arborvitae Issue 44 - Forests: a legal challenge

31 October 2011 | Downloads - publication

  • Where there is no title: Security of tenure is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for trust and confidence about future benefits.
  • Feature: Customary laws can have a significant influence on access to – and use of – land and forests in many countries.
  • Tigers or tribals: The rules set down in the law certainly fall short of expectations and make its implementation difficult.

"In recent years there have been important improvements in how forest laws are applied. Reforms are spreading, albeit slowly, as numerous governments hand over responsibility for forest management to local authorities and communities and give local people official tenure rights over their forest resources. These are still the exceptions to the norm of state control and ownership of forests, but successful reforms are providing valuable lessons for other countries to follow suit.

This issue of arborvitae, produced in conjunction with IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, looks at how forest law is impacting local forest management around the world and how reforms are progressing in several countries.

We also include a set of three articles examining forest law in India from different perspectives. Many of the challenges of forest law enactment and enforcement are well illustrated by India’s experience."

Stewart Maginnis, Director of IUCN’s Forest Conservation Programme

Sheila Abed, Chair of IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law

Alejandro Iza, Head of IUCN’s Environmental Law Centre