What lies behind decentralisation? Forest, powers and actors in lowland Bolivia

14 de janeiro de 2004

jan 14, 2004

Pablo Pacheco

Bolivia has undertaken important policy reforms since the mid-1990s aimed at institutionalising popular participation and promoting democratic decentralisation. In the forestry sector, municipal governments have received responsibilities and various mechanisms have been established to hold these governments accountable to local populations. In spite of being among the most advanced forestry sector decentralisations in the region, the democratisation of decision-making is limited – with local governments being primarily responsible for monitoring forest management and illegal activities and promoting forest management by local users. The national government has retained the right to define standards and allocate forest resources. Still, the decentralisation has created conditions for local forest users and municipal governments to become stronger players in natural resources governance. Outcomes of decentralisation are mixed, mainly due to municipal resources and capacity, local power relationships and the degree to which local economies depend on forest resources.

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