Sven Wunder, Arild Angelsen:
Forests for Poverty Alleviation? --- Understanding Household Livelihoods to Better Target Poverty Reduction Efforts

<#10479#>SVEN WUNDER1, ARILD ANGELSEN224 <#10479#>
1Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), c/o EMBRAPA Amazônia Oriental - Convênio CIFOR, Brazil
2Agricultural University of Norway, Agricultural Economics, Norway

<#8880#> The World Bank argues that ``forests can -- and must -- take a far greater role in meeting the UN Millennium Summit target of halving extreme poverty by 2015''. But pro;SPMquot;=poor forest policies cannot be designed and implemented effectively without basic empirical knowledge, as noted thoroughly in CIFOR's conference on ``Rural Livelihoods, Forests and Biodiversity'' (Bonn, 2003). Forests are crucial to the livelihoods of millions of poor people worldwide. But just how important are they, compared to other means of poverty alleviation? To what extent do forests help lift people out of poverty, or are they only useful as safety nets and gap fillers preventing extreme hardship? Which types of forests and products count most for the poor?

An international workshop in Finland (2001) concluded that forests were ignored in macroeconomic Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), for three reasons: (i)~lack of basic data on forest;SPMquot;=poverty relations, (ii)~weak understanding among decision makers of the links between forestry and poverty alleviation, and (iii)~lack of concrete proposals for policy reforms and investment.

This paper presents a project that will directly address the first obstacle --- lack of basic data --- and significantly contribute to overcoming the two others. The aim of our proposed presentation at the German Tropentag 2004, encouraged by our German partners, is twofold. First, we would like to share and discuss an innovative global;SPMquot;=comparative methodology in the growing research sphere of forest;SPMquot;=poverty linkages. Second, we aim to broaden and strengthen our German partnerships in the Ph.D. network.

The project will collect high;SPMquot;=quality and comparable primary data at the household level on the basis of thorough fieldwork undertaken by PhD students. The majority of the students is to be recruited from developing countries, in order to maximise capacity building impacts in the tropics. The students will be linked to host;SPMquot;=country institutions and/or universities abroad as part of a CIFOR-coordinated tropics;SPMquot;=wide network. The network currently already includes almost twenty interested Ph.D. students and their respective supervisors. <#8880#>

Keywords: Forests, global comparison, household surveys, livelihood, networks


<#8876#>Contact Address: Sven Wunder, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), c/o EMBRAPA Amazônia Oriental - Convênio CIFORTrav.~Dr.~Enéas~Pinheiro~S/N, 66.095-100~Belem, Brazil, e;SPMquot;~mail:<#8876#>