Luca Tacconi ,
Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Crawford Building, Ellery Crescent, The Australian National University, ACT 0200, Australia
Received 12 April 2006. Revised 13 December 2006. Accepted 3 January 2007. Available online 30 August 2007.
This paper discusses the theory of decentralized forest management, the associated narrative and the underlying hypotheses. That discussion informs the assessment of whether decentralization can lead to forest conservation. The paper argues that the ideal model of democratic decentralization described in the literature is unlikely to be implemented given the governance constraints present in many tropical forest countries. Even if that model could be implemented, it is shown that decentralization cannot be expected to necessarily lead to forest conservation. The policies required to complement the current decentralization model are discussed, including financial incentives and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.