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Joint Forest Management: Policy, Practice and Prospects: India Country Study

India’s bold central policy change for joint forest management between government and communities has resulted in regeneration of considerable areas of forest, and has expanded the policy community through inclusion of more stakeholders. But these successes are matched by concerns that forestry departments are still calling the shots, whilst in some cases, serious local inequities are being exacerbated.
This report describes the evolution of powers over policy, the legacy of colonial forestry, the inertia of ‘fortress forestry’ institutions, the favoured forest industries and the protectionist agenda, which seeks to lock away forests from people’s use. These powers need to be tackled openly and concertedly for the ideal of joint forest management and the potential of farm forestry to be fully realised. The report shows how this can be done through policy processes, instruments, programmes and information which foster productive and equitable forest management.

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