Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber: Communities, Conservation, and the State in Community-based Forest Management

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9780231510233: Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber: Communities, Conservation, and the State in Community-based Forest Management

Community-based forest management (CBFM) is a model of forest management in which a community takes part in decision making and implementation, and monitoring of activities affecting the natural resources around them. CBFM provides a framework for a community members to secure access to the products and services that flow from the landscape in which they live and has become an essential component of any comprehensive approach to forest management.

In this volume, Nicholas K. Menzies looks at communities in China, Zanzibar, Brazil, and India where, despite differences in landscape, climate, politics, and culture, common challenges and themes arise in making a transition from forest management by government agencies to CBFM. The stories of these four distinct places highlight the difficulties communities face when trying to manage their forests and negotiate partnerships with others interested in forest management, such as the commercial forest sector or conservation and environmental organizations. These issues are then considered against a growing body of research concerning what constitutes successful CBFM.

Drawing on published and unpublished case studies, project reports, and his own rich experience, Menzies analyzes how CBFM fits into the broader picture of the management of natural resources, highlighting the conditions that bring about effective practices and the most just and equitable stewardship of resources. A critical companion for students, researchers, and practitioners, Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber provides a singular resource on the emergence and evolution of CBFM.

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About the Author:

Nicholas K. Menzies is assistant director of the Asia Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the author of Forest and Land Management in Imperial China and author of the forestry section of Science and Civilisation in China. Menzies has a degree in Chinese Studies from Cambridge University (UK) and a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has worked on issues concerning communities and forest resources management with the Mountain Institute in Tibet and with the Ford Foundation in China and East Africa.


This book makes for compelling reading and will be useful to ecologists and other scientists through to anthropologists and political scientists. (Peter Thomas British Ecological Society Bulletin)

This excellent volume should be required reading for everyone working in forest conservation or resource management. (Alaka Wali The Quarterly Review of Biology)

Well-written, thoughtful... [An] authoritative volume. (Marianne Schmink Human Ecology)

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