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Bridging the divide between rural and urban community-based forestry: A bibliometric review

Abigail Sullivan

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 144, issue C

Abstract: Community-based forest management takes myriad forms, including community forestry, urban and community forestry, and joint forest management. These variations are all implemented with a promise to include local communities (to varying degrees) in forest decision-making and management, but distinctions are often made between rural versus urban focused research and practice. Such distinctions may be arbitrary and increasingly unnecessary, as rural and urban communities exist on a continuum. To understand whether there is a measurable divide between urban and rural community forestry scholarship, we conduct a systematic bibliometric analysis including examining co-citation networks, citation counts, and keywords. We find there is a multi-dimensional divide between the scholars studying community-based forestry in rural and urban focused contexts, including in terms of discipline, topics of focus, and the intellectual foundations of each community. The separation we find between urban and rural community-based forest research represents an opportunity to explore where researchers and practitioners typically isolated in rural or urban research may learn from and connect with each other. Ultimately, we argue that community-based forestry cannot achieve its potential to improve forests and reduce inequality without increased connections between scholars and practitioners from the often siloed rural and urban communities. Connecting these communities will require increased collaboration between natural and social scientists and increased attention to the research needs of practitioners and local communities, which we argue may help facilitate more just forest governance.

Keywords: Community management; Natural resource management; Community forestry; Urban forestry; Urban and community forestry; Environmental governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102826

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