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Policy Research Report: At Loggerheads? (2006) Recommendations

International Level

  • Mobilize carbon finance to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Mobilize finance for conservation of globally significant biodiversity.
  • Finance national and global efforts to monitor forests and evaluate the impacts of forest projects and policies— including devolution of forest control.
  • Foster the development of national-level research and evaluation organizations through twinning with established foreign partners.

National Level

  • Create systems for monitoring forest conditions and forest dwellers’ welfare, make land and forest allocations and regulations more transparent, and support civil society organizations that monitor regulatory compliance by government, landholders, and forest concessionaires. The prospect of carbon finance can help motivate these efforts.
  • Make forest and land use regulations more efficient, reformulating them to minimize monitoring, enforcement, and compliance costs. Economic instruments can help.

Areas beyond the Frontier

  • Avert disruptive races for property rights by equitably assigning ownership, use rights, and stewardship of these lands.
  • Options for forest conservation include combinations of indigenous and community rights, protected areas, and forest concessions. Still, some forest may be converted to agriculture where doing so offers high, sustainable returns and does not threaten irreplaceable environmental
  • Plan for rational, regulated expansion of road networks—including designation of roadless areas.
  • Experiment with new ways of providing services and infrastructure to low-density populations.

Frontier Areas

  • Assign and enforce property rights equitably.
  • Plan and control road network expansion.
  • Discourage conversion in areas with hydrological hazards, or encourage community management of these watersheds.
  • Use remote sensing, enhanced communication networks, and independent observers to monitor logging concessionaires and protect forestholders against encroachers.
  • Consider using carbon finance to support government and community efforts to assign and enforce property rights.
  • Encourage markets for environmental services in community-owned forests.

Disputed Areas

  • Where forest control is transferred to local communities, build local institutions with upward and downward accountability.
  • Where community rights are secure and markets are feasible, provide technical assistance for community forestry.
  • Make landholder rights more secure in “forests without trees.”
  • When forest tenure is secure, use carbon markets to promote forest regeneration and maintenance.


  • Reform regulations so that they don’t penalize tree growing.
  • Promote greener agriculture—such as integrated pest management and silvopastoral systems—through research and development, extension efforts, community organization, and reform of agriculture and forest regulations.
  • Develop a wide range of markets for environmental services—carbon, biodiversity, water regulation, recreation, and pest control—to support more productive, sustainable land management.

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