Enabling Forest Users to Exercise Their Rights: Rethinking regulatory barriers to communities and smallholders earning their living from timber
In many Asian countries, communities and smallholders are faced with barriers to exercising their tenure rights and to making a living from selling timber and other forest products. This study puts forward an effort to respond to the issue of restrictions, in the form of regulatory barriers, in the pursuit of sustainable forest management. When local communities (and smallholders) gain appropriate benefits from forest management and utilization, their motivation to invest in, improve and sustain their productive base increases can lead to “triple win” of improved forest conditions, maintenance of ecological services and improved local livelihoods. The program of work looks at sharing knowledge on the current impacts of regulatory barriers, with particular reference to costs of missed opportunities through restricting rights, governance and market access issues. The study was conducted in six Asian countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Vietnam) and Mexico.