Inclusion of communities in the management of state owned or formerly state owned forest resources has become increasingly common in the last 25 years. Many countries have now developed, or are in the process of developing, changes to national policies and legislation that institutionalise Participatory Forest Management (PFM). Donors’ interests in PFM have moved from an initial concern with ensuring forest conservation to interest in PFM as a means of reducing poverty. However, despite the increasing promotion of PFM in the last two decades, there is a growing recognition that the assumptions concerning the poverty impact of this approach remain largely unsubstantiated [3, 106]1. A better understanding of the magnitude and distribution of the benefits obtained through PFM would support the development of more precise interventions at the policy and programme levels, particularly with respect to enhancing their impact on the poorest elements of the rural population.
Cecilia Luttrell, Kate Schreckenberg, Liz Thassim and Catherine Moss