Introduction: Equity in Community-based Resource Management
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The Community base natural resource management (CBNRM) intends to increase power and participation while improving the lives of the rural poor, as well as to improve sustainable resources management. East-West Center and Regional Community Forestry Training Center carried out a four year study to analyze equity issues. Considering the lack of definition of equity in natural resource management (NRM), the authors define equity as in 'fair share' terms. Equity refers to economic and political seen in the allocation, distribution, and influences in decision making. But equity also refers to the relationships between different levels, roles, and conflicts between interests (daily livelihoods versus national parks) and intergenerational. Talking about equity in terms of 'fair share' also raises the question of who sets the benchmarks, who decides what a fair share is. Definitions are culturally determined and these might consider the exclusion of women as fair from a traditional standpoint. CBNRM literature focuses in reducing inequity. The book shows examples of how practices in community forestry have helped communities to re-evaluate their discriminatory behaviours. One question remains; unequal relationships exist in the larger societies, do we expect CBNRM to change these unequal relationships on their own? The introduction chapter ends with an overview of the papers in the rest of the volume.