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Understanding forests' contribution to poverty alleviation : a framework for interventions in forested areas

World Bank2018.07.11

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This paper develops a broad framework to conceptualize the multiple ways forests contribute to poverty reduction and inform interventions in forest landscapes. The paper identifies five key strategies for reducing poverty in forest landscapes: (a) improvements in the productivity of forest land and labor; (b) strengthened community, household, and women's rights over forests and land; (c) regional complementary investments in institutions, infrastructure, and public services that facilitate poverty reduction for the forest poor; (d) increased access to markets for timber or non-timber forest products; and (e) mechanisms that enhance and enable the flow of benefits from forest ecosystem services to the poor. The practical utility of the framework is tested through a portfolio review of forestry lending by the World Bank Group, the largest public investor in the forestry sector. The paper concludes with a discussion of some key issues that need to be addressed for forest-related investments in poverty reduction to succeed.

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