For decades, the government of Sri Lanka has been concerned about degradation in the Knuckles forest, a mountainous area in central Sri Lanka.
Its answer was to create the Knuckles Conservation Forest (KCF) in 2000. With this declaration, shifting cultivation was prohibited, most large-scale cardamom production was stopped, and the entire system of private tenure was called into question. The declaration of the KCF was rightly seen as a major victory for conservation. The problem, however, was that the process of designating the forest, for which government lacked the resources to manage on its own, involved little consultation with those stakeholders who would be most affected.