CPF Calls for Increased Community-Based Forest Management

22 April 2011: The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), which includes 14 international organizations specializing in the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, has called on governments to increase communities' role in forest management.

According to Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), people who live in forests most often are not in control of decisions for how these resources are used and managed, and highlighted that strengthening community rights over their forest resources helps reduce poverty while benefting forest biodiversity.

Dennis Garrity, Director General, the World Agroforestry Centre, explained that, in Guinea, his organization helped broker a co-management agreement between the local community and the Government and introduced a programme to improve incomes of people living in villages around the forests. By doing so, he noted, incomes improved and the pressure on forests was reduced.

Current international efforts to develop mechanisms for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation  in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) also represent new possibilities for local communities to benefit from sustainable management and conservation of forests. However, according to a book published by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), unless considerable progress is made in securing the rights of local people to access, manage and benefit from forest, it is unlikely that deforestation and illegal logging will be curbed. [IUCN Press Release]