Report Favors Rights-Based Approach to Managing Forests
7 September 2012: A report released during the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, titled “Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry,” argues that, with the right processes in place and under the right conditions, almost any individual or group can build a successful forest enterprise.
The report finds that optimizing the benefits and productivity of forests requires moving from a "resource-led" model to a "rights-based" system of "locally controlled forestry."
The initiative leading to the development of this report was started by The Forests Dialogue (TFD), IUCN and the Growing Forests Partnerships (GFP). TFD, along with IUCN, organized a series of country-level dialogues engaging over 400 forest owners, investors, NGOs, governments and intergovernmental agencies, over three years. The dialogues revealed that resource-led models often result in compensation for loss of access to land or resources, rather than a shared enterprise. By contrast, a rights-based system places local control at the heart of the process, with local communities becoming the ones to seek investors and partnerships for managing their natural resource assets.
IUCN notes that, along with GFP, it continues to gather information from locally-controlled forest management projects around the world and is exploring the possibility of launching a pilot project based on best practices. [Publication: Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry: A Review of TFD's Initiative on Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry, 2009–2012] [IUCN Press Release]