ATEMs - Alternative Tenure and Enterprise Models
The Alternative Tenure and Enterprise Models (ATEMs) work of RRI aims to identify and promote alternative models of forest ownership and management. The goal is to provide guidance and lessons for decision-makers to encourage them to strengthen the tenure and access rights for forest communities and level the playing field for small and medium forest enterprise (including community enterprise.)
Particularly in the forest sectors of Central and West Africa, the export-oriented timber concession model is the dominant business model. While such concessions have clearly played a long-standing role in the development of forest industry in these regions, they provide limited opportunity for local communities and to date have not significantly contributed to most communities’ wealth, employment or livelihoods. The social and ecological sustainability of these models is widely questioned. Moreover, these models have eroded the customary access and tenure rights of forest communities and indigenous peoples. Unrecognized legal tenure, access and civil rights for the communities who live near forest concessions makes it difficult for these people to legitimately gather forest products for traditional subsistence and alternative enterprise.
Alternatives to this industrial timber-export model exist. However, their spread and development in many areas has been hampered by a lack of knowledge about the alternatives. In many places, advocates from the public and private sector have found it difficult to envision alternate tenure and enterprise scenarios, especially ones that are suited to their particular economy, history, culture and society.
Activities in Central and West Africa
Country-level case studies
Researchers from RRI Partner and Collaborator organizations are carrying out detailed case studies of community forest enterprises in local contexts. These studies are analyzing examples from: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Gambia, Ghana, and Rwanda. This work is also linked to landscape initiatives in the IUCN Landscapes and Livelihoods program, governance research coordinated by CIFOR, and work underway in Intercooperation and FAO.
Briefs adapted from country-level case studies:Burkina Faso: Amélioration de l'équité et des moyens de subsistance dans la foresterie communautaire au Burkina Faso
International comparative case studies
There is also great potential in sharing the lessons and experiences from countries where there has been progress in implementing alternative models of tenure and enterprise. RRI is also working to create networks of community leaders who can learn from these experiences and share these lessons with community groups and civil society networks at home. African forest enterprise leaders have traveled community forests in highland Guatemala, First Nation companies in British Colombia, Canada, and to forest cooperatives owned by families and communities in Sweden. Participants in these exchanges are producing reports to document their experiences.
Comparative study of social dimensions of ATEMs in Central and West Africa:
Briefs adapted from international comparative case studies: