In this Occasional Paper, we compare a national approach designed to address restoration (the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, CFLRP, of the United States Department of Agriculture/United States Forest Service) with CIFOR’s Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) approach, which was originally designed to encourage sustainable forest management (SFM). CIFOR’s version of SFM included equal parts forestry, ecology and human well-being, and in this case focused on the community level. This comparison – which argues that ACM can also contribute to restoration efforts – briefly alludes to the changes that have accrued in the tropics: from the rich, minimally-disturbed forests selected for study in the late 1990s when ACM began, to the current situation where the same landscapes are marked by land-use changes to huge expanses of oil palm and other commodities. This paper systematically examines both approaches, focusing first on the six conceptual similarities and then on seven distinct differences. It concludes with an examination of the ‘differences that make a difference’ in our experience. Most fundamentally, we conclude that both approaches need to broaden their focus: CFLRP would benefit from linking more closely with communities in all their diversity; and ACM should strengthen efforts to institutionalize its approach, while linking community-level involvement more substantively with broader-scale actors.
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