Partner: Sungi Development Foundation and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
The pre and post-colonial periods witnessed changes in the state of forest related institutions and management. This has been the cause of deforestation and loss of community livelihoods. The record illustrates that poor communities, small forest owners, rights holders, non-owners, women, and grazers who depend traditionally on forests for their livelihoods were steadily marginalized. Forest management, designed with the specific aim of conservation, proved unable to cope with the multiple and often conflicting interests. The commercial loggers, private developers, government and military agencies, hunters, and impoverished communities placed it under strain.
The National Conservation Strategy (NCS) 1991, triggered a donor-led forestry reform process. It promoted participatory community-based forest management. A number of donor-driven initiatives followed, including the 25-year Forestry Sector Master Plan (FSMP), the government’s National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) 2001, and the National Forestry Policy 1991. All of these strongly endorsed the involvement of communities in forest management. There is consensus among critics, however. that the reform process is no different to the enforcement, anti-community laws and regulations it has supplanted. The critics view the process as being donor-led and unfriendly to communities. who express ignorance of a process which, purportedly, addresses their concerns. Consequently the reforms lack ownership, both among communities and the forest department.
The global surge of interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as sustainable development agents, suggests a role for the private sector in natural resource management (NRM). This paper assesses the scope of forestry sector PPPs to address sustainable development concerns. Global examples demonstrate that PPPs offer scope for remediation, linking sustainable forest management with assured livelihoods for forest dependent communities. PPPs in forestry in the Pakistani context as partnerships between two entities mutually benefiting each other in some manner is not a new concept. We compare existing PPPs in the forestry sector against a pre-defined norm to see how they measure up, adding several recommendations in the process.