Public participation in community forests : the Ontario community forest pilot projects / by Florence Wanjira Chege.
Chege, Florence Wanjira
Master of Science
DisciplineForestry and the Forest Environment
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Levels of public participation in the management of a community forest (CF) depend on the CF’s goals and the subsequent decision-making structure that the community adopts. To evaluate the hypothesis that the Ontario community forest pilot projects (CFPPs) provide enhanced means for public participation, a comparative analysis was undertaken involving a detailed description of decision-making structures of the CFPPs and those of five additional contemporary forest management arrangements. The study methods involved: personal interviews with each CFPP’s organizing body, the general public at each CFPP, and management personnel at the five cases; and a comprehensive compilation of decision-making structures of all cases based on their documentation. Results of the study indicate that the CFPPs have developed an elaborate public participation infrastructure that presents the public with more avenues for participation than any of the other cases included in the study. Recommendations are made on procedures of public participation in community forest decision-making as well as suggested criteria for evaluating what is successful public participation in a community forest.