Asian societies are entering a new era of decentralized governance of forests. The authority to make decisions on forest management has shifted to lower levels of government and, in some cases, to the local people themselves. But can governments simply `decentralize` authority away from the center, or are there certain core elements necessary to achieve sustainable management and conservation of forests in a decentralized world?This book argues that policy solutions to resource dilemmas faced by forest-accessing rural communities must be flexible, and should allow for local dynamics and innovations to take place. Presenting case studies from Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam, this volume investigates how decentralization is affecting local stakeholders and their management of forest resources.

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