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Power Tool: Associations for business partnership (PLA 53)

Sonja Vermeulen

Journal article

Associations for business partnerships is a tool for migrant or other marginalized forest-dependent communities. It helps smallholders to engage with, compete in, and benefit from market economies. Migrant communities can solidify their control over forests, manage them sustainably and maximise benefits from them through joint action of many private smallholders. This tool tackles five key problems in migrant communities:
• Lack of information (little knowledge about local natural resources and the legitimate and efficient use of them).
• Lack of political influence (little credibility with local authorities and support services such as finance agencies and legal services).
• Lack of market power (small scale of resources with which to negotiate and poor knowledge of markets for produce).
• Lack of administrative experience (no history with the bureaucracy of their new environment).
• Lack of collective confidence (few joint experiences on which to establish mutual trust and from which to take calculated risks).

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.

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