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Biodiversity and resource use in tropical forests

Biodiversity and resource use in tropical forests - nsf.gov...

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NSF Web Site Press Release 11-056 Surprise! Biodiversity and Resource Use May Co-Exist in Tropical Forests Local participation in forest management may simultaneously promote biodiversity and sustainable resource use for household livelihoods See the many uses for forests in this photo gallery . Credit and Larger Version March 24, 2011 View the photo gallery "Making a Living From the Forest." Contrary to popular belief, the biodiversity of a tropical forest may be conserved while its resources are used to support local household livelihoods, according to a new study published in the March 25 issue of Science . But biodiversity and resource use are most likely to successfully co-exist in forests that are managed under systems that receive inputs from local forest users or local communities. These study results imply that one important way for governments to simultaneously promote biodiversity and forest-based livelihoods is to formalize the rights of local people to contribute to rulemakings on the management and use of local forests. This study, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, was conducted by a team led by Lauren Persha of the University of Michigan. Forest policy decentralization reforms that transfer ownership and management responsibilities to local forest user organizations have already been introduced in more than two-thirds of the developing world. However, this approach's effectiveness has been questioned because of its potential to enable elites to dominate resource use and because of potential weaknesses in links between local decision-makers and larger governing bodies.
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