Co-opted, coerced, or complementarity? Indigenous roles in forest governance
Daniela Baur (University of Wolverhampton)
Paper short abstract:
The paper explores the nature of indigenous communities' participation in forest governance processes in the light of external stakeholders and their agendas. The paper draws on a literature review and first reflections from fieldwork with stakeholders on forest governance in the Congo Basin.
Paper long abstract:
Indigenous Communities (ICs) are key stakeholders in Forest Governance (FG). They depend on forest resources for their livelihoods but are also increasingly recognised as critical actors in the protection of forests for long-term sustainability of the forests. The configuration of forest governance stakeholders is strongly dominated by external actors. This includes international agencies for example EU, DFID, World Bank etc. and non-state actors such as non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, and private sector actors with commercial or corporate interests. The extent to which indigenous communities engage with this group is poorly understood. This paper reflects on whether indigenous communities are co-opted into the narratives of external actors in the forest governance agenda; or whether they are able to participate in dialogues that allow them to fully and independently reflect the needs and roles of indigenous communities. The paper draws on a literature review and first reflections from fieldwork with stakeholders on forest governance in the Congo Basin.
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