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A Multisector Framework for Assessing Community-Based Forest Management: Lessons from Madagascar

Daniela B Raik, Cornell University
Daniel J Decker, Cornell University

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Abstract

Community-based forest management has proliferated throughout Africa as national governments have decentralized the administration of public forestry. Community-based forestry has taken multiple forms, depending on the assortment of land-tenure systems, forest-use norms, wood demand, and social organization, among others factors. Nature, Wealth, and Power is an analytical framework that has been developed from experiences in natural resource management in Africa. In this paper, we amend the framework to People, Nature, Wealth, and Power (PNWP), and propose it as an analytical lens for community-based forest management initiatives. We use the PNWP framework to assess the responsiveness of contractual forest management in the Menabe region of Madagascar to the interests of local communities, the state forest agency, and conservation nongovernmental organizations. Findings indicate that members of each of the three groups hold some differing interests, which may result in conflict over time. Specifically, interests converge around the Nature and Wealth categories and diverge around the People and Power categories. Also, the contract mechanism for community-based forest management currently being implemented in Menabe does not account for the People and Wealth interests held by any of the three groups. More research is needed, but our inquiry indicates the PNWP framework holds promise for assessing community-based forest management initiatives.

Key words

community-based forest management; decentralization; forestry; Madagascar
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087