Inderscience Publishers

Community forestry initiatives in Southeast Asia: a review of ecological impacts

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Studies in South and Southeast Asia were reviewed to understand the impact of community forestry initiatives in recent times on the ecology, with respect to species richness, biomass enhancement and forest regeneration. The findings from diverse ecological regions of South and Southeast Asia have demonstrated that community forestry has resulted in significant increase in plant diversity and biomass production. In this region, over 25 Mha of degraded forestland and fragile ecosystems have been regenerated to meet the economic and ecological needs of local communities, along with increase in productivity of timber. Various practices of the local community in enhancing regeneration, diversity and productivity have improved the status of forests. This paper suggests adaptive forest management practices in addition to silvicultural practices as a strategy to manage forests in a people friendly way.

Keywords: community forestry, Southeast Asia, joint forest management, India, ecological impacts, species richness, biomass enhancement, forest regeneration, plant diversity, ecosystems regeneration, timber production, sustainable development, environment, biodiversity conservation, ecology

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