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Impact of Tenurial Instruments to Sustainable Forest Resource Management

Forest tenurial instruments are used by the government to allocate public forests and forest lands to interested individuals, organization or entities and put these areas into effective and responsible on-site management. The trend of forest tenure policies in the country has started from a highly regulatory and industry-biased forest policy towards a more decentralized and people-oriented approach. However, with the contradicting laws and policies that affect forest management, tenure reform has never fully achieved its objective of sustainable management and equity. The paper examines the impact of tenure instruments on forest management and local development. By any indication, livelihood and income of forest communities have not significantly improved in most cases. Hence, to advance initial gains of forest tenure reforms, the paper argues the need for government to pursue: (1) the passage of the forest resources bill, (2) the passage of the forest delineation bill, (3) the promotion of community-based forest tenurial instruments, (4) the clear primary mandate of DENR, and (5) social processes that ensure greater participation in the management and sharing of benefits from forest resources.


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