Box 7.1 FRA 2005 thematic study on forest ownership and resource tenure
With a view to assessing and understanding changes in forest ownership patterns, possible variations among continents and issues related to these trends, the FAO Forestry Department has begun a thematic study aimed at complementing the information collected through the FRA 2005 reporting table on forest ownership.
The study, to be released during 2006, was designed to collect, analyse and monitor data on forest ownership, resource tenure and related trends at the regional level in policy and law development.
This phase is a pilot exercise conducted in East and Southeast Asia. Similar studies are expected to be conducted in other regions. Its objective is to develop and test a methodology for collecting and monitoring forest ownership and tenure data at the global level that can be integrated into the FRA 2010 process. The exercise has been implemented on two levels:
Regional. A pilot survey was conducted in 17 countries,1 aimed at collecting detailed data on forest areas for two variables: different types of ownership and different levels of control of and access to resources. The information was gathered through the use of a matrix designed for this purpose and was completed by country focal points (primarily government agencies).
National. Eleven country-specific case studies were conducted in nine countries 2 with the objective of expanding and strengthening the quantitative analysis done at the regional level and of complementing this with detailed qualitative information on types of forest tenure, particularly on resource ownership, management agreements and institutional arrangements. The case studies seek a better understanding of the relationship between forest resource tenure and forest management – and specifically of the implications for poverty alleviation.
Results and main conclusions
- Forests remain public to a great extent (86 percent), with limited differences among countries, and mostly under the direct control of central governments (79 percent).
- Devolution of management responsibilities to local communities involves no more than 10 percent of forests (18 percent if small-scale forest holders are included). In general, rights are devolved for degraded forests.
- Short-term management agreements prevail over long-term ones.
- Despite the examples provided by some countries – known for their well-established traditions of community forestry, joint forest management and private forestry – the scale of these schemes remains limited. Forests and the forestry sector do not generally offer a more diversified and adapted system of tenurial arrangements than can be seen in the rural development context.
- Some emerging trends are the allocation of forests to private households (China and Viet Nam) and the interesting, but still limited and very recent granting of long-term agreements (100 years) to private companies (Malaysia).
- The forestry sector seems slow to adapt to current trends such as decentralization and greater stakeholder participation. Instead, it tends to react to shocks in extreme ways (e.g. logging bans), which further weaken tenure rights.
- In many countries, resource users and managers still have only a vague understanding of their roles, responsibilities and rights: poor management is often the result of limited knowledge and capacities.
Evidence emerging from the case studies demonstrates the linkage between clear and secure tenure arrangements and the contribution of forests to sustainable livelihoods and better management. While security of tenure is recognized as a founding block of effective forest management, it is not a sufficient condition. Secure forest tenure needs to be consolidated by effective capacity-building.
A strong recommendation emerging from the study is that awareness must be increased of the implications of forest ownership and tenure on forest management and poverty reduction. It is expected that FRA 2010 could contribute significantly to this goal.
1Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam.
2China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Source & © FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005, Progress towards sustainable forest management,
Chapter 7: Socio-economic functions, p.120
Other Figures & Tables on this publication:
Table 1.1: FRA 2005 reporting tables
Table 1.2: Indicative linkages among reporting tables and thematic elements of sustainable forest management
Table 1.3: Key statistics for regions and subregions used in FRA 2005
Table 2.1: Distribution of forests by subregion
Table 2.3: Forest cover by subregion 2005
Table 2.8: Carbon stock per hectare 2005
Table 2.10: Trends in carbon stocks in forest biomass 1990–2005
Table 3.3: Area of forest designated primarily for conservation of biodiversity 2005
Table 4.1: Average area of forest annually affected by fire 1998–2002
Table 4.3: Average area of forest annually affected by insects 1998–2002
Table 4.4: Average area of forest annually affected by diseases 1998–2002
Table 4.7: Average area of forest annually affected by other disturbances 1998–2002
Table 5.1: Area of forest designated primarily for production 2005
Table 5.7: Forest area and growing stock 2005
Table 5.13: Removals of four categories of Non-Wood Forest Products 2005 (tonnes)
Table 6.2: Area of forest designated primarily for protection 2005
Table 5.8: Commercial growing stock 2005
Table 6.3 Total area of forest designated for protection 2005
Table 7.2: Value of wood removals 2005
Table 7.4: Value of Non-Wood Forest Products removals 2005
Table 7.6: Number of people employed in forestry in 2000
Table 7.8: Ownership of forest area 2000
Table 8.2: Trends towards sustainable forest management at the global level
Table 8.3 Trends towards sustainable forest management in Africa
Table 8.4: Trends towards sustainable forest management in Asia
Table 8.5: Trends towards sustainable forest management in Europe
Table 8.6: Trends towards sustainable forest management in North and Central America
Table 8.7: Trends towards sustainable forest management in Oceania
Table 8.8: Trends towards sustainable forest management in South America
Table 8.9: Trends towards sustainable forest management by subregion
Table 5.10: Trends in commercial growing stock 1990–2005
Figure 1.1: Regional and Subregional breakdown used in FRA 2005
Figure 2.2: The world’s forests
Figure 2.3: Ten countries with largest forest ares 2005 (million ha)
Figure 2.5: Forest Change Dynamics
Figure 2.9: Forest characteristics 2005 (%)
Figure 2.12: Total Carbon Stock (C) in forests by region 2005
Figure 3.3: Ten countries with the largest area of primary forest 2005 (%)
Figure 3.11: Number of native forest tree species
Figure 3.13: Average number of threatened tree species by region
Figure 5.5: Ten countries with largest area of productive forest plantations 2005 (%)
Figure 5.8: Five countries with greatest total growing stock 2005 (%)
Figure 5.10: Five countries with largest volume of wood removal 2005 (%)
Figure 6.1: Information availability – protective functions of forest resources
Figure 7.7: Ownership of forests by subregion 2000
Figure 8.1: Designated functions of forests globally 2005 (%)
Figure 8.2 Distribution of subregional trends
Forest cover by subregion 2005 and distribution
Box 1.1 Thematic elements of sustainable forest management
Box 2.1 FRA 2005 thematic study on planted forests
Box 2.2 FRA 2005 thematic study on mangroves
Box 2.3 FRA 2005 thematic study on bamboo
Box 4.1 FRA 2005 thematic study on forest fires
Box 4.2 FRA 2005 thematic study on forest pests
Box 6.1 FRA 2005 thematic study on forests and water
Box 7.1 FRA 2005 thematic study on forest ownership and resource tenure