More on Locally Controlled Forestry

Boreal forest and swamps, Yukon Province, Canada

Local means near or in the forest, where you can literally hear and see what goes on, and are therefore able to appreciate on a daily basis the multiple values that forest landscapes provide. Conversely, policy-makers and investors are usually far from the forest and may focus on a narrower subset of forest landscape values (e.g. timber revenues) to the detriment of the integrated whole.
The word control is connected to rights and responsibilities, with an emphasis on the idea that local management and political control is good for the people and good for the forest.

Taken together, the words local control mean formal or informal ownership, management or use by forest dependent people such as smallholders, local communities and Indigenous Peoples, as opposed to those owned, managed or used by large companies or the state.

Exactly what investing in locally controlled forestry means in practice has been the subject of dialogues hosted by The Forest Dialogue (TFD) and co-chaired by investors and rights-holders. Broad discussions have identified how different types of investments can improve the conditions for locally controlled forestry (such as clarifying rights, strengthening organisations, and building business capacity), or can invest directly in woodlots, landscapes, processing businesses and ancillary services.

Dialogue participants prioritised the need for better understanding of how to invest in this sector because of:

  • The comparative success of locally controlled forestry in conserving forests, mitigating.
  • The rather slow uptake of investment in locally controlled forestry to date compared to those alternatives.
  • The need to improve cooperation and mutual understanding between investors and the forest rights-holders themselves.

Epiphyte of Borneo