Community Forest Management (CFM) devolves forest management to local communities to achieve conservation and human well-being goals. Yet, the evidence for CFM’s impacts is mixed and difficult to interpret because of inadequate attention to rival explanations for the observed empirical patterns. In a national-scale analysis in Madagascar that carefully considers these rival explanations, we estimate CFM impacts on household living standards, as measured by per capita consumption expenditures. The estimated impact is positive, but small and not statistically different from zero. However, we can statistically reject substantial negative impacts (which others have suggested may exist). The estimated impacts vary conditional on household education and proximity to forests: they are more positive and statistically significant for households closer to forest and with more education. To help improve CFM design, scholars and practitioners should anticipate heterogeneity in CFM impacts and work to better characterize them, theoretically and empirically.
Food and Resource Economics,
University of Copenhagen,Rolighedsvej 25, 1958 Frederiksberg C,Denmark.
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