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COORDINATION: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): Dominique Reeb and Safia Aggarwal / Centre for Applied Ecology "Prof. Baeta Neves" (CEABN InBIO: Francisco Castro Rego.

CEABN InBIO TEAM: Francisco Castro Rego (Coord.), Iryna Skulska and Maria da Conceição Colaço.

During the last decades the community management of forest areas and appropriate tenure reforms have been the object of attention. In general, it is assumed that the transfer of right to local communities will lead to sustainable forest management and environmental, social and economic improvement that benefit communities.

In order to determine the extent to which legal recognition or the transfer of forest rights to communities corresponds to this assumption, FAO / UN teams have developed in several countries around the world a system for assessing community forestry governance, in particular in terms of responsible governance and ownership of the land, through a guide to be implemented voluntarily (VGGT). The system also aims to assess the extent and effectiveness of community based forestry (CBF).

In 2017, for the first time, VGGT and CBF assessment systems were implemented on European Community land. In particular, in the framework of the protocol established between FAO/ONU and CEABN InBIO/ISA, the four modalities of Portuguese community land tenure (common name: baldios) were analyzed and compared.

Comparing these modalities through these assessment frameworks has helped us to better understand how management of forest areas and resources in community lands has evolved over the last four decades, as well as to develop recommendations to improve this type of governance in Portugal.

Documents available for download: