Rights & Tenure in the News »
How community forest enterprises can lead the way on poverty reduction and avoided deforestation
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries (REDD) can be an effective tool for addressing the challenges of climate change. By paying poor countries to combat deforestation and forest degradation, developed countries could help tackle two problems that together account for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet forests also serve as an important source of resources for some of the poorest and most vulnerable rural peoples. How can we square the environmental benefits of REDD with the urgent challenge of poverty alleviation in these same areas? According to Duncan Macqueen of IIED, democratic community forest enterprises are both successfully avoiding deforestation and alleviating poverty in their communities.
Large-scale concessions typically prove inadequate both in terms of avoided deforestation and poverty reduction, and small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) have produced mixed results.
However, “Increasing numbers of democratically and locally run community cooperatives, associations and non-profit companies now marry commercial success with a fair distribution of social and environmental benefits,” writes Macqueen. Indeed, community forest enterprises are commercially viable arrangements that are effectively balancing the environmental aims of REDD with the imperatives of poverty reduction.
Maximizing the positive impact of community forest enterprises depends upon mustering enough political support in developing countries for policy reforms that provide these entities with the resources they need to function effectively. Furthermore, building successful community forest enterprises often demands a substantial financial commitment from international donors. Securing land and forest tenure, fostering the growth of community organizations into democratically run businesses, and subsidizing sustainable forest management models all require the infusion of significant financial resources. Thus, investing in the community forest model is a vital task for the developed world to undertake.
Read Duncan Macqueen's article in its entirety here.
Posted By Colby Clabaugh at 12:49pm on February 29, 2008
This blog may contain links to external websites. These links should not be construed as endorsements by Rights and Resources of the content present. They are provided for informational purposes only.