudel, Naya Sharma (Author)
Journal TitleForests
Journal Citation6 (10), pp. 3433-3451
Number of Pages19
Year2015
PublisherMDPI AG
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN1999-4907
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/f6103433
Web Address (URL)http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4907/6/10/3433
Abstract

Community forestry (CF) is widely viewed as the solution to many of the challenges facing forest management and governance in the Asia-Pacific region. However, it is often felt that CF is not delivering on its potential. This paper focuses on one possible limitation: the role of regulations in curbing communities’ ability to make a living from their timber resources. The work covers Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam, using policy analyses, national level experts’ workshops, and focus group discussions in two CF sites in each country. The results highlight the fact that there are numerous, often prohibitive, regulations in place. One challenge is the regulations’ complexity, often requiring a level of capacity far beyond the ability of community members and local government staff. The paper puts forward various recommendations including simplifying regulations and making them more outcome-based, and facilitating key stakeholders, including government and community based organizations, working together on the design and piloting of forest monitoring based on mutually agreed forest management outcomes. The recommendations reflect the belief that for CF to succeed, communities must be allowed to make a meaningful living from their forests, a result of which would be increased investment in sustainable forest management.

Keywordscommunity forestry; commercialization; forest regulations; livelihoods; sustainable forest management
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410406. Natural resource management
410404. Environmental management
Byline AffiliationsRegional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and Pacific, Thailand
ForestAction, Nepal
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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