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Who determines biodiversity? An analysis of actors' power and interests in community forestry in Namibia


  • Schusser, Carsten


Recent and ongoing research has begun to question the efficacy of community forestry programs. In particular, analysis seems to reveal that devolution of power to the local resource user does not happen. Nevertheless, it also appears that community forestry programs do deliver some of their promises. Especially, the biodiversity of the resources involved is often improved. But who determines this, if not the local resource user? This article seeks to answer this by analyzing the biodiversity of 14 community forests in Namibia. The authors apply their power theory and methodology to identify the powerful, actors and these actors' interests. Finally, the author relates his findings to the real outcomes for biodiversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Schusser, Carsten, 2013. "Who determines biodiversity? An analysis of actors' power and interests in community forestry in Namibia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 42-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:42-51
    DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2012.06.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
    2. Adhikari, Bhim & Williams, Frances & Lovett, Jon C., 2007. "Local benefits from community forests in the middle hills of Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 464-478, January.
    3. Nygren, Anja, 2005. "Community-based forest management within the context of institutional decentralization in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 639-655, April.
    4. Pandit, Ram & Bevilacqua, Eddie, 2011. "Forest users and environmental impacts of community forestry in the hills of Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 345-352, June.
    5. Vodouhê, Fifanou G. & Coulibaly, Ousmane & Adégbidi, Anselme & Sinsin, Brice, 2010. "Community perception of biodiversity conservation within protected areas in Benin," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(7), pages 505-512, September.
    6. Chakraborty, Rabindra Nath, 2001. "Stability and outcomes of common property institutions in forestry: evidence from the Terai region of Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 341-353, February.
    7. Shackleton, Charlie M. & Shackleton, Sheona E. & Buiten, Erik & Bird, Neil, 2007. "The importance of dry woodlands and forests in rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation in South Africa," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 558-577, January.
    8. Blaikie, Piers, 2006. "Is Small Really Beautiful? Community-based Natural Resource Management in Malawi and Botswana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1942-1957, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Giessen & Pradip Kumar Sarker & Md Saifur Rahman, 2016. "International and Domestic Sustainable Forest Management Policies: Distributive Effects on Power among State Agencies in Bangladesh," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-28, April.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:335:d:67745 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Maryudi, Ahmad & Citraningtyas, Erlita R. & Purwanto, Ris H. & Sadono, Ronggo & Suryanto, Priyono & Riyanto, Slamet & Siswoko, Bowo D., 2016. "The emerging power of peasant farmers in the tenurial conflicts over the uses of state forestland in Central Java, Indonesia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 70-75.
    4. Zeb, Alam & Hamann, Andreas & Armstrong, Glen W. & Acuna-Castellanos, Dante, 2019. "Identifying local actors of deforestation and forest degradation in the Kalasha valleys of Pakistan," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 56-64.
    5. Stevanov, Mirjana & Dobšinska, Zuzana & Surový, Peter, 2016. "Assessing survey-based research in forest science: Turning lemons into lemonade?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 105-117.
    6. Gbedomon, Rodrigue Castro & Floquet, Anne & Mongbo, Roch & Salako, Valère Kolawolé & Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain & Assogbadjo, Achille Ephrem & Glèlè Kakaї, Romain, 2016. "Socio-economic and ecological outcomes of community based forest management: A case study from Tobé-Kpobidon forest in Benin, Western Africa," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 46-55.
    7. Adhikari, Sunit & Kingi, Tanira & Ganesh, Siva, 2014. "Incentives for community participation in the governance and management of common property resources: the case of community forest management in Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-9.


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