Alan Grainger a,,
Ben S. Malayang III b
Sustainable forest management
Policy formulation model
Evolution of forest policy
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School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
School of Environmental Science and Management, University of the Philippines, College, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
Received 4 June 2003. Revised 2 March 2004. Accepted 17 May 2004. Available online 31 July 2004.
A model is described which proposes that a government's actual forest policy should shift in favour of sustainable forest management and control of deforestation when the effective strength of pressures on policy-makers from internal protectionist groups approaches that of exploitative groups. Effective strength depends on the strength of a group, how well it transmits its pressures and the level of public support, all of which are linked to progress in democratization and pluralization. External pressures may change stated policy but not actual policy. Forest policy evolution is divided into three phases: exploitative (when both actual and stated policies promote exploitation), ambiguous (stated policy promotes sustainable management but actual policy remains exploitative) and sustainable management (both actual and stated policies promote sustainable management). The model is tested by applying it to the Philippines, where a sharp rise in the relative power of protectionist groups and their ability to exert pressures on government, and a significant increase in democracy and pluralism, coincided with a major change in forest policy in 1986. Progress in controlling deforestation and managing forest more sustainably throughout the tropics may therefore depend on similar political changes occurring on a larger scale.