Small-Scale and Community Forestry and the Changing Nature of Forest Landscapes
I currently am attending the IUFRO 3.08 International Conference: “Small-Scale and Community Forestry and the Changing Nature of Forest Landscapes” and will co-present a paper on "Institutional Bricolage and Community Forestry: Sifting through the Governance History of Sierra Leone’s Kambui Hills Forest Reserve."
ABSTRACT: The Kambui Hills Forest Reserve in eastern Sierra Leone has long been an important source of ecological services and timber supply, and has recently served as a site for experimentation with community forestry. Like many such initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, however, community forestry has proved a complex proposition, encountering resistance from local communities and engendering conflict with government officials. Aiming to support the improvement of such interventions in the West African context, this paper analyses historical and recent dynamics in the governance of the Reserve, finding that these are best understood through the lens of an institutional bricolage approach. Such a frame accepts that real-world governance is produced in practice through a process in which people consciously and unconsciously draw on existing social structures including as norms, formal legislation and power relationships to piece together institutions in response to continuing resource management needs and situations. Drawing upon extensive field research in the Kambui Hills area including interviews with key stakeholders and landcover analysis, this paper maps out the processes of institutional bricolage that have formed the realities of governance-in-practice in the Kambui Hills area. Based on these data, it is argued that improvements in the Reserve’s management will require gradual institutional evolution and is not amenable to shorter-term project-based interventions.