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Forest Policy, Trade, and Finance » Briefings on Decentralization, Forest Governance and Peace

Forest Trends has prepared a set of briefings to examine ways that countries can improve the governance of their forests during periods of transition, e.g., following the cessation of conflict and/or military dictatorship. The six briefings deal with lessons learned related to:

  • Decentralization of political, administrative, and economic power to regional authorities, especially under federalist systems, with a particular focus on the impact on natural resource management;
  • Revenue sharing systems to address inequity in the distribution of costs and benefits from the exploitation of natural resources;
  • Integrity mechanisms that increase the ability to hold authorities accountable; one of the briefings deals specifically with anti-corruption commissions;
  • Moratoria on logging and the allocation of new concessions that can be used to push forward forest-sector reforms during periods of transition; and
  • Climate change initiatives that can both help reduce the likelihood of conflict and reinforce the peace-building process.

The briefings also provide a case study of decentralization in Indonesia, a resource-dependent country that has emerged from decades-long military dictatorship and that is populated by ethnic minorities who lay claim—albeit often unrecognized by government—to many of the resource-rich areas. The case study compares post-transition decentralization enjoyed by local district governments to the "Special Autonomy" provisions for Aceh Province. Aceh's special autonomy, which increased local control over natural resources and resource revenues, was a condition of the 2005 Peace Agreement that ended Aceh's secessionist civil war.


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