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Science, Use Rights and Exclusion: A history of foresty in Francophone West Africa

S Ribot

Issue paper, 15 pages

In francophone West Africa, the forest services asserted their control over forests by claiming superior knowledge which gave them exclusive competence to manage forest resources according to ‘scientific principles’. This paper shows that even today, despite the challenge to such scientific principles by more recent research findings, the legacy of the past approach continues to dominate community based forest management and control.

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