Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa: Local Control for Improved Livelihoods, Forest Management, and Carbon Sequestration, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa

Local Control for Improved Livelihoods, Forest Management, and Carbon Sequestration, 1st Edition

Edited by Randall Bluffstone, Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson


284 pages | 43 B/W Illus.

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Forest tenure reforms are occurring in many developing countries around the world. These reforms typically include devolution of forest lands to local people and communities, which has attracted a great deal of attention and interest. While the nature and level of devolution vary by country, all have potentially important implications for resource allocation, local ecosystem services, livelihoods and climate change.

This book helps students, researchers and professionals to understand the importance and implications of these reforms for local environmental quality, climate change, and the livelihoods of villagers, who are often poor. It is shown that local forest management can often be more successful than top-down management of common pool forest resources. The relationship of local forest tenure reform to the important climate change initiative REDD+ is also considered.

The work includes a number of generic chapters and also detailed case studies from China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda. Using specific examples and a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives, including quantitative and qualitative analytical methods, the book provides an authoritative and critical picture of local forest reforms in light of the key challenges humanity faces today.


"This very readable book looks at different countries’ strategies to use tenure innovations to manage forest resources. An especially interesting contribution is the comparison of China’s privatization of forest rights to the community-based forestry management approach in other developing countries. The book evaluates a variety of outcomes – livelihoods, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration potential – in these different settings. Based on extensive on-the-ground experience, the editors and authors demonstrate valuable insights into the important role of tenure reform in managing forest resources."Peter Berck, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, S.J. Hall Professor of Forestry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

"This book presents some very interesting and pragmatic insights and recommendations concerning forest-tenure reforms, independent of, or in conjunction with, redd+. It shows that it is essential to consider the impact that policy choices may have on poor and indigenous communities, and to take into account gender issues and involve women in decision-making."Climate Law, Elizabeth Dooley, Ecologic Institute, Berlin

"This volume serves as a well-informed reference for students, researchers, and practitioners to understand forest tenure reforms, its challenges, and its major implications. Overall, it is a very readable, well researched and organized reference on forest tenure reforms and their implications."Sarah Eissler, Agriculture and Human Values Journal

"Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa: local control for improved livelihoods, forest management, and carbon sequestration is a timely contribution to understand these tenure reforms, their strengths and weaknesses in practice, and their implications for the affected livelihoods and environment. Bluffstone and Robinson (editors) bring together a very well-researched and complementary compilation of case studies, empirical research, and theoretical and contextual considerations to inform the topic of global forest tenure reforms, with a particular focus on Asia and Africa.

This volume serves as a well-informed reference for students, researchers, and practitioners to understand forest tenure reforms, its challenges, and its major implications. Overall, it is a very readable, well researched and organized reference on forest tenure reforms and their implications." - Sarah Eissler in Agriculture and Human Values (June 2017)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Local Forest Reform - Theory and Experience

Randall A. Bluffstone, Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson and Mark Purdon

Part 1: Understanding Local Forest Management

2. Understanding Local Forest Tenure Reforms: Section Context and Overview

Mark Purdon

3. Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China: An Overview

Jintao Xu and William F. Hyde

4. Forest Tenure Reform in Ethiopia

Alemu Mekonnen and Randall A. Bluffstone

5. Some Background on Tanzania Forest Policy, Institutions and the Forest Land Tenure System

Godius Kahyarara

6. Forest Sector Reforms in Tanzania and Uganda

Mark Purdon, Razack B. Lokina and Mohamed Bukenya

Part 2: Evaluation of Local Forest Management

7. Local Implications of Local Forest Management: Section Context and Overview

Priscilla Cooke St. Claire and Mahesh Poudyal

8. Impact of Forest Management Decentralization on Rural Livelihoods: Evidence from Ethiopia

Dambala Gelo and Tekie Alemu

9. Local Forest Management Institutions and Their Role in Conserving Woody Species and Biodiversity: A Case Study in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Tirhas Mebrahtu and Berhanu Gebremedhin

10. Where to Collect? Community Forest Management and Disadvantaged Households in Nepal

Priscilla Cooke St. Claire

11. Local Community Participation under Reformed Forest Management in Kenya: Lessons and Policy Implications

Paul Guthiga, Wilfred Nyangena, Ogada Maurice Juma, and Geophrey Sikei

12. Community-Based Leasehold Forestry in Nepal: A Genuine Tenure Reform in Progress?

Mahesh Poudyal, Bhim Adhikari, and Jon Lovett

Part 3: Extending Local Forest Management to Include REDD+

13. Extending Local Forest Management to Include REDD+: Section Context and Overview

H. Jo Albers

14. REDD+ and Tenure: A Review of the Latest Developments in Research, Implementation and Public Policy Debates

Lisa Westholm, Robin Biddulph, Ida Hellmark and Anders Ekbom

15. Will REDD+ be Successful in Tanzania? Practical Issues of REDD+ Implementation

Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson, H. Jo Albers, Charles Meshack, and Razack B. Lokina

16. Can Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment of REDD+ Improve Forest Governance?

Daniel Slunge, Anders Ekbom, Fernando Loayza, Paul Guthiga, Wilfred Nyangena

17. Conclusion: Directions for Research and Implications for Policy

Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson, Randall A. Bluffstone, Jintao Xu and Wilfred Nyangena

About the Editors

Randall A. Bluffstone is Professor of Economics and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University, USA and Research Associate with the Environment for Development (EfD) programme, administered from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson is Professor of Environmental Economics in the School of Agriculture, Policy, and Development, University of Reading, UK, and Research Associate with the Environment for Development (EfD) programme.

About the Series

Environment for Development

The Environment for Development (EfD) initiative ( supports poverty alleviation and sustainable development through the increased use of environmental economics in the policymaking process. EfD identifies the environment as an important resource for development rather than a constraint. The EfD initiative is a capacity-building program in environmental economics focusing on research, policy advice, and teaching in Central America, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa Tanzania, USA and Sweden. The nine EfD centers are hosted by leading universities or academic institutions in respective country/region.

The EfD is initiated and managed by the Environmental Economics Unit, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The core funding for the EfD initiative is provided by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Forestry