Community forestry in British Columbia: policy progression and public participation
- Publisher: Elsevier
It is 17 years since the British Columbia Ministry of Forests instituted the Jobs and Timber Accord of 1997, which established British Columbia's (BC) Community Forest Pilot Program and formally introduced Community Forest Agreements into the provincial forest policy framework. For this special issue we present the results of a census of all active members of the BC Community Forest Association, evaluating the program using the method demonstrated by Maryudi et al. (2012) where evaluation is guided by the original aims of the policy; in this case the Community Forestry Initiative of BC. We sought the Community Forest Organisations' views on the strengths and limitations of the initiative, whether they were equipped to achieve the aims expected of the policy, and the degree to which the policy aims were their priorities. We found that community forests in BC assess themselves as having been broadly successful in terms of policy aims of public participation and environmental stewardship of forests, but that the policy has not enabled economic diversification. Corroborating other studies we report that community forests found that encouraging participation requires sustained effort, that diversifying from conventional forestry is desired but not usually achievable and that motivations for involvement in community forests are diverse.
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