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Community forestry has long been regarded as a way to achieve the sustainable management of forest and tree resources while maximizing benefits for those responsible for the custodianship of natural resources. Throughout much of the developing world, forests and the lands they occupy have been increasingly ceded to the management and control of Indigenous peoples and local communities. In the post-conflict environment of Liberia, community forestry has been identified as a means of maximizing the engagement of local communities in forest management initiatives. Liberia’s recent comprehensive National Forestry Policy is an important step forward in this process. The new legislative framework makes it clear that a major reorientation of the forestry sector is required if it is to successfully address the economic challenges facing the country. These challenges concern the need to substantially improve forest governance and to ensure that the forest sector contributes more effectively to the alleviation of poverty and livelihood improvement. While, on paper, the legal framework for community forestry is robust, implementation is falling short due to conflicts over land and resources that have pervaded the Liberian forestry sector for decades. Increased investment in oil palm expansion, artisanal agriculture and broader government-supported logging activities all threaten the implementation of community forestry. Concomitantly, a fundamental lack of capacity at the community level and at the level of the Forestry Department has curtailed early attempts to operationalize community forestry in the country. In this chapter we explore the evolution and development of community forestry in Liberia, and assess prospects for its future implementation. We provide a clear framework of recommendations to address potential constraints to its success.
Pressure to increase food production grows with population growth. Agriculture dominates the global landscape, and more food is being produced than ever before. Yet, a large part of the population is undernourished. Concomitantly, much of the agricultural expansion related to achieving global food security is at the expense of forests ecosystems, critical for biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services. SDG 2: Zero Hunger seeks to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. This chapter explores the potential impacts of achieving SDG 2 on forests and forest-dependent people. It focuses on five of the SDG 2 targets that are closely entwined with forests and forest related livelihoods. It discusses how the current food system polarises food production and forest conservation, when in fact they should, and can, be harmonised. We conclude with observations on the potential trade-offs and synergies between SDG 2 and the other SDGs, emphasizing the need for integrated land use management.
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