FORESTRY, HOW AND WHY?
Mahaweli Authority, Polgolla
Agroforestry, Farm Forestry, Social Forestry, Community Forestry and more
recently, Participatory Forestry have become catch words in the Forestry
Sector of the developing countries since 1980.
The main reason for this was that these words, whatever their meaning,
attract donors or are very often driven by donors. Thus they are loosely
used, not fully understood and hardly put into practice.
If a forestry project is to be participatory, the users and beneficiaries
should come into focus right from the inception. They should participate
and contribute freely at the initial discussions and arrive at decisions
themselves without outside influence. The outsiders, whether they are
individuals or organizations, should pay the role of a facilitator during
the process. This process has to continue right through the project.
Participatory forestry does not mean wages/ food for labour or voluntary
labour for nursery and tree planting work. It also does not mean peasants
giving their labour voluntarily to State or foreign funded projects.
Participatory forestry means active participation of users at the project
preparation phase, implementation phase and finally at resource utilization
phase. If this can be achieved, it is a fully fledged participatory project.
This paper outlines the concepts of participatory forestry and evaluates
two case studies from the Upper Mahaweli Catchment.
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.