chapter  13
22 Pages

Decentralization and Forest Governance in Asia and the Pacific: Trends, Lessons and Continuing Challenges

ByDoris Capistrano

Forestry decentralization in the Asia-Pacific region continues to be a work in progress. Different countries have taken varied paths and have opted for different types of decentralization (Ferguson and Chandrasekharan, 2005). As in other parts of the world, countries in the Asia-Pacific region continue to experiment with the degree and pace of decentralization and to negotiate the balance of power between central and lower levels of government and among stakeholder groups (Enters et al, 2000; Brown and Durst, 2003; Colfer and Capistrano, 2005; FAO 2006). Some countries (for example China, Vietnam, Lao PDR, New Zealand and Indonesia) have embarked on relatively rapid and sweeping reforms to effect decentralization. Such radical reforms have typically been ushered in by political discontinuities, such as the fall of the Suharto regime in Indonesia, the election of a new government in New Zealand, and rapidly developing market opportunities in China, Vietnam and Lao PDR (Box 3.2 and Chapters 6, 8, 10 and 12 of this volume).