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Routes to justice: institutionalising participation in forest law enforcement (PLA 53)

This article describes how Uganda has successfully instituted changes towards participatory processes for law enforcement in forestry. We authors are practitioners not in participation but in public policy. Forestry is a balancing act between production and conservation. Historically, government policy to achieve this balance has been a ‘command and control’ approach: high levels of regulation, and exclusion of ordinary people from using forests and forest products. But in recent decades a number of countries have begun to change forestry practice, and are beginning to share ownership of forests and forest management with local communities. Here we share the story of the Ugandan government’s turnabout in understanding forest law compliance and its first forays in engaging ordinary people to make sure that forest law leads to just outcomes.

Guest-editor: Sonja Vermeulen. This special issue of PLA comes from the Power Tools initiative which aimed to develop, test and circulate existing and new tools to bridge key gaps in policy processes and content. These policy tools – tips, tactics and approaches – provide practical help to people working to improve the policies and institutions that govern access to and use of natural resources.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

Keywords: policy, natural resource management (NRM), community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), Power Tools.

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Publication information

  • IIED code: G02980
  • Published: Dec 2005 - IIED
  • Area: Uganda
  • Theme: Participation
  • Source pub: Participatory Learning and Action 53: Tools for influencing power and policy
  • Language: English

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