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Making forests pay: Key messages

  • Command and control approaches to protecting common property resources such as forests and rangelands, without actively involving local communities, have failed to control deforestation and habitat destruction
  • Farm Africa pioneered the introduction of participatory forest management (PFM) to Ethiopia in the 1990s. This involved developing formal management agreements between local communities and government with benefit-sharing clauses that act as incentives for local communities to manage the forest
  • The approach has evolved from pilot stage and has been adopted by federal and regional governments as a proven model of forest management. It now forms the institutional framework through which carbon projects such as REDD+ and other ecosystem services schemes are implemented in the country
  • From an initial stress on conservation and the livelihoods of forest-dependent people, the focus now is on raising smallholders’ incomes through better market linkages for timber and non timber forest products and the monetisation of carbon stocks and watershed protection
  • The approach illustrates how forest conservation can benefit smallholders and how local communities can be allies in government efforts to protect resources for future generations

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