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Communities at the heart of forest management: How can the law make a difference?

By: Nathalie Faure, Benjamin Ichou, Tanja Venisnik

This report is intended to provide guidance to develop enabling legal frameworks governing community forestry. It offers recommendations and a framework for reflection for all actors engaged in creating, implementing or revising laws on community forestry, and for civil society in particular.

Drawing lessons from the design and implementation of community forestry laws in Nepal, the Philippines, and in Tanzania, this report revolves around the ten following building blocks to consider in order to develop supportive frameworks governing community forestry:

1. Land and forest tenure
2. Community forests allocation
3. Community internal governance
4. Community participation and representation of vulnerable groups
5. Community forestry management
6. Access to markets
7. Benefit sharing
8. Conflict resolution
9. Enforcement
10. External support

In addition, this report provides guidance to conduct legal reforms with the view to design an appropriate legal framework. It lays down key principles for designing legislation on community forestry, and identifies where to locate different legal provisions.