chapter  6
32 Pages

Alternative Social Forestry Development Strategies

WithM. Cernea

This chapter addresses institutional and socio-structural issues in social forestry development, arguing that alternative forestry development strategies need to be based on specifically tailored institutional/socio-structural arrangements and alternative units of social organisation. The features of ‘social forestry’ were obvious in the design of the project. Given the critical importance of the land tenure for reforestation, special attention was also paid to the social mechanism of community decision making and the procedures for sharing the expected profits from the forestry investments. Perhaps the most important factor in designing the social strategy of forestry programmes is the adequate identification of the unit of social organisation to undertake the programme and able to do so successfully. The community woodlot has been widely accepted as the dominant model in social forestry. There is no single ‘best’ social strategy available as a universal key to all development approaches in forestry; such strategies span over a broad spectrum, and alternatives are available or can be devised.