The Complex Forest: Communities, Uncertainty, and Adaptive Collaborative Management

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Overview

The Complex Forest systematically examines the theory, processes, and early outcomes of a research and management approach called adaptive collaborative management (ACM). An alternative to positivist approaches to development and conservation that assume predictability in forest management, ACM acknowledges the complexity and unpredictability inherent in any forest community and the importance of developing solutions together with the forest peoples whose lives will be most affected by the outcomes. Building on earlier work that established the importance of flexible, collaborative approaches to sustainable forest management, The Complex Forest describes the work of ACM practitioners facing a broad range of challenges in diverse settings and attempts to identify the conditions under which ACM is most effective. Case studies of ACM in 33 forest sites in 11 countries together with Colfer's systematic comparison of results at each site indicate that human and institutional capabilities have been strengthened. In Zimbabwe, for example, the number of women involved in decisionmaking soared. In Nepal, community members detected and sanctioned dishonest community elites. In Cameroon and Bolivia, learning programs resulted in better conflict management. These are early results, but a wide range of recent research supports Colfer's belief that these new capabilities will eventually contribute to higher incomes and to sustainable improvements in the health of forests and forest peoples. The Complex Forest reinforces calls for change in the way we plan conservation and development programs, away from command-and-control approaches, toward ones that require bureaucratic flexibility and responsiveness, as well as greater local participation in setting priorities and problem solving.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'A significant contribution because of the richness of its material, its critique of simplistic approaches to understanding factors in forest management, its clear and compelling writing style, and the range and significance of the sites that it studies.'
Diane Russell, Senior Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933115122
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/15/2005
  • Series: RFF Press Ser.
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol J. Pierce Colfer is a team leader of the CIFOR program on Local People, Devolution, and Adaptive Collaborative Management of Forests. She is a coeditor of People Managing Forests: The Links between Human Well-Being and Sustainability and Which Way Forward: People, Forests, and Policymaking in Indonesia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 Introduction 1
2 ACM's intellectual underpinnings : a personal journey 30
3 Complexity, change, and uncertainty 44
4 Seven analytical dimensions 51
5 Creativity, learning, and equity : the impacts 60
6 Devolution 92
7 Forest type and population pressure 105
8 Management goals 114
9 Human diversity 131
10 Conflict and social capital 145
11 Catalyzing creativity, learning, and equity 163
12 Commentary and conclusions 184
Appendix of cases : adaptive collaborative management in diverse contexts 201
Case 1 Bolivia 202
Case 2 Brazil - Acre, the Western Amazon 212
Case 3 Eastern Brazil - Para 218
Case 4 Cameroon - east 227
Case 5 Cameroon - central and south 238
Case 6 Ghana 251
Case 7 Indonesia 257
Case 8 Kyrgyzstan 272
Case 9 Madagascar 283
Case 10 Malawi 287
Case 11 Nepal 295
Case 12 Philippines 304
Case 13 Zimbabwe 311
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