Community forestry refers to forest management that has ecological sustainability and local community benefits as central goals, with some degree of responsibility and authority for forest management formally vested in the community. This review provides an overview of where the field of community forestry is today. We describe four case examples from the Americas: Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Bolivia. We also identify five hypotheses embedded in the concept of community forestry and examine the evidence supporting them. We conclude that community forestry holds promise as a viable approach to forest conservation and community development. Major gaps remain, however, between community forestry in theory and in practice. For example, devolution of forest management authority from states to communities has been partial and disappointing, and local control over forest management appears to have more ecological than socioeconomic benefits. We suggest ways that anthropologists can contribute to the field.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error