Mechanisms to exclude local people from forests: Shifting power relations in forest transitions

TitleMechanisms to exclude local people from forests: Shifting power relations in forest transitions
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsPichler M, Schmid M, Gingrich S
Secondary TitleAmbio
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Key themesConversion-FoodSecurity, Dispossession-grabbing, Environment, FDI, MarginalisedPeople, Policy-law

Forest transitions may significantly contribute to climate change mitigation but also change forest use, affecting the local people benefiting from forests. We analyze forest transitions as contested processes that simplify multifunctional landscapes and alter local livelihoods. Drawing on the Theory of Access, we develop a conceptual framework to investigate practices of multifunctional forest use and the mechanisms that exclude local forest use(r)s during forest transitions in nineteenth century Austria and twenty-first century Lao PDR. Based on historical sources, interviews and secondary literature, we discuss legal, structural and social-metabolic mechanisms to exclude multifunctional forest practices, marginalizing peasants and shifting cultivators. These include, for example, the increasing enforcement of private ownership in forests or the shift from fuelwood to coal in Austria and restrictive land use planning or the expansion of private land concessions in Laos. By integrating political ecology and environmental history in forest transitions research we unravel shifting power relations connected to forest change.

URL programs and the Land,40).

Available for download



Document Type

Journal Article