Community, collaborative and small-scale forestry


Synthesizing lessons learned in community forestry globally: In principle, community forest management (CFM) can secure greater sustainability of forests and more equitable livelihood outcomes for stakeholders, while securing local forest rights: a triple-win outcome. Case studies of CFM around the world have provided evidence of successes in achieving one, two or all three of these goals, while providing rich analyses of what factors can lead to successful outcomes. At the same time, there are many instances where CFM initiatives have failed to deliver on any or all of these goals. In collaboration with researchers at University of Manchester, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and others, we've been synthesizing available evidence on community forestry, examing which contextual factors lead to positive outcomes, and tracing new trends in community forestry research. This builds on previous work examining community forestry in Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon, and elsewhere.

Community forest enterprises in Mexico: Understanding trade-offs in decision-making: With FES graduate student Gretchen Engbring, we’ve been exploring how different organizational structures of CFEs in Oaxaca, Mexico make trade-offs in their decision-making around collective goals, such as profit and growth, participation, transparency, and accountability. This project builds on previous work in Mexico on understanding the degree of decentralization and community-level autonomy in decision-making, examining local goals and priorities for community forest management, and analyzing the role of secondary-level institutions in advancing community forestry, particularly in a REDD+ context

Community forestry in the western US: In partnership with the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Station, we've been creating an inventory of community forests in the western US, to better document this emerging local forest governance model. We'll also be conducting case studies to explore the mechanisms by which they contribute to community well-being. 

Collaborative forestry in the US: Forest collaboratives were created as a way to involve local stakeholders in the management of US Forest Service lands. With graduate students Kailey Kornhauser and Meredith Jacobson, and in partnership with Cascade Pacific, we've been exploring the utlity of creating a forest-wide collaborative on the Siuslaw National Forest as a way to address key governance gaps on the forest. Kailey is also looking at power, participation, and policy effectiveness of collaboratives in Oregon for her dissertation research.  Meredith is also looking at the narratives and social constructions associated with the role of tribes in cross-boundary forest governance in the US (co-advised with Dr. Emily Jane Davis).

Community-based Natural Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Ghana:  While Ghana does not have community forestry, per se, the CREMA model has been implemented in a number of forested landscapes, particularly as buffers around national production forests and protected areas. With graduate student Samuel Mawutor, we're studying to what extent are CREMAs decentralizing power to local communities, and with what affect on the empowerment of forest-reliant people? 

Past Project: Enabling environments for small-scale forest enterprises: At the local level, small-scale forest enterprises (SFEs) play an important role in livelihoods, food security, and poverty reduction. SFEs can also contribute towards the achievement of REDD+ goals through conservation, sustainable use of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks, while simultaneously improving local livelihoods and contributing to local economies. In previous work with collaborators at the University of British Columbia, we examined critical success factors that create enabling environments for SFEs to meet their potential as meaningful and sustainable pathways to prosperity for local communities.