Where is 'Community' in Community-Based Forestry?

Courtney G. Flin
A. E. Luloff
J. Finley


Community-based forestry and community-based natural resource management have become increasingly common terms in both the scientific and popular press. However, as with so many other concepts currently in vogue, rarely do studies invoking them incorporate either a grounded theoretical understanding or practical inclusion of the central term: community. Community emerges through communication and interaction among people who care about each other and the place they live. In its purest form, community is marked by its multiple and often conflicting perspectives. This article draws upon recent research experience with the Ford Foundation's community-based forestry initiative to illustrate the importance of solidly framing community in order to successfully link forest ecosystem management with community well-being.