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Community Forestry

The Landscape for Forests after the Forum

Peter Dewees's picture

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the opening of the 10th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in Istanbul, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s impassioned challenge to the global community to get serious about stopping the loss of forests. Unusually, he did this without reference to the usual concerns about climate change or biodiversity loss, but instead quite simply said – we have a moral responsibility to stop this.

"The global threats which humanity faces eliminate the luxury of saying, ‘What do I care?’” Erdoğan said. “We are not only creatures of bodies, heads, and brains. We carry hearts, we carry souls, and we carry a conscience.”

So what did the UN Forum accomplish after days of discussions and negotiations?  Did the Forum rise to Erdoğan's challenge?

Can Community Groups Influence Public Policy?

Sabina Panth's picture

There is a common perception held by some that the dominating framework of social development practice is a community and that framework does not often extend beyond a certain group or a locality to include districts, provinces and other tiers of government.  There is evidence, however, that social development can instigate structural changes and devolution of power by mobilizing a community to build associations and exercise their agency to influence broader national goals and policies.  To illustrate this point, I want to begin with the evolution of self-help groups that are prevalent in India and Nepal.