|Balancing Acts: Community-Based Forest Management and National Law in Asia and the Pacific (WRI, 1995, 204 pages)|
|VI. Promoting Sustainable Forest Management Through Community-Based Tenure|
Both forest-dependent communities and national governments in Asia and the Pacific have obvious interests in ensuring that forest resources are sustainably managed. This report aims to promote those interests by encouraging the establishment of equitable bargaining processes. In an effective and fair process, both parties understand their rights and concomitant duties, and negotiate a mutually acceptable, secure, and balanced agreement. Both parties likewise know what their optimal outcome will be. For communities, this report concludes that the optimal outcome would be recognition of private community-based rights.
Many forest communities are uniquely positioned to help protect forests. As the guardians of national interests and resource patrimonies, national governments and their forest bureaucracies also have a vital role to play. But for too long, forest-dependent peoples and government bureaucracies have interacted poorly, if at all. Long overdue, a dialogue might result in a shared commitment to right and secure the balance between local-level community interests and national interests.
The final decision about what agreement is most appropriate in any given forest area should be shared by the community (or communities) concerned and the appropriate government agency or official. A good agreement will provide for the establishment of locally appropriate incentives that are in all parties' best long-term interests.