The Politics of Decentralization: Forests, Power and People (Hardback) book cover

The Politics of Decentralization

Forests, Power and People

Edited by Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Doris Capistrano

© 2005 – Routledge

336 pages

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About the Book

Decentralization is sweeping the world and having dramatic and far-reaching impacts on resource management and livelihoods, particularly in forestry. This book is the most up-to-date examination of the themes, experiences and lessons learned from decentralization worldwide. Drawing on research and support from all of the major international forestry and conservation organizations, the book provides a balanced account that covers the impact of decentralization on resource management worldwide, and provides comparative global insights with wide implications for policy, management, conservation and resource use and planning. Topics covered include forest governance in federal systems, democratic decentralization of forests and natural resources, paths and pitfalls in decentralization and biodiversity conservation in decentralized forests. The book provides in-depth case studies of decentralization from Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Russia, Scotland, Switzerland, Uganda and the US, as well as highlights from federal countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and Malaysia. It also addresses the critical links between the state, forests, communities and power relations in a range of regions and circumstances, and provides case examples of how decentralization has been viewed and experienced by communities in Guatemala, Philippines and Zimbabwe. The Politics of Decentralization is state-of-the-art coverage of decentralization and is essential for practitioners, academics and policy-makers across forestry and the full spectrum of natural resource management.

Table of Contents

PART I THEMES IN DECENTRALIZATION * Forest Governance in Federal Systems: An Overview of Experiences and Implications for Decentralization * Democratic Decentralization in the Forestry Sector: Lessons Learned from Africa, Asia and Latin America * Paths and Pitfalls of Decentralization for Sustainable Forest Management: Experiences of the Asia Pacific Region * Choosing Representation: Institutions and Powers for Decentralized Natural Resources Management * The Experience of the Food and Agriculture Organization with Decentralization in the Forest Sector * Implications for Biodiversity Conservation of Decentralized Forest Resources Management * PART II COUNTRY CASES * Decentralization of the Forestry Sector: Indonesia's Experience * Forests and Decentralization in Switzerland: A Sampling * Decentralization of Forest Management in Bolivia: Who Benefits and Why? * Decentralization and Forest Management in Uganda * Decentralization of Federal Forestry Systems in Ghana * The Push-Me, Pull-You of Forest Devolution in Scotland * Main Features of Russia's Forest Management System * Forest Resources Decision-Making in the US * PART III COMMUNITY VOICES * Decentralized Natural Resources Management in the Chiredzi District of Zimbabwe: Voices from the Ground * Decentralizing Protected Area Management at Mount Kitanglad * State, Forest and Community: Decentralization of Forest Administration in Guatemala * Decentralization: Issues, Lessons and Reflections *

About the Editors

Carol J. Pierce Colfer is a Principal Scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Doris Capistrano is a Program Director and resource economist at CIFOR.

About the Series

The Earthscan Forest Library

The Earthscan Forest Library

This series brings together a wide collection of volumes addressing diverse aspects of forests and forestry and draws on a range of disciplinary perspectives. Titles cover the full range of forest science and include the biology, ecology, biodiversity, restoration, management (including silviculture and timber production), geography and environment (including climate change), socio-economics, anthropology, policy, law and governance. The series aims to demonstrate the important role of forests in nature, peoples’ livelihoods and in contributing to broader sustainable development goals. It is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers, professionals, policy-makers and concerned members of civil society. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Tim Hardwick, Senior Commissioning Editor (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Forestry