In most countries farms and forests are governed by overlapping policy frameworks. The continuum from farm to forest is often overlooked as a result of the different aims, philosophies and disciplines that inform agricultural and forest policies. This session seeks to understand how and why multiple policy frameworks are often applied over a landscape, producing contradictions, confusion or gaps that affect local management decisions and behaviour, often in unintended ways. This session showcases evidence-based papers providing critical insights from Latin America, Asia and Africa into how this farm-forest interface is governed such that multi-use practices are accommodated, resulting in positive sustainable, people-centered outcomes. These papers introduce a range of methods to study the farm-forest interface, forest policy and governance that aim to strengthen qualitative and quantitative rigor of evidence. At the end of the session, we have time for a moderated discussion. Authors are invited to submit their paper to a special edition on the topic in the International Forestry Review.
Chair: Dr Verina Ingram
In the Sahelian landscapes of southern Burkina Faso and northern Ghana, the integration of agriculture, forestry, and livestock within the natural resource management systems used by smallholder households makes it difficult to separate agricultural land use from forest and tree use. Women play integral roles in these systems, particularly in the management of trees. However, customary systems of land and tree tenure differentially constrain women’s access to resources, while national policies do not acknowledge or support their roles as resource managers. In such context, multi-stakeholder dialogues could be an effective strategy for assisting policy makers to better understand these complex production systems. However ensuring that such fora include the perspective of both male and female managers is crucial and creating conditions in which women can share their resource management knowledge and experience is central to guaranteeing the inclusion of their concerns. This paper analyzes efforts to use participatory methods in two multi-village landscapes to facilitate women’s engagement, give voice to their priorities, and frame debate around topics important for their livelihoods. It builds on fieldwork conducted by CIFOR, ICRAF and Tree Aid as part of the West Africa Forest Farm Interface Project (WAFFI) funded by IFAD. The WAFFI team used participatory approaches to facilitate smallholder involvement in the definition, analysis and evaluation of management issues. As a result of these activities, women’s groups catalyzed dialogue on conflict of use problems related to shea (Vitellaria paradoxa), unintended consequences of conservation boundaries and resource degradation due to uncontrolled bushfires.